Update: Coronavirus vaccine
We enter 2021 with mixed emotions: the current wave of coronavirus continues to grow, but also the good news that a second vaccine has been approved – the Astra Zeneca version, developed in the UK in Oxford. This new vaccine is much more robust than the Pfizer vaccine approved in December and will soon be available for us to offer in much greater quantities. Overall therefore, there is hope of a better year ahead and we wish all our patients well in 2021.
Both vaccines require two doses to be fully effective, with the second dose 4-12 weeks following the first. We have been advised to change our approach. Instead of giving the second does 3-4 weeks after the first we are now expected to give as many first doses as we can to our high-risk patients, starting with those in care homes and patients over 80 years. We will then give the second dose between 9-12 weeks later.
We are currently in discussion with NHS England whether this means re-scheduling those patients already booked in for their second dose next week. For now, our advice is that, unless we contact you to say otherwise, please keep any appointment you currently have for a Covid vaccination.
Otherwise, please continue to follow the advice below:
– We will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Please do not contact us to ask about your vaccination. Please do make sure that we have your up to date contact details. You can update these here (https://rahs.digipractice.org/general-and-admin-enquiry/change-of-personal-details).
– Our current priority groups are: care home residents and staff, patients who are 80 or over and frontline healthcare professionals. Again, we will contact you when your turn is due.
– We are working with Lordswood Medical Centre to vaccinate the patients of both our practices at the same time.
– You will need to attend for your vaccination unless truly housebound. Our vaccination sessions will be at:
Birmingham Stake Centre (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints),
38-42 Lordswood Rd,
Harborne, Birmingham B17 9QS.
We will ensure that the Centre is Covid-secure for even the most vulnerable patients. If getting to the Centre is not straightforward for you, please start planning how you can get there safely, for example with help from family.
– The scale of the vaccination programme is very challenging. This means:
– we will have very limited scope to rearrange appointments
– we need you to be flexible in accepting the slot we offer you
– there may be some unavoidable disruption to normal service as we send staff to the
vaccination centre, especially if it is delivered mid-week.
This is a very important stage in the pandemic and our quest to resume normal life. We have come a very long way this year, and the NHS and the public have worked together incredibly well to cope so far. We know we can count on our patients in this latest challenge and want you to know that you can count on us to spare no effort in delivering this vaccination programme for the benefit of us all.
More information about the coronavirus vaccine programme is available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/