Hi, this is a general question that I can’t seem to find the answer to so wondering if anyone knew? I’m seeing my consultant on the 1st so I’ll ask him then too. I’ve had 4 jabs, (4th was early January and I’m CEV). I’ve seen that over 75’s and the vulnerable are receiving a ‘Spring Booster’ so are we included in that? Are we getting a 5th or was that our 4th? Many thanks
5th jab or am I wrong?: Hi, this is a general question... - NRAS
I've just been sent this, which suggests that if CEV and severely immunosuppressed at the time of your earlier doses, you should have 2 doses, a 3rd primary dose, a booster AND a spring booster. So yes, five in all.
Thank you for this, not seen it before. Okay I’ll discuss with my consultant but that makes sense! Thank you
I literally received this from the NHS through my job within the last hour so think the clarity is not out there yet.
This chart says spring booster from 3 months, but NHS site says ideally 6 months for maximum efficacy.
Thank you so much for clarifying, much appreciated and as I said makes sense about the 6 months. I’m on high steroids at the moment (along with normal meds) which I am tapering so I would rather wait till I’m off them as I know they affect the efficacy of the vaccine so 6 months would work well on timings. Thank you again for clearing up my confusion!
The green book which is the gps bible re immunisations states it should be considered at 3 months, so that we align with the autumn booster plan. Trouble is the media are still quoting 6 months so most gps will assume 6 months. Saying that I know a few people who have managed to book an appointment online for 3 months after their 4th dose. I e not managed yet
That's useful. The NHS website is sadly not the most reliable source these days. I find it frequently dumbed down and sometimes outright unscientific.
I agree, and it shouldn’t be so difficult to obtain accurate information. Most people will go by the media and feel they have to wait 6 months. This will scunner the plans to align us with the autumn booster program. I’m hoping I can just book online instead of my gp surgery insisting I’ve misunderstood. When it’s always the case they’ve misunderstood. My 3rd dose I was keen to get before my daughters wedding when I was mingling with 70 guests. Unfortunately due to them arguing with me it was the week after the wedding, thankfully no one caught covid.
I booked online last night. Very straight forward. It just said to take evidence that you are immunocompromised to the appointment. (eg a hospital letter stating what treatments/drugs you’ve received).
Whichever way its counted its 5 jabs. I wonder if it matters if like me I've now had it. I wish instead of just another jab (and I'm grateful for it so don't get me wrong) they would do NHS antibody tests for all the CEV and that would indicate a definitive need for another jab. And to me it's not clear if it's an enhanced one or another shot of the existing one. I think I'm going to get an antibody test now as I really want to know especially after having the antibody infusion. And they haven't said how long after covid do we need the jab. But of course it's all still so new despite is seemingly having been around for such a long time.
Yes it’s 5 it’s just the timing, I want to time it right with my steroid course. If you’ve had it and had the infusion I agree very different situation! I had a test a while back with Lloyds pharmacy and it was low but that was after two jabs. An antibody test would make much more sense rather than just keep vaccinating.
I’ve always said since early on in the pandemic antibody tests, to my biologics nurse as part of the treatment for CEV/high risk. She agreed/agrees but said they won’t for all CEV as routine at the moment. Until they can ascertain the level of protection needed for covid antibody results it could be difficult to interpret for many people should they repeat a vaccine or not. Obviously it’s apparent of you have zero or very few to know where you stand. My own Roche test and the Immunologist/hospital one were the reason I’m able to repeat my vaccines with his recommendation, so it is helpful for those at the low end of the scale or zero.
It wouldn’t need to be all CEV though, only those on immunosuppressants would need checking. CEV who do not have a suppressed immune system will have mounted a response similar to the general public. It is really only those of us with severe immunosuppression that would need checking, which amounts to 500,000. I do agree though, we need clarity on what number of antibodies protect us from serious disease.
Think she was using CEV as an easier term of reference even though it’s not officially used now. A lot of people get confused with that. Even the docs and nurses. (High risk is what I tend to say now as the Gov call us this on their pages.) I posted a couple of days ago and earlier that I think it will be your immunologist if you have one or the rheumy/consultant looking at the results of your bloods/immunoglobulins/Bs/Ts. The 500,000 club that no one wants to be in. 😑
I saw that on BBC Breakfast. It's already underway in Scotland & Wales & in Northern Ireland they expect vaccinations to be completed by April or May so this info relates to England. You could book it from 7am this morning. What confused me was that reporter said it's a spring booster to be given roughly 6 months after the last vaccine dose. I had my last in December, that would mean I’d have this one in June or thereabouts, & there are many here who had it later than me meaning they'd be well into summer before they'd have theirs.
Then looking at the info Frances_UK provided it says 3 months. Is this set in stone? It would seem the more appropriate option given others… first, second & third primary & then the booster dose were all 3 months (91 days) so it would logically follow the spring booster would be too.
Anyone else seen or heard any reports that are contradictory or even if you heard the same I understood it to be?
It's *from* 3 months, but recommended 6 months to get maximum protection. The NHS page clarifies a little: nhs.uk/conditions/coronavir...
It's hard to find the info without you guys. I just booked not knowing about the suggestion of 6 months being better. Why do they muddle us up by Calling It a "Spring Booster for heaven's sake!
