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 everyone aged 16y or over. In addition, one dose of vaccine is now being offered to all children aged 12 to 15y.


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).

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK

Wait to be contacted. Please click HERE for booking advice

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.

COVID-19 Third Dose for Primary Vaccination Course

A 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses.

This includes people who had or have:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)

  • a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)

  • an organ or bone marrow transplant

  • a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections

  • a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for a 3rd dose

Please click HERE for information about booking your vaccination

COVID-19 Booster Vaccines

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) previously advised that those aged over 40 years and those at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) should be offered a booster. New JCVI advice means those aged 18 to 39 will also be eligible for a booster when the NHS calls them forward.

The booster will be offered in order of descending age groups, with priority given to the vaccination of older adults and those in a COVID-19 at-risk group. In response to the changing risk posed by the Omicron variant, the booster will now be given no sooner than 3 months after the primary course.

In addition, a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (30 microgram) for young people aged 12 to 15 years is advised no sooner than 12 weeks after the first dose.

Please wait to receive an invite to book your vaccine via SMS. Once you are eligible this invite will come through if the mobile number we have on record is current. Alternatively you can access the National Booking System online or via 119 where you will be able to book once you are eligible. In the meantime all of our clinics in Westminster are available to walk-ins, however, please check your eligibility before attending or we will not be able to guarantee you will be vaccinated and we do recommend that you book where possible to ensure that your vaccine can go ahead.

Please click here for more information and click here for booking information

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

10. All those aged 40 years of age and over

11. All those aged 16years of age and over

12. Children aged 12years to 15years

 

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. Please see here for more details

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.