COVID-19 vaccination programme Rutland – patient update 8th April 2021

The national plans for vaccination change frequently. This is the best information that we have at the moment but may be altered.

We have now delivered nearly 21000 vaccine doses at the Rutland Covid Vaccination Centre, which includes 16500 first doses and 4500 second doses. Due to limitations of vaccine supply we are mainly delivering second doses during April. We have invited all those from cohorts 1-9 (People aged over 50, health and care workers and clinically vulnerable) for vaccination.

We were delighted to have visits from the Lord Lieutenant , Sarah Furness; and the High Sheriff, Richard Cole; who thanked our staff and volunteers for their continuing hard work in delivering the  Rutland vaccination programme.

From 12 April 2021 the A6003 between Uppingham and Oakham will be closed at the railway bridge at Manton.
Patients travelling from the south will need to allow extra time for the diversion.
More information can be found on the Rutland County Council website here.

Second vaccinations

Second vaccinations are normally 11-12 weeks after the first dose for either vaccine. We are now offered second vaccinations to all those who received their first vaccination in January . You will receive an SMS text message on your mobile phone inviting you to book your appointment for a second vaccination. If we do not have a mobile phone number for you, you will receive a letter or telephone call. We have limited supply of each vaccine and run clinics dedicated to each type of vaccine.

If you receive a booking SMS from us with a link, the link will only allow you to book up to 3 weeks in advance. If the link does not allow you to book, please try the following day.

People attending for their first vaccination from 1st April will normally be given the date for their second. Those who have not yet received a date from first vaccinations given in March, will receive an invitation normally 1 week before it is due. Second vaccinations cannot be given before 10 weeks after the first unless there are exceptional clinical reasons – for example someone about to start chemotherapy may have their second vaccine earlier.

What happens if I can’t attend my second vaccine appointment?

If you cannot attend a clinic between 11-12 weeks after your first jab, you can still have your second vaccination after 12 weeks and it will still be effective. We are sent vaccine for second doses based on the date of your first dose so please attend if you can for your allocated session. For the Pfizer vaccine especially, our next delivery may not be for several weeks so please don’t miss your slot because it will delay your vaccination.

Household contacts of people who have reduced immunity

People who live with patients who have severely reduced immune response are now eligible for Covid vaccination. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-vaccine-advice-for-adults-living-with-adults-who-are-immunosuppressed.

This includes people who are receiving chemotherapy or immunosuppressive medication, people who take steroid tablets (Prednisolone 20mg per day), and people who have a history of blood cancers. Patients with those conditions should have received a letter or email asking them to identify their household members who wish to be vaccinated. We can offer vaccination to those who are registered with one of the four the Rutland GP practices. 

If you are living with someone who is undergoing chemotherapy and have not received an email ,please contact us by emailing [email protected].

National Booking Service

People over 50 may receive letters, or SMS messages inviting them to book at the mass vaccination sites in Leicester. This system does not allow booking at the Rutland site but we are normally inviting people about a week later. The mass vaccination sites will also be operating with reduced supply and prioritising second doses from April. It is confusing that there is a separate system, but it is not in our control – the letters are sent by the NHS. Calling 119 will allow you to book at a national site if you are eligible and have received a letter, but not in Rutland.

AstraZeneca Vaccine

Changes to Astra Zeneca (Oxford) Vaccine

  • There is a likely but not yet proven link between AZ and cerebral venous sinus thrombus and other thrombus in major blood vessels.
  • In the UK there have been 79 cases reported after a first dose of AZ amongst 20,000,000 given, 19 resulted in death, approximately 4 per million.
  • As yet there is no proven link to age, gender of pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Benefits of vaccination still outweighs risk (4 per million).
  • To put in context with those who catch COVID
    • 7.8% get pulmonary embolism
    • 11.2% get a DVT
    • 23% admitted to ITU get clots
    • 1.6% will have a stroke
    • 30% get low platelets
  • In situations where there is low risk of exposure (with current circulating levels of COVID we are just below medium), the risk potentially outweigh benefits for under 30s, in terms of comparing possible ITU admission with COVID against significant side effects

Summary

  1. People who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine should have a second dose of the vaccine irrespective of age UNLESS they have a past history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (blood clots).
  2. People under 30 should be offered the Pfizer vaccine rather that the AstraZeneca Vaccine for their first dose.
  3. People who have a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, acquired or hereditary thrombophilia, heparin induced thrombocytopenia or antiphospholipid syndrome should only be considered if the benefit outweighs the risk of AstraZeneca vaccination.

If you have an appointment for vaccination, and you think that this applies to you, please discuss with the doctor at the vaccination centre at the time of your appointment, or contact your GP practice.

The Joint Committee on vaccination and immunisation made the following statement yesterday.

 “Since the start of the pandemic over 4 million COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in the UK causing more than 120,000 deaths. Over 30 million people have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the programme, which Public Health England (PHE) estimate has prevented at least 6,000 deaths in the first 3 months of 2021.

