The team at Bewick Crescent Surgery recognise that this year has been a particularly challenging year, both globally and nationally, for many of us due to the arrival of Covid-19. However, Influenza is also a viral disease which can cause severe acute respiratory illness and death for those at risk who develop the infection, and each year 300,000 to 600,000 people die from influenza across the globe. The most effective way to protect yourself from Influenza is to have the vaccination each year. The Influenza vaccination is proven to provide protection against the disease and this is provided free of charge to all those who meet the criteria set by the World Health Organisation. Dr Christopher Stephenson, GP Partner at Bewick Crescent Surgery, said “we would urge all of our patients who meet the criteria set to take up the offer of an Influenza vaccination in order to protect themselves as much as possible in these uncertain times caused by the continuing Covid-19 global pandemic”.
If you are unsure whether you can have the vaccine for free please ask any of our staff or have a look at our website:
As the number of NHS patients across the UK who are entitled to a free flu vaccination runs into hundreds of thousands, NHS England restricts and controls the number and type of vaccines available to individual surgeries. This year Bewick Crescent receive their first supply of vaccines for the over 65 years old age group in mid-September but will not get the first batch of vaccines for those in the under 65 years at risk groups until the beginning of October. This means that different patients will be offered the vaccine at different times. For anyone who is concerned about this remember that flu does not generally circulate until well into the winter (the ‘flu season’ officially starts in December) so waiting until October for your flu vaccination does not put you at increased risk.
Despite the extra controls on supplies this year we still intend to hold clinics on a Saturday as well as specified clinics every day during the week. All clinics will be held at the Bewick Crescent Surgery site. This year due to Covid-19 there are extra restrictions which need to be implemented such as social distancing measures and the need to wear PPE (face masks, etc.). We WILL NOT be holding any walk-in clinics and all vaccinations will be by appointment only. Initial clinics will be held outside in the grounds of the surgery itself, which will enable us to vaccinate more people in a shorter timespan to ensure those at risk are protected as soon as possible. We are very fortunate to have the help and support of our local REME Reserve Unit – 102 Battalion REME, whose headquarters are at Northfield Way here in Newton Aycliffe, who have provided the ‘flu tent pods’ for us to use to deliver the clinics from. We are very grateful to them for their help – we couldn’t have provided the clinics as quickly without them – a big thank you goes to them from all the team at Bewick.
Remember flu can be a debilitating and even life-threatening infection so although arrangements are a bit more complicated this year, PLEASE do still come and get your flu vaccination.
PLEASE BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT VIA RECEPTION.
Bewick Surgery Team