Vaccines this Friday morning

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).

Another Stop / Start 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+).

Now up to 779 vaccinated, 29% percent of you!

We are very pleased to see our numbers climbing, with 779 recorded as having the first dose of vaccine so far. We managed to push ahead yesterday (Wednesday) as we were notified on Monday there was already available Oxford vaccine in Barnstaple for us to collect, we did 95 in the afternoon, with great work by our Exeter medical school students, Paul and Mo.

If you are aged 65+ (group 5) or have underlying health conditions (group 6), you should now be vaccinated or booked in within the next couple of days, let us know if you are still waiting for an appointment, by email if possible.

We are therefore hoping for a green light to move onto group 7 (aged 60-64) with 163 people and group 8 (aged 55-59) with 206 people from next week. We will update with more info when we have it.

Just a reminder, asthma is no longer an “underlying health condition” for COVID vaccine, since it appears to not increase your COVID risk, see news article here for more info, unlike for flu vaccine. You will still get offered a jab alongside your age-group.

Vaccine groups 5 and 6 next week, better invitation plan, patients with Asthma

Rather than the mad last couple of weeks, with GPs and pharmacy vaccine hubs both offering vaccines and contacting the same groups, we now have what sounds like a better plan.

Group 5 (aged 65-70) will be invited by post, to log an appointment online or by calling 119 – sending you to Westward Ho!, Wadebridge or Taunton. You can still choose to come to Hartland Surgery, send us an email to add to our waiting list for Friday – see below.

Group 6 (vulnerable people aged 16-64) will be invited by GP practices: we are using an SMS booking system so that we dont have to phone each person in turn. We will still ring if you dont book an appointment or dont have a mobile number in your record.

We expect around 170 Oxford Vaccine doses available next Friday 19 Feb. We have already invited around 70 people in group 6 to Barnstaple Leisure centre for the Pfizer jab next week. This means we may have “more” than we need to finish group 6, and can do some from group 5.

We will need to wait until the Oxford vaccines are delivered as planned next Thursday (we collect them from Barnstaple on Friday) before we can send you an invitation on Thursday afternoon for a busy Friday at the surgery, we will invite you mainly using SMS messages.

What if I am aged 65-70 and want to be vaccinated at Hartland?

We expect to be able to do around 50 people from this group at Hartland on Friday, so you can either ring us or even better send an email and we will add you to a waiting list. We will update this website when we have more information to confirm, or if we run out of vaccines for this Friday.

D-CCG.Hartland@nhs.net

I have asthma and a flu jab each year, when will I have a COVID vaccine?

The guidance on at risk groups has quietly changed in January 2021. For most people with asthma, you are no longer considered at increased risk (unlike with flu).

We are advised to only invite people for COVID vaccine who have “severe asthma” which have needed multiple courses of steroid tablets (prednisolone) or who have been admitted to hospital with their asthma.

Other people without severe asthma will therefore need to wait until they are offered the vaccine according to their age group.

The full at risk group 6 are as follows:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • diabetes
  • dementia
  • a heart problem
  • a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
  • a kidney disease
  • a liver disease
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis (who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments)
  • have had an organ transplant
  • had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • a neurological or muscle wasting condition
  • a severe or profound learning disability
  • a problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
  • are severely mentally ill

Also adult 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

More Oxford vaccine next week, start of 65-70 “group 5”

Just to keep you up to date:

We have offered a vaccine to everyone over 70 or “extremely vulnerable”, but if you are still waiting for us to have supply at Hartland, we expect to have more on Tuesday or Wednesday next week. At the moment we think around 80 doses, which could also make a start into the 65-70 group: There are 216 in this next group.

Meanwhile we hope to send another 60-80 people to Barnstaple next week when notified of supply, we dont know yet.

This means it may be about 2 weeks before we can offer vaccine to the group 6: aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions (198) or adult carers:

Clinical conditions list:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • diabetes
  • dementia
  • a heart problem
  • a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
  • a kidney disease
  • a liver disease
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis (who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments)
  • have had an organ transplant
  • had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • a neurological or muscle wasting condition
  • a severe or profound learning disability
  • a problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
  • are severely mentally ill

Adult 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

Update regards over 70 and clinically vulberable (shield) group

If you are in the group aged 70 and over, or clinically extremely vulnerable, you can now book a COVID vaccine online here using the government website or by ringing 119.

This booking system will offer you an Oxford Vaccine hub in Westward Ho!, Taunton or Wadebridge. These sites have been set up seperately from GP practices, with a different booking system, and they have been given priority supply of Oxford vaccine. If you have the vaccine at these centres, we will be notified after you have a vaccine, and you will have your 12 weeks repeat dose booked at the same time.

