Covid booster vaccination
As many of you will be aware, the NHS are recommending a booster dose of Covid vaccination for all those aged 50y + and for people with medical conditions/medications that make them more likely to become significantly unwell with Covid infection. We are delighted that so many of our patients took up the offer of the 1st two vaccinations and protected themselves and their loved ones from serious Covid illness. There is more virus now circulating and some of our immunity is wearing off, as you probably know. Those who are double vaccinated are sometimes still catching Covid BUT are having far milder illness than when patients caught it last year, before anyone was vaccinated.
The Hightown team therefore strongly recommend all our eligible patients to have a booster dose. All our staff are having them.
Over 70 years old and Clinically Extremely vulnerable.
Currently Hightown Surgery are offering boosters to our most clinically vulnerable: those who are 70y + and those with medication or long-term illness that puts them at most significant risk. You will mostly know who you are from previous invites. You are eligible for a booster when it is at least 6 months since your second Covid jab. We will invite you all by text (where mobile numbers are available – please update on here if necessary. It can be a relative’s mobile, as long as you state that on the contact). Those who have no mobile, or cannot manage a text, will be phoned by our team in due course.
50 - 69 years old
If you are aged 50 – 69 with no long-term health conditions or are not classified as clinically vulnerable you will be able to book your covid booster through the Covid-19 vaccination booking service.
Click on the link below to book or manage your Covid-19 booster vaccine
Book or manage your Covid-19 booster vaccine.
You’ll only be able to book an appointment for a booster dose if it’s been at least 6 months (180 days) since your 2nd dose of the vaccine.
You don’t need to get in touch with us about your booster jab. You will be contacted by the NHS when it’s your turn.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?
Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This follows data which indicates the Pfizer vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response.
This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses.
Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
Please click in the link below to the nhs information on covid booster vaccines.
Easy Read leaflet
Oxfordshire Bereavement Support during the COVID-19 pandemic
The death of someone close is painful at any time, but during the COVID-19 pandemic it may be more difficult to find help and support.
This guide offers information about local and national bereavement services.
Some of these are working in different ways but there are still people available to listen and to support you.
These services might be useful to you now or later.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is open to anyone aged 18 and over.
There are currently two vaccines being used locally in Oxfordshire:
The vaccines are allocated nationally and local centres do not have any influence over which they receive. You cannot choose which vaccine you have.
Click on the link below to read the full article
How can I find out my NHS Number?
A service is available on the NHS.UK website to receive a reminder of your NHS number.
You should also be able to find your NHS Number on any letter or document you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, test results, and hospital referral or appointment letters.
If you cannot find your NHS Number in these ways, you can ask your GP practice to help you. They should be able to provide the number for you as long as you are registered with them. To protect your privacy, you may be asked to show a passport, driving licence or some other proof of identity.
For further information about the NHS Number visit the NHS.UK website
When is the best time to be Covid vaccinated during pregnancy?
The video below shows an NHS film of an OUH consultant obstetrician providing advice on the best time for expectant mothers to have the Covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy, if they want one.
Cancer care during Covid-19
Other health conditions
The following charities have worked with the NHS to produce advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and certain health conditions.
There is widespread confusion amongst our patients about home lateral flow tests versus laboratory PCR tests for covid19.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 such as a new cough or fever, you MUST book a PCR test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119 (not 111). Results are usually provided to you within about 24 hours, and are also recorded automatically onto your GP notes.
LATERAL FLOW TESTS are only useful to screen for possible COVID-19 CARRIERS who have NO SYMPTOMS.
If you have a positive home lateral flow test, you must book a more accurate lab PCR test to confirm or refute that result.
The PCR test is the most accurate ‘Gold standard’ test.
In adults and older children with potential Covid symptoms we will (usually) require you to have had a negative Covid PCR before it is safe to book a face to face examination in the surgery. A negative home lateral flow test is not good enough if you have symptoms.
This is in order to safeguard other patients and staff with the building, your own close contacts, and the population as a whole.
This is likely to be the case until the majority of the population have had their two Covid vaccinations, even if you have had yours already.
The NHS test and trace service – be aware of scams
Click on the link below to read the full article.
NHS test and trace service
COVID-19 vaccination programme update
News : Hightown surgery have now given 1st dose (and many second doses) to over 90% of all patients aged 50 and over and those 18-49y olds with health conditions and all clinically extremely vulnerable patients.
All those in these groups have been invited and those unvaccinated are through personal choice, being far from home/abroad, in hospital or too unwell to have the vaccine currently.
In more detailed analysis : 99% of our care home residents are vaccinated, 96% of over 80s and health & social care workers, 97% of 75-79s, and 96% of 70-74y olds and those clinically extremely vulnerable.
The Hightown team , supported by our fantastic volunteers , have given a total of 4,800 vaccinations in just 3 months.
Now that we have ensured the vast majority of our most Covid vulnerable group of patients have been vaccinated and there is, at last, a local Mass vaccination Centre (Superdrug) in town, the Partnership have made the decision to re-focus on our usual practice work and start addressing the backlog of routine reviews, as well as responding to the nationwide upsurge in patient demand of recent weeks. We are confident that under 50y olds who do not have significant health conditions are in a position to access alternative vaccine clinics, where they will also have wider choice of appointment times. If you are 18-49y old and healthy you will be invited for vaccination through the national booking system. Please do not approach the practice about this, as we have no control over this system.
We are proud of our achievements in keeping the practice running in addition to the massive workload associated with this vaccination programme and are grateful for the appreciation that many of you have expressed.
COVID-19 cases in the county are increasing and are now a significant risk. Please play your part to help stop the spread: keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering & stick to the rule of six. You may not experience the worst symptoms yourself if you catch the virus, but you may pass it onto loved ones who do. If you get symptoms, self-isolate immediately and call 119 to book a test.
Face covering exemption cards
Some people cannot wear a face covering or mask due to disability or extreme distress. The link below gives printable cards which you can show to explain in public situations.
Face mask exemption cards
For guidance on how to wear and make a face covering click this link:
For extremely vulnerable Cherwell residents who have received a letter from the NHS and who have no support network, local councils and the voluntary and community sector have created a dedicated point of contact offering priority support across the county.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste) you should arrange to have a test as soon as possible to see if you have COVID19 - go to testing to arrange. Stay at home until you get the result.
Do not go to a GP Surgery, Pharmacy or Hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.