Dear Courtfield Patient,
Many of you are calling us to find out about having covid vaccine. Please take a moment to read the frequently asked questions which were posted on our website two weeks ago:
- HOW DO I GET A COVID VACCINATION?
The UK vaccination policy continues to progress at great pace, with all over 50s and those at special risk likely to have been offered vaccination by the end of March.
In order to be certain of being offered a covid vaccine at the correct time, it is important to register with a local National Health Service General practitioner, as all invitations are being coordinated via the lists held by the NHS.
There appear to be no plans to involve the private sector at the present time-despite our best efforts!
It is NOT necessary to have an NHS number to register with a GP, but nonetheless you can look up your NHS number by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/find-nhs-number/
Registration with an NHS GP does not in any way invalidate your registration with Courtfield Private Practice.
- CAN I CHOOSE WHICH VACCINATION TO HAVE?
No this is not possible – both vaccines provide excellent protection with a similar side effect profile i.e. soreness at the injection site (usually the muscle of your upper arm like with the flu vaccination), headache, fatigue and mild fever. These happen in around 20% of people and usually resolve in 2 days.
Side effects are slightly more common after the 2nd dose and also in people who have had the illness (vaccine should be delayed for 28 days after contracting COVID).
- SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT THE CURRENT SCARE ABOUT BLOOD CLOTS WITH THE ASTRA ZENECA VACCINE?
Almost certainly not.
The UK has given more Astra Zeneca vaccines than almost any other country in the World and has not seen any association between clots and the vaccine.
In the UK approximately 3,000 blood clots occur from a variety of causes each month with no increase in this number since the vaccination programme started in December.
Another way of thinking about this is that tomorrow in the UK we know that 100 people will develop blood clots. It is very likely that a proportion of those will have received the covid vaccine in the previous few weeks and will naturally speculate as to whether it was the vaccine that was responsible for causing the clots.
Even if there was an association in a tiny number of individuals, the overall benefit of the vaccine far outweighs the risk of forming clots.
- WHAT IS HAPPENING ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL?
As we move through the pandemic, the UK requirements and uses of COVID-19 testing continue to change. With increased vaccination take up there is now important consideration being given to the possibility of resumed travel. The Government are due to clarify the position on 5th April (when the “Global Travel Taskforce” will report) but currently with no plans to allow holiday travel abroad until 17th May at the earliest.
This update provides the current status with respect to international travel, and requirements for COVID-19 testing.
Overseas travel is currently limited only to those who are legally permitted to do so.
The guidelines for testing to support allowable travel are complex and subject to change. All travellers must complete a Passenger Locator Form within 48 hours prior to arrival in the UK from outside the Common Travel Area. They must also book and pay for mandatory Day 2 and Day 8 COVID-19 PCR testing.
The most recent traveller testing guidelines are described below:
· Fit to Fly – at present most passengers require a pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test collected close to the date of travel. There are specific requirements laid out by airlines and countries. These are subject to change; the traveller needs to check carefully and arrange for these required tests with an approved provider. Courtfield can provide and this test and will issue a certificate confirming the result. Cost £175
· Mandatory Return Traveller Day 2 and Day 8 Testing – travellers returning to the UK (except those with a valid exemption) are required to self-isolate or quarantine for 10 days with mandatory COVID-19 PCR tests required on Day 2 and Day 8 of isolation/quarantine. A code indicating the traveller has booked and paid for these tests is required for completion of the online Passenger Locator Form. The cost for these two tests is currently only available from NHS England and costs £210 per person and includes genetic sequencing in the event of positive Day 2 samples to identify covid variants in a positive Day 2 result. At Courtfield we have completed all the necessary “paperwork” but are still waiting for the Government to allow providers to offer this service (indication suggests this should start from the 31st March).
· Test to Release – optional COVID-19 PCR testing on Day 5 of self-isolation can be purchased from Courtfield (cost £175) or any provider listed on the uk.gov website. After testing on Day 5, the traveller can cease self-isolation on receipt of a negative result. The traveller must however, carry out Day 8 testing even if self-isolation has ceased.
- WHAT IF THE NHS GP PRACTICE REQUESTS MY MEDICAL RECORDS?
Subject to your consent, we can forward your medical records to your NHS GP. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also see our website for further updates https://www.courtfieldpp.co.uk/covid-faqs/
Best wishes from the team at Courtfield Private Practice