Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Seasonal flu vaccination 2021-2022

Last updated Tuesday 5 October 2021 

This page will be updated regularly with details of our 2021-22 Flu Vaccination Campaign

Download Flu Consent and Data Collection Form

Introduction

This year's flu campaign will be especially important because of the pressure the health service will experience if there are large numbers of flu cases and the added burden of COVID-19.

Evidence also suggests that co-infection with flu and COVID-19 is associated with more than twice the risk of death.

Due to COVID restrictions there were very low numbers of flu cases last winter which means there will be less natural immunity in the community this winter as COVID restriction ease and it is estimated the burden of flu illness could be 50% higher this winter.

Drive-thru Flu Clinics

To comply with physical distancing and COVID-19 precautions and due to the overwhelming positive feedback on our clinics last year we plan to run drive-thru Flu Clinics again this year.  Evidence from Australia and New Zealand suggests this is the best and safest way to provide flu vaccinations while protecting patients and staff from COVID-19.

Patients will need to arrive in their car at the allocated time wearing a mask and with easy access to their upper arm/shoulder (no coats or jumpers please). Staff will also wear masks and will apply hand hygiene or change gloves between every patient.

Families/Households

As far as possible we have tried to identify families and households and invite everyone to the same appointment slot.  If however, we have invited two people in your family to different time slots, you can of course all come together in one time slot as long as you arrive in one vehicle as a family.

COVID-19

Do not attend for you flu vaccination if you have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Fever/High temperature
  • Loss of sense of taste
  • Loss of sense of smell

Do not attend if you have been in contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

All patients arriving for vaccination must wear a face mask.

If you are unable to attend for the above reasons we will re-arrange your appointment after your isolation period is complete.

Arrival at Drive Thru Clinic

To help us run the clinic efficiently and conveniently for all patients, please follow these instructions:

  • Enter the Drive-Thru clinic from the Silverbirch Road
  • Exit via the Pinehill Road (bollards have been removed to allow cars to drive through the carpark)
  • There will be staff wearing Hi-Visibility Vests or Jackets to Marshal arriving vehicles
  • Patients arriving in Taxis should make themselves known and they will be prioritised to prevent waiting
  • Marshalling staff will direct you to one of four vaccination bays
  • Enter the vaccination bay and turn off your engine
  • Ensure you are wearing a mask ( a visor does not negate the need for a mask)
  • Ensure you are not wearing any clothing that will prevent easy access to your upper arm/shoulder 
  • Have your  Flu Vaccination Consent Form  completed and ready to hand to staff
  • One you have received you vaccination you may drive on and exit
  • If you feel you need to sit for a while before leaving please let the staff member know and you will be directed to a waiting Bay

Please do you best to download and complete the Flu Vaccination Consent Form before arriving, but if you are genuinely unable to do so we will have forms available on the day.  The more people who arrive with completed forms the more quickly the clinic will flow.

                                                                       

                                                 

Schedule of clinics (updated as additional clinics added)

Last updated Tuesday 5 October 2021

 

  • Thursday 14 October from 1000 - 1800 - over 65s
  • Saturday 16 October from 0830 - 1400 - under 65s in at risk groups and those aged 50-64

SMS Consent

This year we will be running a number of clinics with the aim of vaccinating all eligible patients as early as possible. To allow us to contact you quickly and easily please sing up for our SMS Text Messaging Service.

Flu Consent and Data Collection Form

To help the clinic run smoothly please print off a copy of the Flu Vaccination Consent Form and bring it with you to your vaccination appointment.  If you are unable to do this don't worry.  There are printed forms available at the Practice and they will be provided at the clinic.

About Flu

Seasonal flu is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by an influenza virus. It spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of infected people.

Seasonal flu immunisation, or the flu vaccination, is the administration of a vaccine against flu. It gives good protection from flu that lasts for one year.

The flu vaccine is offered to people in at-risk groups, who are at greater risk of developing serious complications from flu. To stay protected, they need to have it every year.

The vaccine, which is normally available in the autumn, is made from the strains of flu that are expected in the coming winter.

For more information on flu see http://www.fluawareni.info

How the vaccine protects you

About a week to 10 days after you have had the flu injection, your body starts making antibodies to the virus in the vaccine.

Antibodies are proteins that recognise and fight off germs that have invaded your blood, such as viruses. They help protect you against any similar viruses you then come into contact with.

The flu virus changes every year, so you need to have a flu jab annually to make sure that you are protected against the latest strain of the virus

How effective is it?

The flu vaccines currently available give 70-80% protection against infection, with flu virus strains closely matching those in the vaccine.

In the elderly, protection against infection may be less, but immunisation reduces the chances of pneumonia, hospital admissions and death from seasonal flu. There is also a new adjuvanted vaccine available for the elderly which should offer greated protection that the standard vaccines used before.

For most people, seasonal flu is unpleasant but not serious and they recover within a week or two. Certain people, however, are at greater risk of developing serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These may require hospital treatment. A large number of elderly people die from flu every winter.

The seasonal flu vaccine is offered free of charge to these at-risk groups to protect them from catching flu and developing these complications

At-risk groups

It is recommended that people in the following groups have the seasonal flu vaccination:

  • aged 50-64 (extended campaign in 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • aged 65 or over
  • pre-school children aged two years or more on the 1 September 2017 (D.O.B range 02/07/13 – 01/09/15). For children a nasal vaccine is available
  • chronic respiratory disease
  • chronic heart disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease
  • diabetes
  • immuno-suppressed
  • household contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • pregnant women
  • morbid obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • live in a residential or nursing home
  • those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • health and social care professionals directly involved in patient care

If you are the parent of a child (over six months) with a long-term condition, speak to your GP about the flu jab. Your child's condition may get worse if they catch flu.

If you are the carer of an elderly or disabled person, make sure they have had their flu jab.

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