There have been reports of an extremely rare adverse event of concurrent thrombosis (blood clots) and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) following vaccination with the first dose of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222).

JCVI has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks and advise that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease. JCVI

currently advises that it is preferable for adults aged <30 years without underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine, if available. People may make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to receive earlier protection.

Further information is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-issues-new-advice-concluding-a-possible-link-between-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-and-extremely-rare-unlikely-to-occur-blood-clots

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca/information-for-uk-recipients-on-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca

First vaccination Week of Second vaccination (you will be contacted when we are notified of vaccine availability)
21-23 December 2020Week commencing 8 March 2021
6-8 January 2021Week commencing 22 March 2021
12 January 2021Week commencing 29 March 2021
15 January 2021Week commencing 29 March 2021
21-22 January 2021Week commencing 5 April 2021
28-30 January 2021Week commencing 12 April 2021
3-6 February 2021Week commencing 19 April 2021
10-11 February 2021Week commencing 26 April 2021
24-25 February 2021Week commencing 10 May 2021
26-February 2021Week commencing 10 May 2021
2-3 March 2021Week commencing 17 May 2021
5 March 2021Week commencing 17 May 2021

Everyone who is vaccinated after 5 March 2021 will receive their second vaccination appointment when they come for their first.

How to get vaccinated

There are two systems. For the Rutland COVID Vaccination Centre, you will receive a SMS message or phone call to invite you to book an appointment. The SMS provides a link to a booking system called AccuRx which looks like this. Please respond to the link to let us know if you do not want to have a vaccination In Rutland or have booked in Leicester.

Rutland COVID Vaccination Centre is at:
Council Offices, Catmose House, Catmos Road, Oakham, LE15 6HP 

You can click here for a guide on how to use the automated system, for both smart phones and older phones alike.

For a video explaining the booking process, click here.

If you are aged over 60 and have not yet received your first vaccination, please contact us by emailing [email protected].

You may also receive a letter from the national NHS which invites you to book a vaccination at a mass vaccination site in Leicester using the national booking system or calling 119. The national link provided and 119 does not allow you to book at the Rutland COVID Vaccination centre, so if you would like to have your vaccination locally please wait to be invited, which is normally the same or following week that you receive the national letter.

People with additional needs

Special vaccination sessions are available for people with additional needs who cannot attend vaccination centre sessions. This might include people living with learning disability, dementia or severe mental illness but is not limited to these groups. If you are a patient or  carer for someone who has additional needs, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

Declining the offer of vaccination

If you have told us that you do not wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccination you will receive a letter from Rutland Health PCN confirming that you have declined vaccination. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from serious COVID-19  infection. If you have declined but later decide that you would like to have the vaccine please let your GP practice know or email us on [email protected] so that we can book you an appointment.

Carers

All adult carers identified by their practice will be invited to the Rutland COVID Vaccination centre, whether or not they receive carers’ allowance, normally by SMS or phone call.  Those who are receiving carers allowance are easy for the government to identify and they will also receive a letter from the national NHS offering them a slot at the mass vaccination centres (i.e the Peepul centre in Leicester.

Young adult carers or those with underlying health conditions who are aged 16 or 17 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine, not the Oxford AZ.

Carers can now access free PPE by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]

Vaccine information

More information about the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine can be found here

More information about the Astra Zeneca vaccine can be found here

More information for women of childbearing age, pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding click here

For information on what to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination click here.

Avoid scams

There are unfortunately a number of scams circulating about the COVID Vaccination Programme. Our automated system looks like this: SMS Instructions.

The NHS will never ask for payment or bank details. More details on COVID Vaccine scams can be found here.

Prioritisation

If your cohort is being vaccinated and you have not yet received an invitation to book an appointment please be patient; we will contact you. Please do not contact your GP practice.

The national priority list which we must follow is as follows:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. Cohort 6 also includes unpaid carers.(see below)
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

More information about the prioritisation can be found here.

Who is classified as vulnerable (cohort 6)

Chronic respiratory (lung) diseaseIndividuals with a severe lung condition, including those with asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of steroid tablets (not inhalers)or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including chronic bronchitis and emphysema; bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung fibrosis, pneumoconiosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Chronic cardiovascular disease (heart or circulation)People with a history of heart disease including angina and heart attacks, heart atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease or a history of venous thromboembolism(blood clots)
Chronic kidney diseaseIncludes CKD stage 3, 4 or 5, kidney transplant
Chronic liver diseaseCirrhosis, chronic hepatitis
Chronic neurological diseaseStroke, transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
DiabetesIncluding diet controlled
Conditions in which respiratory function may be compromised due to neurological disease (e.g. polio syndrome sufferers).This includes individuals with cerebral palsy, severe or profound learning disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and related or similar conditions; or hereditary and degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles; or severe neurological disability
Morbid ObesityPeople with BMI over 40
ImmunosuppressionHistory of blood cancer, or patients taking high doses of steroids
Dysfunction of the spleeneg homozygous sickle cell disease, thalassemia major and coeliac syndrome.
Adult carersThose who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.1
Severe mental illnessEg Schizophrenia, bipolar

All vaccinations will be given only by prior appointment – no walk in.