As GP practices in North Devon we have been mostly allocated the Pfizer vaccine at Barnstaple leisure centre, which has the more complicated cold chain and requires using within 3 days of delivery.

We will try and contact and offer appointments, using SMS bookings, or by telephone. We are booking down the priority groups in turn, and if you wait for us to contact you, we will catch up with you within a few days. You will not miss out if you wait for us to get in touch.

We have currently been allocated a small amount of Oxford Vaccine which we can deliver from the surgery, which currently amounts to 27 doses which we hope to do this Friday 12 February 2021, somewhat less than we were expecting.

We are obviously disappointed not to be supplied with more Oxford vaccine to bring to the surgery, but the bigger picture is a fantastic achievement of protection to our most vulnerable people and we are delighted to do our bit, mainly sending patients (and staff) to Barnstaple.

More vaccine for next week

We squeezed another 24 doses from 2x 10 dose vials today and overall we are making good progress with almost all patients aged over 75 vaccinated, around 350 vaccinated.

Next week we are expecting another 80-100 Oxford vaccines for Hartland, with perhaps a similar number of people to be invited to Barnstaple for Pfizer vaccine. We will not book for Hartland until the oxford vaccine have been delivered to Barnstaple, given the last minute cancellation 10 days ago. We will update once a delivery date and amount is confirmed, and again when the vaccine has arrived.

In addition, we are aware of people being invited by post to ring up and book at Westward Ho! or Wadebridge for the Oxford Vaccine (we are not informed of who is being offered these)

This should hopefully help us reach nearly all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable or aged over 70 by end of next week (Priority groups 1-4).

After that, we will be moving onto

  1. Aged 65-69 (237 people)
  2. Aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions (199)
  3. Aged 60-64 (164)

It would be great to get these all done by the end of February, fingers crossed!! Just remember the vaccine protection start from about 2 weeks (pfizer) and 3 weeks (oxford) after the jab.

Small supply for Hartland this week

This week we have 20 doses of Oxford vaccine which we will be booking for Wednesday afternoon 3rd Feb. Our current “totals” recorded on our systems are 10% of total patients have had a first dose, mainly aged over 75:

  • 131 Oxford Vaccine (128 given in Hartand)
  • 145 Pfizer Vaccine (141 given in Barnstaple)

We are roughly “half way” to getting high risk and aged over 70 done (as planned by mid February), so progress is being made!

We are aware of many vulnerable people who would still prefer to be done locally rather than travel to Westward Ho! or Barnstaple, and we hope there is more supply “in the pipeline” for next week, but we would still advise take up any offer of vaccine to get protected as soon as possible.

We are still sending invitations to Barnstaple hub, and as the age groups get younger we are using an SMS / online booking system called Accubook for invitations.

Vaccine invite by post – for Arnolds in Westward Ho!

Many of you have recently received an invitation to book a COVID vaccine by letter.

It appears that Arnolds pharmacist in Westward Ho! has been given several thousand doses of Oxford Vaccine which were switched away from going to our GP practices last Friday, with just a few hours notice. The letter is inviting you to book an appointment with them.

So right now we are trying to book patients into a few slots in the Barnstaple hub, when many of you have already taken the offer of a jab booking in Westward Ho!

All we can suggest is please take up any offer of a vaccine, and as soon as we have more Oxford Vaccine supply confirmed (and delivered!) we will let you know with updates on the website.

We will also keep offering pfizer vaccine slots in Barnstaple when we have them.

No vaccine in Hartland this week

We have no Oxford vaccine coming this week, but we will have Pfizer vaccine at Barnstaple Leisure Centre for upcoming Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday (over 4000 doses).

This should mean that more than half of our 75-79 group will be offered a jab in Barnstaple in the next few days, and we can hopefully finish this group by some time next week.

We will be in touch, using SMS to those with a mobile number, or by phone call.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 27 Jan at 5pm:

Now fully booked places for above days, if you have not been called, we hope to have more Oxford Vaccine supply next week, and some more slots in Barnstaple for the pfizer jab.

Some people have received an NHS letter giving them a number to ring and book an appointment at Arnolds Pharmacy in Westward Ho!

We will be delighted for any of you to get protected as soon as possible, but we are also unhappy that Oxford Vaccine which was meant to come to North Devon for GP practices last Friday appears to have been diverted to this service, with less than 12 hours notice given last Thursday evening and causing huge amounts of rebooking appointments in Bideford and Torrington.