Flu Vaccine Programme and possible “Covid Booster” vaccines 2021/2022 Patient Information

We are inviting you to book your Flu Vaccine now. Please note, all appointments will take place at Putnoe Medical Centre, 93 Queens Drive, Bedford due to vaccine storage and infection control requirements.

To read more about the Flu Vaccine, visit: www.nhs.uk/flu-influenza-vaccine

Given the success and positive feedback regarding the “appointment only” Flu Vaccination programme from last winter we are going to continue the “appointment only” system again this year.

We may also be offering “Covid Booster” vaccines at the same time as the Flu vaccine for those who have already had two doses of the Covid Vaccine. If this is the case, you would have both the Covid Booster and the Flu Vaccine at the same appointment – one in each arm. You are still welcome to have one or the other separately but we would recommend you have both, if they are available. If you are planning to have both then you would have both at the same time to reduce problems with appointment capacity. (We are still waiting for the final official guidance and details on this though as to whether both can be given at the same time).

We may only receive the Covid Booster Vaccines at very late notice and we cannot guarantee that you will be able to have it done at the same time. We still strongly encourage you to book in for your Flu Vaccine now and you would be able to rebook for your Covid Booster if it wasn’t available on the day.

We are running clinics on certain weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings to avoid large numbers of patients in the waiting room.

You may have received a text message with a unique link to book your appointment, this is the best/easiest way to book your appointment. If you are unable to book via the link then please contact our reception team after 10am. All appointments will take place at Putnoe Medical Centre, 93 Queens Drive, Bedford.

It is really important that you attend on time but also that you don’t arrive any earlier than 5 minutes prior to your appointment. The reason for this is so that we can maintain social distancing in the waiting room and avoid large queues forming outside.

Please ensure you wear a face mask when you attend. You should not attend if you have symptoms of Coronavirus.

We request that you wear loose fitting clothing so that the clinician can easily administer the vaccine in an efficient manner. They need to be able to see/access the tip of your shoulder.

If there is inclement weather then please bring an umbrella or coat as you may need to wait outside if the waiting room is full although we will do our very best to avoid this. (this was an extremely rare occurrence last year)

Please go to the toilet beforehand as there will be limited toilet facilities and we are aiming to have patients in the building for as short a time as possible.

If you need a drink please bring this with you but only if absolutely necessary. There will be no drinking facilities.

Please do not ask the receptionist or clinicians about any other issues, e.g. booking other appointments, requesting results etc. Again, this is to reduce the time spent in the building and to reduce infection risk.

Please do not attend with large groups of family members/friends. If you have a mobility problem then you will be able to attend with someone to help you. Otherwise we request that other family members/friends to please wait outside whilst you have your vaccine.

When you arrive at Putnoe Medical Centre you will need to check-in as usual on the surgery intercom or by giving your details to the Flu Marshall. The front desk receptionist or Flu Marshall will then allow you into the waiting room. Please do not enter the waiting room until you have been screened on the intercom or been screened by the Flu Marshall. It will be clear on the day who will be booking you in.

Once you have booked in via the intercom/Flu Marshall you will need to take a seat and wait on the left hand side of the waiting room.

When you are waiting in the waiting room please take off coats and outer garments so that when you are called you will be ready for the vaccination.

We will be administering the vaccines by the nurse’s consulting rooms. If you would like to sit for the vaccination then please tell the clinician but we are aiming to vaccinate most people whilst standing. There will be two vaccine stations, Station 1 and Station 2. You will be allocated to one of the stations when you are called through from the waiting room so please ensure you go to the correct station.

You will then exit the building by the side door, please do not re-enter the waiting room after the vaccine. This is to maintain social distancing and reduce time spent in the building. If we are administering Covid Boosters as well then you may need to wait inside for 15 minutes afterwards but this will be explained to you on the day.

The aim is that you will only be in the building for 5 minutes in total. (or 20 minutes if we are required to monitor you for 15 minutes after the vaccination – the guidance is still not clear on this yet).

Many thanks for your co-operation.