COVID-19 (Cantab PCN) and Flu Vaccinations
This page was updated on 18/10/2021
Everything we know about the COVID vaccination programme is written on this page.
If you have questions which are not answered on this page, you can find more information about COVID vaccination on the NHS covid vaccination pages or by calling the COVID vaccination hotline on 119. The number is free to call and translating services are available.
Please do not contact us
We do not know any more information
We cannot change the order in which patients are invited
We cannot make exceptions in any circumstance
We are unable to offer advice about the vaccine. These questions should be discussed with the clinician at the time of your vaccination. You can always choose not to have it.
Unfortunately despite our requests many patients are contacting us asking questions about vaccinations. We are concerned that the pressure on our systems might prevent unwell patients from accessing help when they need it. We have over 800 patient contacts a day and we need to be sure to notice the ones from patients who need us.
Therefore for patient safety, we will not enter into any discussion about vaccinations.
If YOU contact us about vaccination, we will reply once with a copy of this text. There will be no further reply.
Phase 3 - Booster Vaccinations with Flu Vaccinations at the same time
The government has announced that COVID booster doses will be given to patients who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID infection.
The latest information is that a COVID booster dose will be offered to
- people aged 50 and over
- people who live and work in care homes
- frontline health and social care workers
- people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
- carers aged 16 and over
- people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
Booster doses are given at least 6months after the 2nd dose.
All patients having a booster vaccine will receive the Pfizer vaccine. This is regardless of which type of vaccine they had before.
There is no other type of vaccine available. If you are not happy to have the Pfizer vaccine, you can choose not to have a booster. There is no other option.
We have now started inviting patients for their booster vaccine. We are sending invitations when the booster is due i.e. 6months after the 2nd dose.
Your invitation will arrive in the same way it did for the primary course.
We are inviting all patients who are eligible for the booster, and who are registered with us, regardless of where they had their first doses.
If you are not registered with us you will not be able to have your vaccination here.
How to book
Patients with working mobile numbers will be able to use the link sent in the text to book their appointment themselves.
If you don't have an invitation either
We don't have a working mobile phone number for you OR
It is not yet due (remember you will only be invited when it has been 6months since your second dose)
Or if you can't use the link we have sent you...
Whatever the problem, please do not call us - we will contact all our patients who have not booked an appointment
We will be offering flu vaccination to anyone who comes for their COVID booster, if they are eligible for flu vaccination.
There is no need to let us know in advance.
It is safe to give the COVID vaccine alongside other vaccinations and we would highly recommend that - it also the most efficient way for us.
(The only problem is patients who have had the shingles vaccine in the last 7 days.)
If you are eligible for a COVID booster dose, please wait for your COVID booster appointment and have both together.
If you have already had your COVID booster dose and only want/require a flu vaccination, please wait for us to contact you.
If you are not eligible for a 3rd COVID dose, see here for flu vaccinaton only.
What our patients are saying
We have had lots of lovely messages from our patients thanking us.
Click here to read some of them.
Our thanks go to our patients who remain very patient and supportive while our team work around the clock.
If you would like to leave us a message, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a COVID vaccine? Primary course (Doses 1+2)
The COVID vaccination is now available to anyone in England over 16years of age. You do not need to be registered with a GP (though you should be!) and you do not need to be resident/living in the England, you just need to be in the England to have the vaccination.
All versions of the COVID vaccine need 2 doses. Second doses are only given 8weeks or more after the first dose. If you book too early for your second dose, you will be turned away.
To book an appointment
You can book an appointment at one of the Mass Vaccination Centres (there are several in Cambridge) through the National Booking Service.
Prefer a walk-in?
There are several centres offering a walk-in service where no appointment is needed.
3rd doses for the immunosuppressed
The NHS has now written to (and texted) some patients who actually require an extra dose as part of their primary course.
These are patients who are immunosuppressed due to a condition (such as some blood cancers), or due to immuno-modulating treatments (such as some forms of chemotherapy).
These patients need 3 doses for the primary course (rather than ths usual 2 doses) and will then need another (4th) dose as a booster 6months after the 3rd dose.
If you are one of these patients you will already have had a letter. The letters say to contact and discuss with your GP - please don't as that would massively overload our system.
We have a list of these patients and will be contacting them in the next week or so.
