We are now looking out for blood clots after the Oxford Vaccine (Astra-Zeneca), around 4 in every millions doses. There is more information in a government leaflet here
We are told these dont develop until after 4 days from the vaccine date (which is after the common 2-3 days of “flu-like” symptoms, which can include headache, temperature and feeling unwell).
There are no reports of clots after a second dose, so we have no concerns recommending the second vaccine dose, even where you felt unwell for 2-3 days afterwards, or are in the younger group of people.
What should I look out for after vaccination?
Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should
seek medical advice urgently.
- a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
- a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over or
- an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
- blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
- diffculty with your speech
- weakness, drowsiness or seizures
- new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
- shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain
We have vaccine available, and a few of our patients are eligible but still not had their first dose. Overal 1534 (56%) of our patients have had a first dose of vaccine so far. This is actually 71% of those eligible, since a vaccine is currently recommended for those aged over 18.
We are therefore getting in touch with those not yet done to offer a catch up vaccine for Wednesday, please get in touch if you are waiting from groups 1-9 (Aged over 50, vulnerable, carers).
For those under 50, there is expected to be a delay through April while vaccine priority is on the second doses within 12 weeks to get maximum protection for those most at risk.
Regarding numbers, we have the following cohort sizes still needing vaccine, a total of 635
- Aged 40-49 – 205
- Age 30-39 – 190
- Age 18-29 – 240
As we move to younger groups of patients, we are getting more questions regarding whether it would be a good idea to be vaccinated?
YES! 100% yes! Every member of our staff has been vaccinated.
- COVID is very contagious – you will almost all get exposed in the next year or two.
- Fatigue and breathlessness is common after COVID, even in previously fit and active people, its not just the risk of death.
- There is very good safety data on the vaccines to show that any risks are much lower compared with the placebo group. “Real world” data in the UK has shown a dramatic fall in the overall death rate starting a few weeks after the vaccine.
- After a vaccine you are unlikely to be unwell from COVID, almost certain to not need hospital treatment for COVID, much lower risk of spreading infection.
- You will be protecting our community, making our area a safer place to live for everyone. Especially for those who dont have a strong immune system.
What about pregnant women or children? We are waiting to confirm that vaccination is safe, but we will vaccinate our children if this is recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). They are the best in their field, whose expert advice we trust.
We had 190 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine today, but as an unexpected bonus each 5mls vial contained 6mls of vaccine (12 doses not 10), meaning we actually had an extra 38 doses. We were warned these were definitely not going to be over-filled. We have therefore been making some last minute calls today to use all the vaccine and make sure none is wasted.
Almost every person aged 50+ or in an at risk group has now been offered a vaccine from the surgery, nearly 4 weeks ahead of schedule! What a great success.
We are told the next priority for vaccine will now be for completing the second doses before 12 weeks, and this is all fully on course. We will still be sending updates with just a short notice, when the supply of vaccine is confirmed.
This means there may be some weeks before those under 50 start getting invited, by the national booking system.
A big thank you for all your ongoing support (and patience as you await your turn).
We are sending out SMS invites for this Friday morning, working our way down the list based on age.
We dont yet know how many people have already booked an appointment through the central booking system (Westward Ho or Wadebridge) so when we invite you by SMS, please reply to the message if possible. Hopefully this is enough to reach all those aged 50 and above, as we expect a lot of the groups aged over 57 already have booked appointments.
For information, our group sizes and numbers vaccinated are as follows
- Age 60-64 158 (86 done, 72 remaining)
- Age 55-59 208 (28 done, 180 remaining)
- Age 50-54 150 (12 done, 138 remaining)
We are also advised of another 100 doses expected for next week, so we can be really confident of finishing all the first 9 “at risk” groups next week.
We have requests asking when we may be able to offer vaccine to patients in their 50’s: we hope within the next 2 weeks as we have been promised a boost in vaccine supply after a “dry” couple of weeks.
This week we are not allowed to go beyong group 5 (aged 65-70) and group 6 (at risk). We are finshing all these groups Wednesday 10 March.
