Due to Covid-19, the practices here at The Elms Medical Practice have had to make changes to the way we work to keep both our patients and our staff safe.
We have created this page to keep you informed of these changes and provide information about the wider response to Covid-19, including the latest news and NHS advice.
You can check the latest information from the NHS by clicking HERE
We are pleased to announce that The Elms Medical Practice have started their Covid-19 vaccination programme which is being held at;
St Columba Church Hall, Plas Newton Lane, Newton Chester CH2 1PL.
Our next Clinic is on: 1st April 2021 for 2nd doses
Despite recent media coverage outlining a national supply issue, everyone in Cheshire West who has already had their first dose COVID vaccine will be offered their second dose within 12 weeks. Available vaccine supply is being prioritised for this purpose.
Most vaccination services in Cheshire West started vaccinating patients in early January and it has been determined nationally that second doses should be offered as close to week eleven as possible, following first dose.
Clinics are carefully planned around confirmed vaccination delivery dates in order to minimise disruption to patients. When confirmation of the delivery date for second dose vaccines has been received your GP practice will contact you to arrange your second dose appointment.
Carers whether paid or unpaid can now be prioritised to access a Covid-19 vaccine.
Carers are described as those:
In receipt of a Carer’s Allowance and those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
Carers will fall into four main groups.
- Carers already registered with their GP. Adult carers who are flagged within GP systems will be offered a vaccination at their local GP-led service. Please wait to be contacted.
- Carers who receive a Carer's Allowance and Carer Top-up Allowances through Universal Credits. Information about people falling into these groups will be shared with the NHS National Booking System, which will contact them by letter with advice about how to book a vaccine. In the meantime, please do not contact your GP, local authority or local NHS services.
- Carers registered with their local authority and carers' agencies. Local authorities will be asked to provide information relating to people in this group to the NHS National Booking System. The NHS national booking service will contact them by letter with advice about how to book a vaccine. In the meantime, please do not contact your GP, local authority or local NHS services.
- There will be a number of carers who do not fall into the groups above. More information will be made available in the coming weeks which will allow people who don’t fall into these groups to register. In the meantime, please do not contact your GP, local authority or local NHS services.
We will also be contacting our House bound patients to arrange administering there vaccines very soon.
We don’t have any control over when we receive the vaccine but can assure you that as soon as we do, we will be offering further appointments and will be in touch with the eligible patients to get them booked in.
The practice will also be continuing with their normal workload alongside delivering the vaccine to their patients. This will be a challenge for us as we will need to be ready to deploy staff at short notice to support the vaccination clinics. We hope that you will be understanding and supportive during this period.
We expect the vaccination programme to take a number of months in order to deliver the vaccines to our patients. Patients will be invited for their vaccine in a specific order, based on their risk of catching the disease and suffering serious complications or dying from Covid-19.
If you have had COVID 19 please click HERE for advice & support on your recovery.
We know you will have questions, so we hope that our FAQ guide below will help.
WHO IS ON THE PRIORITY LIST FOR THE VACCINE?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.
The priority list is:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over Frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 years of age and over
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY VACCINE?
We know that patients are anxious about when they can expect to receive their vaccine, and we want to reassure all our patients that you will not be missed.
People most at risk from the complications of COVID-19 are being offered the vaccine first. Unfortunately, we do not have any control over when our vaccine deliveries will take place, and therefore it is not possible at the moment to advise when we can expect to vaccinate each priority group. As soon as we can offer you an appointment, we will be in contact.
HOW SAFE IS THE VACCINE?
The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.
The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said that these vaccines have good safety profiles and offer a high level of protection, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.
WHY HAS THE SECOND DOSE BEEN POSTPONED?
A longer timeframe has been agreed between doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly. Evidence shows that this first dose will offer a high level of protection two weeks following vaccination. This decision means that more people can receive their first dose in the shortest possible time and will help to save lives.
Getting both doses remains important, and you will be invited to return for your second dose at the right time.
IS THERE ANYONE WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE THE VACCINE?
IS THE VACCINE VEGAN / VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY?
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines do not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.
I HAVE HAD MY FLU VACCINE, DO I NEED THE COVID-19 VACCINE AS WELL?
The flu vaccine does not protect you from Covid-19, if you eligible for both, you should have them both. However, the two vaccines (Flu and Covid-19) should be separated by at least 7 days.
I HAVE ALREADY HAD COVID-19, SHOULD I STILL HAVE THE VACCINE?
Yes, there is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of Covid-19 infection, or with detectable Covid-19 antibodies, so people who have had Covid-19 (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the Covid-19 vaccine when it is their time to do so.
ARE THERE ANY KNOWN OR ANTICIPATED 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.
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 to 2 days after the vaccine
- Feeling tired
- General aches, or mild flu like symptoms
Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2 to 3 days following the vaccination, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection.
An uncommon side effect is swelling of the glands. You can rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better.
These symptoms normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111. If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination and show them your vaccination card so that they can assess you properly.
I'M CURRENTLY ILL WITH COVID-19, CAN I GET THE VACCINE?
If you are currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, you should not get the Covid-19 vaccine until you are recovered.
If you need to cancel your vaccination appointment, please contact the Practice.
WHAT PROTECTION WILL THE VACCINE GIVE ME?
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines have been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from Covid-19. Each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and shown to be safe.
It takes a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get Covid-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
CAN I GIVE COVID-19 TO ANYONE AFTER I HAVE HAD THE VACCINE?
The vaccine cannot give you a Covid-19 infection, and a full course will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk.
It is therefore still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.
To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:
- Practice social distancing
- Wear a face mask
- Wash your hands carefully and frequently
- Follow the current guidance
Long-term effects of coronavirus (long COVID)
For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long COVID".
About long COVID
How long it takes to recover from coronavirus is different for everybody.
Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.
The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get coronavirus.
People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.
Symptoms of long COVID
There are lots of symptoms you can have after a coronavirus infection.
Common long COVID symptoms include:
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- heart palpitations
- pins and needles
- joint pain
- depression and anxiety
- tinnitus, earaches
- feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste