Covid-19 PCR Swab Tests & Covid-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 PCR Swab Test
The Covid swab test is to confirm whether you have coronavirus (Covid-19) now and cannot tell you about past infections or immunity. Unfortunately Cavendish Health Centre is not yet able to offer free NHS Covid-19 swab tests at this time. If you meet the following criteria we recommend that you call 119 or go to the gov.uk website to arrange a free test.
You can only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:
you have a high temperature
you have a new, continuous cough
you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
you’ve been asked to by a local council
you’re taking part in a government pilot project
You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms. Click here to enquire about this (you will be directed to the gov.uk website).
We recommend that people who have symptoms of Covid try to access a test on the NHS for free via the gov.uk website or by calling 119. We regret we cannot offer NHS Covid swab tests at this time and we do not screen people who are having symptoms of covid-19.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.
Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
The vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs as well as pharmacies.
The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Wait to be contacted
The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.
Please click here for more information
COVID-19 vaccine clinics continue to operate in Westminster. The vaccine is being offered to patients in the order defined by the UK government. We are now offering the option for patients to book their vaccine appointment online. When it’s time for you to have your vaccine, we’ll send you an SMS (this clearly states that it has come from our practice) with a link for you to book your appointment.
If you receive this SMS and have any questions about whether you should have the vaccine, e.g., you are unwell, please ring the surgery so that we can discuss this with you.
If you don’t have a mobile telephone, we will contact you directly. Please do not contact us to ask to be vaccinated – you will be contacted when your appointment is due.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where am I on the List?
This is the current way that people are grouped. Please see the JCVI advice link for more information.
1. Residents in a care home for older adults and Staff working in care homes for older adults
2. All those 80 years of age and over and Frontline Health and social care workers
3. All those 75 years of age and over
4. All those 70 years of age and over who are also Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (i.e Shielded) (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
5. All those 65 years of age and over
6. Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group (Table 3)
7. All those 60 years of age and over
8. All those 55 years of age and over
9. All those 50 years of age and over
How will I be contacted?
The vaccination team administrators will either call you to book you an appointment, or you will be sent an SMS with details of how to book online.
Have I been forgotten as I havent been contacted yet?
Unfortunately we are only given a couple of days notice of appointments at the vaccination centres and hence can only give you a couple of days notice to attend an appointment. We are diligently working our way through lists which have been made centrally to ensure that no-one can be forgotten.
Do you know about all my conditions?
Yes, the lists have been made centrally and are created to stratify everyone based on their age and risk factors listed in their GP medical records.
I think I should be on the shielding list
If you were shielding in March and have received a letter to shield again during this current lockdown then you will be contacted in group 4 unless you are aged over 75y and then you will be contacted as part of group 3 or 2 (depending on your age).
Other people seem to have been vaccinated but they are less at risk than me?
Other people may have risk factors that you are not aware of and hence have been booked ahead of you. All patients are being booked in for immunisations following the same protocols as have been set centrally. GPs do not have the ability to ‘bump’ someone up a priority group.
I think I missed the call to book my appointment, how can I call back to arrange this?
If you have missed a call from the vaccination team they will try to call you back. If they have left you a voicemail then please call us back at the practice so we can help direct you.
People in other boroughs are younger than me and are having their covid vaccines – why arent I getting mine yet?
Westminster are working to vaccinate everyone in the first priority group (those over 80 and at high risk) as quickly as possible. This will take time but we are committed to getting all people in this group by the end of February 2021. Other boroughs have been given different deliveries and allocations of vaccine supplies and have different populations and thus may be vaccinating their patient cohorts faster than us.
Is the Astra-Zeneca Vaccine safe for me?
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA),
European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization have all
reiterated that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the prevention of
COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risk of blood clots amongst those
groups currently eligible to receive their first vaccination, as well as all of
those due their 2nd dose. Please see this link for more information.
COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination
Please click here to see gov.uk advice about Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad. If you have been vaccinated in England your vaccine records will be automatically transferred to the NHS app or alternatively you can access it via the NHS website. If you have been vaccinated abroad you will need to use the proof of vaccination provided by that country.