3rd Primary Covid Vaccine: Not having heard anything... - NRAS

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3rd Primary Covid Vaccine

achyknitter profile image

Not having heard anything about an appt for the 3rd primary vaccine, I phoned GP’s surgery to be told that they had not been notified who was arranging this. However, the practice manager was going to look into this matter and in the meantime my name had been added to a list. They could not say how long this would take. Before taking this further, I though I would ask how many of you are still waiting for this 3rd primary dose. In other words how patient should I be?

84 Replies

Wish it was all standard as it can become stressful for those waiting and even more so to see those saying I’ve had mine. Doesn’t apply to me at the moment so that’s just an observation and no patients’ fault they’ve been invited whilst others haven’t. Is there any vaccine news on your GP website? Hope you can find something out soon.

Thanks NK, from what I can discover the first two jabs were organised by the local hospital, which has now closed, and no one seems to have taken over this particular function, leaving the GPs struggling to get directions. I shall just have to keep reminding myself that patience is a virtue.

I gave up waiting for my Rheumatologist to inform my GP (as was stated should happen in the NHSE documents we had all seen) so when I was offered a "booster" I booked and went for it. I took with me the NHSE, BSR and JCVI paperwork showing that as a Rituximab patient (took a letter showing when my last infusion had been) and on the slip of paper I had to complete I deleted the word "booster" and wrote in "3rd primary dose." Hopefully the NHS record system which may have recorded the jab as a booster will get sorted so that I do get called for a booster as well in 6 months.

I have all the relevant docs saved on my phone for when my time eventually comes for the third vaccine. Then if you’ve got the official evidence twice or thrice from reputable sources they won’t turn people away, hopefully. It’s getting so it’s stressing many people who don’t need any extra stress! 🤨 Those who have gone early seem to have had more confusion. 😑 x

That was a good idea. If this proves to be too much for my GPs, I shall do the same.

I’m still waiting and I know I qualify. I’ve been told letters from rheumatology are in the post so hopefully get it sorted soon. I have been getting more nervous again lately so will be a relief to get it. Hope we both hear soon

Lolabridge profile image
Lolabridge in reply to Beaches2

Ha! the "it's in the post excuse!" I do hope it really is and you will hear soon. 🤞

vonniesims profile image
vonniesims in reply to Beaches2

Me too

Still waiting to hear, I'm on RTX.Predislone and Sulfa.

Painterly lady.

I've just recently received a letter from rheumatology phew! as I was in your situation. I went up to my GP surgery, the receptionist seemed to understand the third primary and said the surgery wasn't getting involved with thirds and offered me the local booking number. Thankfully as I've now got a letter I can find the local walk- in which is miles away, and hope they are now up to date with the difference between third primary and booster.

I think you could do that armed with the letter sent out to GP surgeries and rheumatologists etc in September. I downloaded it ready in case I didn't hear anything from anyone.

I'm on Retuximab so definitely qualify.

I hope you are able to sort something out, its been quite stressful for lots patiently waiting not sure if we will be notified.x

Thank you, sunnyweek. I was told by Rheumy here in Somerset that they were not dealing with this and that I should contact my GP. However I have an email from Rheumy confirming that I did qualify for the 3rd vaccine, so, if nothing happens before I am invited for my booster, I shall take a copy of this together with the other documents. I am pleased that you have now had your invitation.

I think that will be all you need the letter saying you qualify, so you could go to a walk-in if you are not invited. Make sure it gets recorded properly. I'm still anxious in case the walk-in still aren't aware!

I'm not sure that I'm eligible as I'm on 20mg Methotrexate. I rang the surgery yesterday to try to find out if they knew anything but there was a queue and I didn't feel that it was urgent enough to take someone else's place. The website just redirects you to the NHS website but I saw that there was an online question facility so I filled in the form. Surprised to get a text saying that I'd be getting a phone call tomorrow - no idea from whom - so I'll report back if I get any useful information.

There's an excellent vaccination centre in the village run by the great pharmacy I go to so if I am eligible, maybe I'll be able to have it there 🤞

Lolabridge profile image
Lolabridge in reply to Boxerlady

If you have no other underlying health conditions, you may not be eligible as I think I read somewhere that you need to be on more than 20 mg MTX . But you try ringing the NRAS helpline and see what they say.