Had vaccinations abroad?
The government has recently announced that it will recognise COVID vaccinations given in some countries, but not in others. There is a list of "allowed" countries on the government COVID webpages.
- If you have not been vaccinated yet, you can have the vaccination as soon as you are in England, if you are over 16years of age (see above).
- If you have been vaccinated in a country which has not been approved, you should have the course of 2 vaccinations again, under the NHS once you are in England.
- If you have been vaccinated in an "approved" country, you do not need to have the vaccination again, but you do have the option of doing so if you wish. However, the NHS advises against doing so, as there is a risk of side effects with every dose.
NHS App / COVID pass and vaccinations done abroad
At the moment there is no mechanism for the vaccinations you have had abroad to get into the NHS system and therefore to show in the NHS app and COVID pass.
Even if you tell your GP about your vaccinations abroad, there is no way for them to upload the information inthe the NHS app.
That means there is no way vaccinations done abroad can be used to avoid any COVID isolation/quarantine requirements on entry to the UK.
It is really important we don't have patients contacting us to ask us about this. Despite asking patients not to do so, we have been completely swamped with emails asking us to add vaccinations to the GP record. The number of contacts is clogging our system making it difficult for us to identify contacts from patients who are unwell. This is putting our patients at risk. If you do contact us about this we will reply once with a copy of this text and we will delete the information you have sent us. There will be no further reply.
If and when the NHS comes up with a solution for this problem, we will post it here. In the meantime please do not contact us.
Patients who are currently abroad
We are not able to offer clinical advice to patients who are outside of the UK. That includes advice on vaccinations. We do not knowingly enter into communication with anyone if they are currently outside the UK. If you are outside of the UK and need advice, you must contact services in your area.
It is not the GP responsibility to decide whether your vaccination will be recognised in the UK. It is your responsibility to check on the government website (see above).
Everything we know about the vaccination programme is written on this page. If you contact us about the vaccination programme we will reply once with a copy of this text and we will delete the information you have sent us. There will be no further reply.
Vaccinations for Children aged 12-15years
The majority of patients aged 12-15years will be offered the vaccination through their school. If you have any questions please speak to the school. The school vaccinator will be responsible for all the clinical aspects including counselling and consent.
If your child has missed the vaccination at school you need to speak to the school about it - please do not contact us.
The NHS is only giving COVID vaccinations to children at higher risk:
patients aged 12-15years who are themselves clinically extremely vulnerable (see above for the definition)
patients aged 12-15years who live with someone who is clinilcally extremely vulnerable (see above for the definition)
You will need to contact us by email to obtain a letter from the GP confirming that the child is eligible (because they are in one of these two groups). Remember to give the child's full name, date of birth and reason you believe them to be eligible.
The vaccinator will be responsible for all the clinical aspects including counselling and consent. However in order for the vaccination to be given:
a person with parental responsibility, or legal guardian must be present
you must take the letter with you
The COVID pass - Travel, Nightclubs and more
You can download the NHS app free from any app store. Once you have registered, you will be able to use the app to get proof of your vaccinations and your "COVID pass".
The COVID pass will only show vaccinations done in England, even if you have provided proof of your vaccination abroad (see below).
There is a lot in the news at the moment about how the COVID pass might be used - to travel, to attend nightclubs, to go to university etc. We just don't know yet.
Can I have my second dose before 8 weeks?
The NHS COVID vaccination programme is not able to give 2nd doses early, even if you are due to travel. The second dose must be given at 8 weeks or more. It is of course extremely frustrating if you are prevented from travelling because you have not had both vaccines, but you should be aware that no exceptions are allowed, even if this means you cannot travel and lose money/miss an important appointment.
Some countries are giving the 2nd dose as early as 3 weeks after the first. This is particularly frustrating if you are <8weeks yourself and cannot return home. Unfortunately however, there are no exceptions.
NHS vaccination centres can see the date of your first vaccination and will turn you away if you arrive for your second before 8 weeks.
The COVID vaccintion centre is brought to you by Cantab Primary Care Network (PCN).
Cantab PCN in Cambridge is a collaboration between
Huntingdon Road Surgery
Red House Surgery
Bridge Street Medical Centre
The vaccination centres are run by all three practices working together.
Eligible patients who are registered at any of the three practices will be able to book appointments on any day we are open.