Next week we understand we will be able to use all available vaccine to start to “mop up” groups 7, 8 and 9. (ages 50-65). We will plan to move down ages, sending SMS invites to those aged 64, then 63, then 62 etc. As people confirm or decline a vaccine, we will re-use the slot until all our vaccine allowance is used, or we have completed all the groups.
We expect some people will have booked a vaccine elsewhere, but we hope anyone aged over 50 is likely to get a vaccine offer at Hartland within the next 2 weeks. But we cannot be 100% sure until the vaccine is waiting for collection from Barnstaple, we’ve been left waiting before.
We plan to invite by SMS message to your mobile as follows:
You are invited to have a COVID vaccine at Hartland surgery on <date> at <time>.
To confirm please reply YES.
If you want a call to discuss reply DISCUSS, if you have other arrangements reply OTHER, if you don’t want a vaccine reply NO. You can include more information if you choose, but a short message may be more helpful us.
If you dont respond within 2 hours, we will try to call you later
We hope this will allow us to organise larger numbers of vaccine in a quick and efficient manner.
We have been notified more vaccine was delivered to Barnstaple at the weekend.
We hope this means another 63 doses we can use at Hartland and if confirmed we will use them this week, likely on Friday morning again.
As mentioned before, we have been “warned” to expect a surge in vaccine supply next week for a couple of weeks – so we hope things may speed up significantly to complete all priority groups down to aged 50. Most supply is still being directed to the vaccine centres in Westward Ho and Wadebridge and invitations sent by post, but we will use as much as we are allocated.
- 1st doses given 1038 (37% of our total patients)
- Group 1: 0 (No nursing home patients)
- Group 2: 183 (97%)
- Group 3: 161 (97%)
- Group 4: 223 (95%)
- Group 5: 169 (76%)
- Group 6: 161 (83%)
We are waiting for the systems to update, but we managed to get 48 doses of Oxford vaccine this morning. (5 bottles with “eight doses”, but they are slightly overfilled and we used every drop).
We think we are just over 1000 doses given to our patients, but there are a unfortunately still a few of you in group 5 and 6 waiting for a dose.
We are told there is no more coming for at least a week, but as you know we will not hesitate if things change.
Longer term we have been told there will be a “surge” in vaccine for the second half of March, perhaps this will mainly be sent to hubs in Westward Ho! and Wadebridge again. The feedback has been excellent for these centres, so don’t hesitate if you get the invite. We will use whatever we are given.
We are also starting to invite for 12 week second doses shortly, so things are going to remain very busy.
Now 951 first doses of vaccine given (34%). What fantastic progress, alongside the really encouraging news about protection from serious illness being around 80% after the first dose alone. The second dose at 12 weeks will still be really important, especially for protection lasting into next winter.
We are now hoping to have enough vaccine this Friday morning to finish groups 5 (aged over 65) and group 6 (at risk aged 16-64).
We are checking our waiting list, and vaccine supply, and should be in touch with anyone waiting by late Thursday.
Group 7 (aged 60-64) should now be getting postal invites to visit Westward Ho! or Wadebridge.
We have been asked not to vaccinate beyond group 5 and 6 this week, to ensure all GP practices are able to catch up and no patients are left behind.
Hopefully that means we can do more next week, but it seems we (and many GP practices up and down the country) are being used to “mop up”, meaning we will always be catching up. There is some national guidance indicating an increased supply in vaccine in 2 weeks time (with less supply next week).
We have now hit 808 first doses, 29% of the practice.
This week we have no allocation of Oxford vaccine (for Hartland) and only a small number of slots for Pfizer vaccine at the hub in Barnstaple, which we have already booked. Unfortunately less Oxford vaccine was delivered to Barnstaple last thursday than planned (disrupting planned clinics for practices in Torrington and Bideford). We can only hope they might surprise us with extra vaccine later in the week!
We are therefore still catching up with group 5 (48 to go) and 6 (104 to go), as well as eligible unpaid carers:
those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
Still a little wait before groups 7 and 8 (aged 60+, then aged 55+).