With updates coming out daily regarding the way in which the Practice operates and the services that we offer at the Forest Medical Group, we have now created a dedicated COVID-19 page. This has been created to keep you updated on all the latest information regarding COVID-19 for you and your family
Access to Covid Treatments for very high risk patients
Patients at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are eligible for antiviral treatments on the NHS. From the 1st July 2023, patients will have to pay the NHS prescription charge if prescribed oral antivirals.
Eligible patients include some patients with cancer, blood conditions, kidney disease (CKD), liver disease and autoimmune conditions, among others.
GP reception staff must arrange an appointment with the clinical team if a patient calls and says they are eligible for these treatments.
Cohort eligibility expanded in May 2023, with additional conditions added including: any mature T-Cell malignancy, respiratory conditions and new neurological disorders which have recently been added to the IAG report.
Letters will be sent to patients within eligible treatment cohorts from NHSE from the 5th of June. Letters are advising patients who think they may be eligible for treatment to contact their GP or NHS111
Fit to Fly certificates
With regards to “fit to fly” certificate we are aware that the NHS 119 and the government website are signposting you to your GP surgery. It is down to each individual GP practice whether they are issuing the “fit to fly” certificates. We as a practice have made the decision not to process any of these. If you require a certificate, please be aware that there is a fee for this and search “fit to fly” on your search engine. There are various companies that are doing this.
If you considering travelling out of the UK or wanting to know more information regarding the ‘COVID PASSPORT’ please see the link below. Please do not contact the Practice directly.
Unfortunately we are not able to provide a fit note,or alternative, if you need to shield and do not have symptoms.This is because you are not unwell and there is no legal mechanism to sign someone off work who is well to do their job.This is an unprecedented situation and we appreciate that it is both frustrating and distressing - it is for us too.
Where we can, we want to support you to remain healthy and safe, so the following links might help you when you are liaising with your employer. https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus/vulnerable-people-and-high-risk
Please be aware that if you develop symptoms then you can obtain the appropriate isolation note from: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
We will keep this section updated if there are any further developments from the government or the department of health in this area.
Finally, if you want to get in touch regarding health concerns, please note the recent changes to our service.
FAQs for patients
How will patients be invited for a vaccination?
When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be in the form of a letter either from their GP or the national booking system; this will include all the information they need, including their NHS number.
We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we are asking people not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they get their letter.
Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe?
Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have signed off that it is safe to do so. The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said this vaccine is very safe and highly effective, 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.
How long does the vaccine take to become effective?
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of your suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.
Why is it important to get your COVID-19 vaccination?
If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work.
Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can, should protect you and may help to protect your family and those you care for.
The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.
Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly?
Yes, the Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.
If, and when, further vaccines are approved we will publish information about known allergens or ingredients that are important for certain faiths, cultures and beliefs.
How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
This is all included in the information published by the MHRA, and Public Health England will also be publishing more resources for patients and professionals. People can be assured the NHS will ensure that they have all the necessary information on those vaccines that are approved by the MHRA before they attend for their vaccination.
Is the NHS confident the vaccine will be safe?
Yes. The NHS would not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until it is safe to do so. The MHRA, the official UK regulator authorising licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has made this decision, 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.
What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for BAME communities?
The phase three study of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated a vaccine efficacy of 95%, with consistent efficacy across age, gender and ethnicity. Overall, among the participants who received the COVID-19 vaccine 82.1% were White, 9.6% were Black or African American, 26.1% were Hispanic/Latino, 4.3% were Asian and 0.7% were Native American/Alaskan.
I’m currently ill with COVID-19, can I get the vaccine?
People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered.
Do people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?
Yes, they should get vaccinated. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 disease (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. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.
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
- Feeling tired
- General aches, or mild flu like symptoms
As with all vaccines, appropriate treatment and care will be available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following administration.
How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?
You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 21 days apart. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of vaccine.
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. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu?
No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family and patients from flu this winter.
When will I get the 2nd Jab
We are working closely with our local clinical commissioning group and as soon as we received notification of the 2nd does being delivered we will be contacting patients directly.
When am I protected from the virus?
Information regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine is constantly coming out but receiving both vaccines is a priority.