Flu Clinic Dates Confirmed!

Flu clinics

We are very pleased that we can now share with you the dates of the first wave of flu clinics, which will be run as booked appointments as we did last year. All eligible patients (see the eligibility criteria below) will be contacted initially via text message inviting them to book into an available appointment time. These appointments will be available online (via your patient access account) or via the AskFirst app which we are trialling this year (please book using one of these routes if possible) . We are trying to use digital booking means where possible to relieve pressure on our reception team, but if you cannot use either of these then please call reception (please try to avoid busy times by avoiding Monday and between 9-10am and 2-3pm on other days). We will have flu clinics running in Princes Risborough, Chinnor, Thame and Brill.

Saturday 11th September – Chinnor

  • 08.30 – 12.30
  • 13.30 – 17.30

Weds 15th September – Risborough

  • 14.00 – 18.00
  • Brill 14.00 – 18.00

Saturday 18th September – Thame

  • 08.30 – 12.30
  • 13.30 – 17.30

Weds 29th September  – Risborough

  • 14.00 – 18.00

Below is some information from NHSE about the flu vaccination programme; based on this we would encourage all our patients to have a flu vaccination asap this year.

As a result of non-pharmaceutical interventions in place for COVID-19 (such as mask-wearing, physical and social distancing, and restricted international travel) influenza activity levels were extremely low globally in 2020 to 2021. As a result, a lower level of population immunity against influenza is expected in 2021 to 2022. In the situation where social mixing and social contact return towards pre-pandemic norms, it is expected that winter 2021 to 2022 will be the first winter in the UK when seasonal influenza virus (and other respiratory viruses) will co-circulate alongside COVID-19.

Seasonal influenza and COVID-19 viruses have the potential to add substantially to the winter pressures usually faced by the NHS, particularly if infection waves from both viruses coincide. The timing and magnitude of potential influenza and COVID-19 infection waves for winter 2021 to 2022 are currently unknown, but mathematical modelling indicates the 2021 to 2022 influenza season in the UK could be up to 50% larger than typically seen and it is also possible that the 2021 to 2022 influenza season will begin earlier than usual.

Influenza vaccination is therefore an important priority this coming autumn to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with influenza, and to reduce hospitalisations during a time when the NHS and social care may also be managing winter outbreaks of COVID-19.

Eligibility criteria for Practice-delivered 2021/22 flu vaccinations for our patients:

  • Those aged 50 years and over
  • Those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
  • Pregnant women
  • Those in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline health and social care staff

All children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021 are also eligible but we are only being commissioned to vaccinate children aged 2 and 3 (date of birth 1.9.2017 to 31.08.2019) – this group (unless they are in a clinical at risk group) will be called to a separate clinic for children since they also have a different flu vaccine. The remainder of this age group will be vaccinated by the school nursing team not via the Practice.

COVID booster vaccinations

We were hoping to be able to deliver the flu vaccinations alongside the third COVID booster vaccination. Unless anything changes nationally this is looking unlikely in the short-term, for a number of reasons:

  • JCVI instructions are that the COVID booster vaccination needs to be given at least 180 days after the second COVID booster. Even though we were one of the earliest practices to start giving the COVID vaccinations this still means we cannot start COVID vaccinations until late September at the earliest.
  • NHSE are, however, predicting potentially an earlier than usual flu outbreak so want us to vaccinate our patients against the flu virus as early as possible, as soon as we start to receive our flu vaccine delivery
  • To date, we have not received any information from NHSE on when we can start ordering the COVID vaccination, how many we can order each week etc

We have, therefore, decided to schedule the flu clinics as separate clinics during September (as above).

We look forward to welcoming you to the surgery soon.