You cannot have a vaccination if you:

  1. have a high temperature or fever
  2. Had another vaccination within 7 days.
  3. Have ever had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any of the components of the vaccine or to multiple medications. (this guidance has  changed)
  4. Are taking warfarin and your INR reading is above 4. If you are taking warfarin please bring your yellow book when you come for your vaccination.
  5. Have had a positive COVID-19 test within the last 4 weeks.
  6. Are pregnant, unless you have a serious health condition that puts you at high risk of complications from COVID-19 infection..
What happens on the day?

The vaccination centre will be Council Offices, Catmose House, Catmos Road, Oakham, LE15 6HP not your GP surgery. There is adequate free marshalled parking at the site and wheelchair access. There are no toilet facilities available at the site. The nearest toilets are at Church Street, Oakham.

  1. Wear a face covering.
  2. Maintain strict safe social distancing of 2m.
  3. Make sure you are wearing a short sleeve top under your coat as injections will not be given in a private room. You will also need a warm coat.
  4. All queuing will be outside, don’t forget your umbrella and a warm coat. Queues should be short because we have booked appointment times.
  5. Your temperature will be checked before you enter the building.
  6. The vaccinator will ask you some questions.
  7. The vaccinator will give you an injection into your upper arm.
  8. If you have received the PfizerBioNtech Vaccine you will be observed for 15 minutes before you are permitted to leave after the vaccination. If you have received the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine you will be able to return to your car but if you are driving yourself, you must not drive for 15 minutes.
Volunteers

Rutland Health PCN is extremely grateful to the volunteers that are supporting us. If you would like to help with the vaccination programme, to find out more, or register please visit www.valonline.org.uk or call 0116 257 5050.
We have some volunteers helping with marshalling the car park, checking patients in, booking appointments, and data entry , as well as some retired clinical staff who help with the vaccinations after training and accreditation.

FAQs

Information about the Council Offices in Oakham:

  • The full address is – Council Offices, Catmose House, Catmos Road, Oakham, LE15 6HP.
  • There is free parking on-site
  • There will be Marshalls on site to help direct cars and people on the day.
  • There will be on-site reception for booking people in.
  • There will be clear signs and Marshalls on hand who will show you where to go to have your vaccination and how to exit the building.
  • The building has wheelchair access and exit.
  • There will be experienced trained healthcare professionals from local practices in Rutland on-site supervised by a GP who will look after you from start to finish. In the unlikely event of an allergic reaction there will be anaphylaxis kits and a defibrillator available.
  • We will maintain social distancing and ensure you receive your vaccine safely and swiftly.
  • Please arrive promptly at your appointment time to prevent delays. Do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment time.

What shall I do if I cannot attend my booked appointment on the day?

If you are unwell you should not come to the vaccination centre. There are no telephones at the vaccination centre. Please do not telephone the council customer services as they have no access to the vaccination centre If you miss your appointment you will be contacted, and if you were unwell or could not attend, you will be rebooked or added to a waiting list to be contacted when you have recovered.

Will the vaccine have side effects?

  • Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.
  • Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose.
  • Although you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus.
  • Very common side effects include:
    • Having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1-2 days after the vaccine
    • Tiredness
    • Headache
    • General aches, or mild flu like symptoms
    • Fever. Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for two to three days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection. You can rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) to help you feel better. Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week.

Can I choose which vaccine I receive?

We cannot offer you a choice of vaccine because we receive intermittent limited supplies and we are instructed who to give them to.

I have had the flu vaccine; do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?

  • The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19
  • As you are eligible for both vaccines you can have both but should be separated by at least a week.

Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No this is not possible symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111.

Can I transmit or pass on the COVID-19 infection to anyone after I had the vaccine?

  • The vaccine will not give you COVID-19 infection
  • We do not know yet if the vaccine will stop you catching the virus and passing it on.
  • What we do know is that if you did catch the virus, the vaccine will protect you and significantly lower the chance of you becoming unwell with it.

 Does the COVID-19 vaccine contain animal products or gluten?

The vaccine is Animal free, Gluten free, Potassium free and Sodium freeAm I safe once I have had the vaccination? Your body’s defence against the COVID-19 virus will gradually increase over the next few weeks, and will be boosted by your 2nd dose at 12 weeks. It is essential that you continue to be careful by washing your hands frequently, wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, and maintaining social distancing, until you are fully protected.

More information

Listen to Dr Hilary Fox talk about Rutland Primary Health Care Network’s COVID-19 vaccination programme on Rob Persani’s podcast here:
Link to Rob Persani’s podcast 

Please take the time to download and look through our COVID-19 Vaccination – A Guide for Adults leaflet by clicking on the image below.