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady in reply to Lolabridge

That's what I thought but someone posted on here that the British Rheumatoid Society (?) had advised that everyone on Methotrexate should be eligible. 🤔

I think the website is rheumatology.org.uk/practic.... It seems to say that anyone on methotrexate is eligible for a 3rd vaccine.

Great - thank you! 👌

Lolabridge profile image
Lolabridge in reply to Boxerlady

Ah that’s good.

I'm still waiting for mine - I haven't heard anything. After chasing my GP a few times, they told me that my rheumatologist needed to refer me for it. I have left messages for them but heard nothing yet. I've also emailed my CCG to ask if they can help but again radio silence!

So frustrating, isn't it?!

That is worrying as the CCG was on my list of possible places for help if the GP fails to get an answer.

My GP denies all knowledge of 3rd vaccine even though Rheumatology copied them into my letter! I've now received a central NHS invite for my booster so am going to have that as I just can't be bothered arguing with my GP any more!

I had a letter from the consultant on the 9th October saying I was entitled to one and it was to be organised by the GP. I have heard nothing from the GP. However, the national booking service had already invited me for the booster, which I had on the 3rd October. They were only able to record that as a booster as that was all the computer allowed at the time. I regard it as my third primary and wait to see what happens in six months time. I will chase it then if the evidence says we need the fourth dose.

swansea-c1ty profile image
swansea-c1ty in reply to Potatos

Yes I’ve done the same - had the ‘booster’ as the third primary so covered and will see what is needed in time to come when booster due

Leicester is still waiting but I understand rheumatology are ‘on it’.

🤞🏻

I had mine on the 10th after chasing my surgery, although was still referred to as a booster not third primary. This week I’ve had a letter and text telling me to contact my GP or consultant if I had not been called.

No invite yet. GP surgery answer phone says 'We cannot answer questions re covid Vaccine' Ditto Rheumatology!

I sent an econsult to my gp, explaining the difference between 3rdprimary and booster, and asking what is happening (I’m on mtx). Got a standard response, saying boosters are being dealt with by the Trust. In meantime, have received booster appointment, so am simply going for that. Quite disappointed…

Still waiting to hear from Rheumatology, but was told this. 'In Cambridgeshire the CCG are identifying those who are eligible in communication with Addenbrookes, the process is not yet complete . You should receive a letter.'

Hi there, I received confusing information but am now booked to have mine today. First I was told it has to be 6 months after the last vaccine, of course this is not true for those of us who need it because we are immune suppressed so I had to call several times to get someone who knew this! Then they told me I needed a letter from my GP so I called them but they said they are not doing letters for people and I should just use the letter that was sent advising me I need a 3rd dose. The vaccine centre have said they will accept that so I’ll have to wait and see if I have problems there today. Did you get a letter through the post saying you needed a 3rd dose?

No, I didn’t get any notification that I needed a 3rd vaccine but was aware from other posts and checking on the internet. My problem is that although Rheumy have confirmed that I need a third vaccine, neither they nor my GP have any idea how to go about arranging this, although my GP is trying to get instructions. Can you please let us know how you get on today.

Not heard a thing about my 3rd dose either. X

Good morningYour post is a real eye opener as this is the first time I have heard that those with a compromised immune systems are recommended to have ‘3rd Covid jab’. I am on weekly biological injections so surely should have been offered this 8 weeks after my 2nd injection which was back in April. I have now had my Pfizer booster (original jabs were AZ). I have felt perfectly well since with no side effects. Fortunately I am being regularly tested for COVID as I am involved in monthly Covid tests with the Office of National Statistics. Since my 1st jab (AZ) back in January this year I have produced antibodies. The same with the 2nd jab in April. My friend, who is on the same ONS study with me, had same AZ jabs at the same time, no immune problems, has produced no antibodies at all with her 1st and 2nd jabs. It will be interesting to see if she has produced any antibodies after her booster.

achyknitter profile image
achyknitter in reply to Dicorn

I don’t think you are alone in not having heard of the third dose vaccine. However, if you have had your Pfizer booster you will have had the same dose as given for the third primary vaccine but you will have to ensure that you get your proper booster in six months.

