COVID-19 INFORMATION

Updated 11 May 2021

How to access your COVID-19 vaccination status

Through the NHS App

You can access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App from 17 May. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel.

Quick guide on how to register with the NHS app

Full guide on how to register with the NHS app

By calling 119

If you do not have access to a smartphone and need confirmation of your vaccination status, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 working days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine. We expect the letter to take up to 5 working days to reach you.

The letter will be sent automatically to the address registered with your GP. The 119 call handler you speak to will not be able to see your address to check this with you. If you’ve recently moved house, make sure you’ve given your new address to your GP practice before calling 119.

Please do not contact the GP surgery about your COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status.

COVID Vaccine

Further information can be found at the following link: CoronavirusVaccination

What should I look out for after vaccination?
Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should seek medical advice urgently.
• a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
• a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over or
• an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
– blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
– difficulty with your speech
– weakness, drowsiness or seizures
• new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
• shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

COVID Vaccination FIRST DOSE AGE 29 and UNDER -  The MHRA and the JCVI continue to monitor the benefits and safety of the AZ vaccine in younger people. You should carefully consider the risk to both you and your family and friends of COVID-19 before making a decision.  Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

COVID Vaccination SECOND DOSE AGE 29 and UNDER - If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed. It is expected that the first dose of the vaccine will have given you some protection, particularly against severe disease.

COVID Vaccination AGE 50 and OVER OR with underlying medical conditions - All older adults (including health and social care workers over 50 years of age), care home residents, health and social care workers* and adults with certain medical conditions were prioritised in the first phase of the programme because they were at high risk of the complications of COVID-19.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that you should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.

If your first dose was with AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should have the second dose on time as you may still be at high risk of the complications of COVID-19. Having the second dose will give you higher and longer lasting protection.

COVID Vaccination AGE 49 and UNDER - Please be patient and do not ring the surgery as we cannot tell you when you will be offered the vaccination.  It is dependant on vaccine delivery so we do not know any more than you at present.  If you haven't been contacted and are eleven weeks after your first dose, then please do contact the surgery.  Before this, please wait to be called.

Every adult will get the vaccine and the programme is rolling out very fast.  If you haven't been called yet, please be patient and wait your turn.  In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidance -   HANDS   FACE   SPACE

Eligible patients may have received a text message inviting them to book their COVID vaccination.  Please be reassured that this is genuine and click on the link to book.  A screenshot of the text can be found on our home page.

Carers

We are being contacted by some patients asking us to code them as a carer as this will enable them to get the COVID vaccination sooner.  The NHS defninition of a carer is as follows:

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.

If you genuinely believe that you provide care for someone and they cannot cope without your support, whether they are a family member or friend or neighbour, please let us know by completing an e-consult the link to which is on our home page  Please  explain who you care for and the reason you believe they cannot cope without you.  We will need to have permission from the person concerned to code you as their carer.

For further information on Carers please click on this link

Aged 50+   You will be shortly be receiving a letter from the national booking service.  Please follow the instructions in the letter or click on the link below to book an appointment at a mass vaccination centre or at a community pharmacy setting. You can book an appointment at Taunton Racecourse, Bath & West Showground, Ashton Gate in Bristol or Locking Pharmacy in Weston Super Mare.  However, if you do not wish or are unable to attend one of the mass vaccination centres or a communty pharmacy, you can wait to be invited by text or phone to attend the local vaccination centre.

Age 50+ book your COVID vaccination here

Aged 16 - 64 WITH a long term health condition  You will shortly be contacted, either by text or phone, and invited to attend the local vaccination centre.  Please see the criteria for this group: 

  • Chronic respiratory disease *
  • Chronic heart disease and vascular disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic neurological disease, including severe or profound learning disability
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Immunosuppression
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • Morbid obesity
  • Severe mental illness
  • Younger adults in long-stay in-patient, nursing and residential care settings
  • Adult carers

Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person, someone who has a severe mental illness or whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

* Asthma

An individual with a more severe case of asthma may have been included in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group, in which case they will be vaccinated in a higher priority group.
People with asthma which requires continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, will be vaccinated in priority group 6.

This will include:

  • anyone who has ever had an emergency asthma admission or;
  • those who have an asthma diagnosis and have had 3 prescriptions for oral steroids over a 3-month period (each prescription must fall within separate individual month windows), as an indication of repeated or continuous oral steroids.

Please note that you are not able to have your vaccination at either Axbridge or Wedmore surgeries.  You must attend one of the vaccination centres unless you are housebound.

For all those under 50 without a long term condition, we are grateful for your continued patience.  You will be contacted very shortly.  Please do not ring the surgery about COVID vaccinations as we are unable to tell you any more than this at present.

COVID Vaccination Fraud - We are aware that there are a number of criminals harnessing the vaccination programme and using it as a way to target member of the public and tricking them into handing over cash or financial details. 

There are a number of ways in which this is being done including: 

  • Convincing looking text messages (although genuine texts HAVE just been sent out)
  • Phoning people directly pretending to be from the NHS or from a local pharmacy

The NHS will never do the following:   

  • Ask for payment – the vaccine is free 
  • Ask for your bank details 
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccines 
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of your personal documents, such as your passport.

Please review this helpful information and share with friends and family who may not be alert to these scams.

Volunteers - if you are interested in volunteering in any capacity to help at COVID vaccination centres, please e-mail  the following mvp.recruitment@somersetft.nhs.uk

Please continue to follow the government guidelines and stay alert.  For further information on the guidelines, please click on the links below.

All patients attending the surgery for a face-to-face appointment and anyone accompanying them, are asked to please wear a face covering.  This minimises the risk of infection and protects patients and staff.

Update for patients

Link to latest NHS guidance and how to access a test for Coronavirus

Guidance on Shielding for People who are Very High Risk

Link to Gov.uk website

The NHS is well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases and has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you think you have symptoms or:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

GP Surgeries are not providing sick notes for self isolation

NHS 111 isolation notes    

Government guidance for employees 

Letter to employer re fit note for self-isolation due to Covid symptoms or household member having symptoms

Letter to employer re Shielding due to being in a very high risk category

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