COVID-19 Vaccine: information for GPs in north east London


Advice for primary care

While the bulk of the Covid-19 vaccination programme will be during 2021, the programme is now underway and a range of clinical and supporting guidance is available from a variety of platforms. This page brings together the key resources for GPs who are actively involved in the programme.

Using the vaccine

There are only four days and three hours to use the 975 vaccines up as they have a short shelf life.

We will be initially calling only over 80s from the priority patient groups. Care home residents and the housebound will be offered vaccine once protocols are agreed to move the vaccine. At risk primary care staff (as assessed through the risk tools) can also be called along with Care Home Staff.

The most important thing is that we must move quickly so that the vaccine is not wasted, so we need to use every single slot to achieve 975 successful vaccinations. If appointments are not kept, please have a back-up plan to minimise any potential wastage.

Starting to book patients in for COVID vaccinations

Think about how to contact pro-actively those who do not have mobiles. These patients must not be left out because they do not have phones, so make a list of all those who are going to need the practice to phone them and work through this.

Who is likely to accept and attend an appointment?

Think about who can get there or who has relatives/friends who will help them to get there. Think about those who have already been asking when the vaccine will be available? Are those who had the flu vaccination likely to want this one?

At this early stage, please book patients that you are convinced will come for their vaccination and do not need persuading.

Remember to check the flu status of patients – there must be 7 days between having the flu jab and the COVID jab.

Which patients to book

The first priority group that should be booked in for vaccinations is the 80s and over (NOT Care Home residents and NOT housebound patients at this stage – they will be vaccinated later when we have a more stable vaccine).

Contacting patients – suggested text messages practices can use

Suggested text if you want the patients to call in to your practice:

The Covid vaccine is now available for patients aged 80 and over. If you would like an appointment at (XX) Practice, include address here then please call the practice on xxxx (your practice number) and we will book you in.

Suggested text if you want to ring the patients yourself but want to make them aware that you are going to be phoning them:

The Covid vaccine is now available for patients 80 and over. The vaccinations will take place at (XX) Practice, include address here. We will ring you over the next few days to book your appointment.  Please do NOT ring us but wait for our call.  

Suggestions for what to say when booking the appointment – here is a little script:

Hello I am calling to offer you the Covid-19 vaccination

Are you keen to have this at the moment?

If need more info:

The vaccine is very good news, has the potential to protect us and save lives. It is also very precious so we have to make sure we don’t waste it

What we know so far is that it seems to be 95% effective at protecting you from covid-19.

Patient says yes:

Before I book you an appointment I just need to check two things.  Firstly your allergic status in your notes. (Note – those who have had a significant allergic reaction  to a vaccine, medicine or food, (such as previous history of anaphylactoid reaction or those advised to carry an adrenalin autoinjector) should not be offered the Pfizer vaccine). Secondly, when you had you flu jab (must be at least 7 days before COVID jab).

I am booking you an appointment for xx time on xx day at (XX) Practice. This is at address here. I can send you a map and details about transport links.

If you cannot get there yourself shall I book patient transport for you?

I do need you to turn up for this appointment because we could otherwise give this to someone else who wants it. And please turn up on time because the vaccine has to be used within 2 hours of mixing otherwise we have to throw it away and we wouldn’t want to do that as someone else could benefit from it.

If you suddenly find you cannot make the appointment at the last minute, please ring contact number here to tell them.

Patient says no:

We will give you more time to think about this and we will ring you again when more vaccine becomes available.

Booking the appointment for the 2nd dose

Please rebook the appointment for the 2nd dose and advise the patient of the date and time of the second appointment before they leave after their first vaccination. It is advisable to put a sticker on the record card to remind them of the location and appointment time.

Comms Toolkit for Wave 1 vaccination sites

NELCA comms has prepared a short Communications Toolkit Wave 1 vaccination sites. 

Information leaflets – for health care professionals and patients

The link below is a Patient Information Leaflet that patients will be given when they attend for their first COVID vaccination.  Practices may find this helpful to answer some of the questions that patients may ask them.

PHE COVID-19 – what to expect – leaflet

The link below is also some information from the manufacturers about the COVID vaccination that will be given to patients after they have received their first COVID vaccination.  GPs may find this helpful to answer some of the questions that patients may ask them about the vaccine.

Pfizer Patient Information Leaflet

The link below is a guide for healthcare workers about the COVID vaccination that GPs and other practice staff may find helpful when talking to patients who have questions and concerns about the COVID vaccine.

COVID vaccination programme guidance for healthcare workers

The link below is some guidance about eligibility for those patients on anticoagulants

Covid-19 Vaccine and Anticoagulants

Identifying primary care priority staff for vaccination

We know that there will be some patient DNAs, so please try to have a back-up list of primary care staff who have been identified at highest risk of serious illness from COVID19 from your local risk assessments, and who are willing to come to be vaccinated at short notice.

Branding and signage for NHS vaccination facilities

Guidance and logos have been issued for hospital hubs, vaccination centres (large scale centre) and vaccination services (community and primary care-led services), along with usage guidelines and naming structure.

Clinical guidance

The NHS England website hosts detailed guidance for clinicians and others working in the NHS about hospital hubs, primary care centres, equipment, supplies etc.

In addition to the NHSE Covid-19 primary care hub there is specific primary care guidance on:

Training for vaccination programme staff

The national standards describe the training that should be given to all practitioners engaging in any aspect of immunisation so that they are able to confidently, competently and effectively promote and administer vaccinations. The Public Health England generic immunisation training standards are here.

Guidance and training resources to support vaccinators including an e-learning module are on the gov.uk website. These specific Covid-19 training resources are on the GOV.Uk website here.

Health Education England offer an e-learning programme that provides theoretical training. Those new to, or returning to vaccination after a prolonged period, will also require face to face practical training in vaccine administration and assessment and competency sign-off before administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Forms and leaflets for patients

The Government website provides resources on consent forms, and a range of patient leaflets e.g. guides for older adults, for women of childbearing age, for healthcare workers and social care staff; what to expect after vaccination; posters for care homes and healthcare settings etc.

You can order, print and download leaflets on the Health Publications website here.

This is the detailed patient information leaflet for UK recipients (Pfizer)

Materials for promoting the vaccine to the public

A wide range of resources for the campaign are available on the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/ These include Posters, Social animations and Social media assets.

There is also a comms pack available on the Future NHS platform. You will need to log in to access this document.  

COVID-19 vaccination patient leaflet (Public Health England)

COVID-19 vaccine for health and social care workers leaflet (Public Health England)

A simple graphic based poster that explains the priority groups for display in your premises.