The current rollout is just chaotic and my GP denied knowing anything about it. I am in the office most days so got fed up of waiting. I booked my booster via the NHS website, then took my letter re being eligible for a third jab to vaccination centre, who then changed my record to treat it as a third jab. Hope you get yours very soon

achyknitter profile image
achyknitter in reply to cafbat

Thanks

It seems that my GP is very efficient. I got a text for my flu jab and had it done at the GP 3 weeks ago. My booster jab, not illegible for 3rd primary jab, had it done in a vaccination centre 2 weeks ago . All went smoothly. 👍

Hi, I'm still waiting and heard nothing yet. I'm in Derbyshire, don't know if it's location that's making a difference? Just wish they all worked together x

sampete profile image
sampete in reply to Natbat87

I'm in Derbyshire and had mine nearly 2 weeks ago. Has to be 180 something days (6 months) after your last one.

I spoke to my surgery about 2 weeks ago and they had no clue what I was talking about even when the receptionist asked her manager. She also said vaccines were now nothing to do with the surgery. I happened to have an appointment with my consultant. He said there was no 3rd dose for the immunosuppressed- just the booster. This is incorrect as the 3rd dose should be pfizer or moderna as recommended by JCVI. I then had a letter to go for my booster I rang to query and they said I will just get the booster, probably AZ as I have had before. This is all down to government total chaos.

Hi l I have had my 3rd jab recently, and it was 6 months after my last one. I know others where they have waited 6 months as well and not before the 6 months is up

I had same problems. GPS didn’t even understand 3rd vaccine. 119 said speak to GP. Phoned NRAS who were familiar with the problems we are facing. Suggested I go to a local drop in vaccine centre (in my case a nearby sports stadium). Went straight there and had my 3rd vaccine - no problems. Seems to me to be our best options

Very interesting to see all the different experiences as I have been sent round in circles with everyone I contact telling me it is not their responsibility. I may take some tips from some of the experiences. I did read government information where I found that anyone on >20mg methotrexate OR anyone on any dose of methotrexate WITH leflunomide is eligible. It is worth reading the small print. There may be other combinations.

I have been told by my Rheumy that anyone on methotrexate qualifies regardless of dose.

Hi Achyknitter. When I get a minute I will try to send you a link. Maybe this evening tho’.

Yes, that is the official info on the JCVI website. But there appears to be a lot of confusion because the BRS recommended that EVERYONE on mtx should get it, although one document I found suggested that this was partly because it was too much work to check on each patient's dose at the relevant times. So it seems to be down to local arrangements - where rheumatology are in charge, you are likely to get it, if it is the GP it is pot luck.

I think it depends where you live sadly. I have had mine through my hospital rheumatology dept, which is in a different borough to where I live and I was also offered one via the NHS App locally as well. Have you tried contacting the place where you had your last vaccine ?

achyknitter profile image
achyknitter in reply to Sunset54

They are no longer using the place where I had my first two vaccines.

Sunset54 profile image
Sunset54 in reply to achyknitter

Oh that’s not helpful then sorry x best if luck you get it soon

I had blood tests at my Gp surgery yesterday and asked the nurse, she said ‘oh they’re doing the elderly first and they’ll get to you when they do’. I was in the extremely clinically vulnerable group and it’s 6.5 months now since my second vaccination… they do the vaccines at the local public halls, I went there on the way home, on the off chance, and they were closed. Note on the door says only open three hours a week on Thursdays… so I’ll try and go back and see if they can help…

I finally had my 3rd dose yesterday . It took many phone calls, 2 emails and a complaint to get there but got it in the end ! . Really shouldn’t be so difficult and stressful .

If you Google “ location of walk in centres for Covid 19 vaccinations in………”then put your post code or town…you will find a list of local centres together with a few notes on what is available.

Thank you

Had mine yesterday. Had Astra for first two had Pfizer this time Felt fine overnight just a slightly soar arm but nothing to complain about…

I got a goverment letter then a couple of days later I got an email inviting me to book online. I'm booked in this coming Sunday.

Just caught end of breaking news on BBC about third primary. Anyone else heard anything?

This situation is typical of the chaos which exists at the moment. My Gp who organized the first two jabs in conjunction with a local hospital is not offering a third jab instead they gave a link that did not work. When I eventually got through to the surgery, no easy task, they could not help but they still keep giving me reminders. I then googled & found a local surgery in a nearby village & booked with them. I have not seen a Doctor for 2.5 years & every time I phone my surgery I cannot get through until later in the day & then I am told that there are no appointments available & to phone tomorrow! It's a bit like groundhog day!

An appointment with a local hospital to see a neurologist which was requested in February was tentatively offered 'later in the year' but on phoning them last week was told that it could not be earlier than next July.

I have had mine but my mother in law 95 lives in next village and no one has been called yet 😱

I rang my gp surgery. Said I was due to start taking methotrexate and wanted my booster jab before I start. (Was due to start a few weeks ago but then I had my flu jab so was told not to take methotrexate yet, then I got a cold so still hadn’t started it yet).As soon as I mentioned the word ‘immunosuppressed’ she booked me in. I was prepared for the doc to question me as I still had 2 weeks to wait until my 6 months were up but no questions were asked. So I got mine done. While I was waiting in the reception the receptionist knew a man that came in and said do you want a booster jab, he said I’m not due for another month, but she said he could have it anyway. So at our surgery they are not being strict on who gets it when. I think the word ‘primary’ seems to put a lesser urgency somehow, whereas ‘booster’ is ‘the’ thing at the mo. Probably pot luck of your postcode yet again. Hope you all get yours soon! X

achyknitter profile image
achyknitter in reply to Haz58

Your surgery sounds wonderful

Haz58 profile image
Haz58 in reply to achyknitter

As far as boosters go yes I think so. But as with everywhere else at the mo, you wait an hour to get through on the phone and cannot get a f2f the majority of the time. Bit I’m very thankful for the booster.

Hi, I'm on 20mg MTX and hydroxy but spoke to my Rheumatologist last week and he said I'd 'be fine with just the booster '. I didn't think I'd be eligible for the 3rd primary anyway so no surprise. Still waiting for word re the booster which in Scotland is being dealt with by health boards and not GP's.

I've heard nothing from my GP. My sister-in-law who is a 54 yr old with no health conditions and works from home has been given 3rd dose just on the basis she works for NHS. My GP seems to be rolling it out in the same order group's as the initial vaccination.

Hi achy knitter I had to cancel mine as I'd only just had my infusion, and flu jab plus I had an infection like you I've now been told name is on a list, not sure when it will be next.

MyGP surgery we’re not planning on doing anything until they had received instruction from myRA consultant …. So I got on to my Consultants nursing team to get them moving. I don’t think the nursing team were going to do anything either until I got in touch! But I now have my 3rd vaccination scheduled with my GP for next week. Result 👍

well in Eastbourne my biologics nurse told me to book booster when offered as no letters had been sent and i should use booster as 3rd primary jab and hope chaos sorted by time booster needed, and that was after I rang cos i hadnt heard anything and people on here were saying they had had letters and third jabs!! Cant get through to surgery as telephone queue too long.

I received a letter yesterday from my Clinical Commissioning Group. The letter stated that GP practice IT systems were updated on 4 October with search criteria provided by NHS England. It stated that I was recognised as a patient with immunosuppressive and encouraged me to get a third vaccination as soon as possible. Apparently the third primary dose can be administered after an interval of eight weeks since your second primary dose.

My second dose was on 23 April so in a few days qualify for a booster jab. When I rang my lovely supportive GP Practice they had not received that information but booked me an appointment for 29 October.

All this leaves me wondering do I still have a booster and if so when?

I received a letter today asking me to attend on Sunday Oct 31st. This will be at a previously set up inoculation centre where I had my previous jabs. The letter also states I will be offered the flu jab if I haven't already had it. (I haven't as my GP hasn't contacted me yet). My husband and his family are with a different GP practice and have been offered their flu jabs but not a booster covid jab.

Apart from being in different GP practices the only difference is that I was on the official shielding list and they weren't. We all live in the same area of Cardiff so come under the Welsh NHS.

GPs don't seem to be handling this 3rd vaccine. I phoned 119 and made an appointment without any fuss - they try to get a venue as near to where you live as possible.

Good Luck

I luckily had mine 3 weeks ago. I just rang my surgery and explained I was on immune suppressants. They asked which one and which hospital and the practice manager rang me back later the same day and offered me an appointment. I think I was lucky as I expected more hassle. When I had it they put booster down, so whether I will be offered one in 6 months or not will see.

Hi Achyknitter, haven't logged on to this site for a couple of days and just saw your note :)I'd actually just given up on a third primary dose being offered to me....my 6 month booster is due in November, anyway...even though not heard about that either.

Just opened the post and have got a letter from the local NHS clinical commissioning group, saying I've been recognised as eligible for the third dose and I should get it asap!! It says it can be given 8 weeks after the second dose...so in theory, I could have had it in July.

Any hoo, just to say don't give up on it....maybe find out who your local commissioning group is and ask them directly ?? Not sure what that means for a further booster....6 mths after this third one?? Will ask when I go and get it.

Keep safe...and keep knitting !! :)

Thanks

I submitted a query about "3rd primary vaccination" on my surgery website on Monday and had a text saying that I would receive a phone call today.

GP rang just after 9 am (great guy - saw him f2f several weeks ago) and was obviously clued-up. Advised me that my consultant would have to confirm whether I am eligible for the 3rd primary (I know that it's debatable as I'm on 20mg Methotrexate) but that I can have the booster from Monday (6 months after my 2nd jab.) He pinged over an invitation to book then and there, advised me to have it and to then query with my consultant whether I'll be eligible for a booster in 6 months time. That's fine with me, particularly as I'm due to have a rheumy appointment in December.

He was well aware of all the issues but is obviously doing what he can; he said that he'd be sending out 300 booster invitations this afternoon.

I followed the link and have booked for 6th November as there are only weekend slots available atm and I'm working next weekend.

I'm in Derbyshire BTW.

I spoke with my Biologics nurse and she said I should be offered a booster when its due. I am on Tocilizumab. Arranged flu jab myself in Boots.

I got a letter last week from my GP saying that I should have a third jab, however they played pass the buck and said I had to contact my consultant for them to arrange with my primary care giver, I maybe losing the plot here but I thought that was them.

hi I spoke to my gp and chemist re 3 rd jab around 3 weeks ago they knew nothing about it .so i rang covid helpline this was a waste of time the person i spoke to was rude and put the phone down on me for no reason! spoke to rheumo team eventually confirmed by consultant i should have 3 rd jab went back to covid helpline was told the gp needed to update as i was not even registered under a extremely vunerable group so best of luck back to gp who said they would update.Following day i was taking my mum for booster at covid center took my prescription and last 2 letters off my consultant lead clinical nurse appologised for all the inconveniance updated my records and gave me the 3rd jab i was so pleased i could not thank her enough.Best of luck i found all the phone calls so frustrating but got there in the end!!!

I had an email from the NHS about 3 weeks ago inviting me for the booster but the nearest available place was a few miles away so I thought I'd wait until my surgery contacted me, which they now have and I have an appointment for the 29th of this month, so my advice is to just wait they may be having supply issues

Hello achyknitter, I had a letter from the health authority yesterday asking me to go to a walk-in centre to have mine, which I have done today. This is in Norfolk but I assume that those of us on the extremely clinically vulnerable group will be notified like this nationwide. Hope you get yours soon. By the way we have to have a booster in 6 months too.

I have my third shot booked for the end of October. But my dilemma is have been recommended to get the flu shot within 3 days of the booster covid shot. The reason being I have to stop my methotrexate and a erelzi injections the week before, the week of and the week after. That's going to be pretty hard on my body but needs to be done. I'm wondering if I should even get the flu shot because I'm having a hard time getting the appointments booked 3 days apart. As for your question about how patient you should be, just keep in touch with your doctor and hopefully you get it soon

I chased with GP on Monday after not hearing anything. Call back by evening, yes you need the 3rd vaccine and then he actually said, but I’ve no idea how we go about getting you this! Our GP surgery have opted out of giving Covid vaccines this time, so our nearest options for boosters are 45 mins away (we are rural location), but appointment only. I’ve got to take my 85yr MiL for her booster on Friday so going to chance it there and take paperwork with me. If not, I’m due my booster in a fortnight, but then getting that reregistered as the 3rd will be a pain.

So many of us seem to have been caught up in this muddle. Can you please let me know how you get on on Friday as I am thinking of going with my OH when he goes for his booster next week to see if they will sort this out for me.

Hi, My GP surgery rang and arranged for my to attend a neighbouring medical practice in the end. Very short notice but I had my 3rd vaccine last Thursday evening so didn’t need to chance it. Hope you get yours sorted soon.

That is wonderful. Thanks for letting me know.

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