It'll be summer in my case as 6 months would be July for me. I thought there was a clue in that it's called Spring, suggesting actually that we should get it in spring bcz Covid number are nuts now, but that trail of crumbs left by the Gov would be too easy to follow, it's a cryptic crumb clue. It doesn't actually mean spring at all, it means 6 months after your last vax.
Please excuse my tone Frances, this is in no way directed at you, I'm grateful for the heads up and will rebook mine in the summer, I'm calling it my "6 Month Booster"
That’s exactly what the nurse in charge of the vaccine centre said to me on Sunday re a 5th dose for immune suppressed. That it would work better if left to six months and what they are doing. If they get i-s people coming in with letters from docs and consultants for any shorter timings, then they do what they have requested to try accommodate RA treatments etc.
Just to confuse everyone a little more, Maureengibson helpfully posted an extract from the ‘Green Book’ on this issue a couple of days ago which included the following wording re spring booster for those with weakened immune systems:
Immunosuppressed individuals who have received an additional primary dose may have received the booster (fourth) dose more recently. These latter individuals and other eligible people who received their last vaccine more recently should also be offered the booster during the spring campaign providing there is at least three months from the previous dose. This will ensure they have additional protection against a potential summer wave and will align with their peers to facilitate an autumn programme.
Might just be the way I am reading it, but to me that wording doesn’t really suggest that a six month gap would be better, in the same way that the wording on the vaccine booking site seems to! Totally confused right now 🤯
So I interpret this as either they want the CEV and over 75s done early to clear the way for general population boosters in autumn, or they want to give us another with our autumn flu jabs?
I read it as we should have a vaccine in the spring campaign (accepting that for many of us this will be less than six months gap) and then another one in the autumn, along with the wider population who will be boosted then. Definitely a lack of clarity in terms of timing for the CEV population. 🤦♀️
So that’s 6! Like above I think we should have antibody testing rather than continually vaccinating, I know it’s not that easy though.
Thanks for this Monkeysmum,
I interpret this the same way as you. I think maybe 4 and a half months after my last vax would be a happy medium. I'm still booked for 3 months after my last atm, can I be bothered to change it! Especially with the covid case numbers being so nuts right now, I may stick and not twist.
This from NHS Englan yesterday……..if we are eligible we wait to be contacted………..
“Hundreds of thousands of people will be invited to book a Spring COVID booster this week as the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and fastest in health service history, enters a new phase.
Eligible groups for Spring boosters include care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed aged 12 and over.
In line with new advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme will contact people when it is their turn to be vaccinated.
Once invited by the NHS, people will be able to book their appointment through the National Booking System either online or by calling NHS 119.
I’ve only had 3 - I’m in N Ireland. The 3rd was November 2021 and hoping to be offered a 4th booster in April/May. Not sure if I missed being invited for a 4th or we just didn’t have them here!
It depended on what medication you take as to eligibility for a 4th dose. People on dmards and those on 20mg or less of methotrexate didn’t meet the criteria. See point 3&4 on pages 5 &6 for eligibility. The devolved nation apparently havd the same criteria
Thank you. I am on 17.5 methotrexate and hydroxychioroquine.
So unfortunately you would not meet the criteria for a 4th dose. The good news is that research shows at the dose you take you should have mounted a good response to the vaccines. The 4th dose is reserved for those who are on stronger immunosuppressants who are unlikely to have mounted a similar response. Take care and stay safe 🤗
I’m on 20 mg methotrexate and my Rheumatologist follows British Rheumatology Society advice which was more of a blanket response for anyone on methotrexate. So not the same as the JVCI. He sent me a letter advising third primary and booster, and the system has let me book a Spring jab.
I’m still waiting for my 4th dose, having had my 3rd primary in December. I’ve received no communication on how to book it!
Can you not book your 4th on the Gov website, that's how I did mine (after all the aggravation of sorting out the NHS computer/CCG/119 5 week wait)? I never received a proper letter from Addenbrookes or GP and sorted it out myself.
Had my 4th dose on 12th March, but there was another twist - the vaccination centre computer had not recorded my 2nd dose from last April. Luckily though, I could show them all doses on the NHS app. I had thought all NHS computers would show the same, but apparently not!
A 'spring dose' in 6 months will more likely be an autumn dose!
I’ve booked an appointment at the Grafton as I’ve only ever received any information from Addenbrookes when I’ve contacted them. We shall see if they let me have it done!
Same here, Addenbrookes only communicate if I ask them first but even then it's a vague reply. It seems they think GP should provide letter but GP Receptionist 'asked' and I was denied.
There must be lots of immunosuppressed out there who for one reason or another have either not been told they qualify for a 4th or cannot access the system to make changes. I'm sure if I had not contacted CCG/119 etc. nothing would have happened and I wouldn't have received a 4th jab. So much for patient care!
I had the same problem when I went for my 4th. My 3rd primary had been recorded as a second 2nd primary and therefore their computer only showed I'd had two. They told me I had to go away and phone 119 and get it sorted out and make another appointment.
I stood my ground and after much "well I'm here now and immunosuppressed in the middle of the Omicron surge, are you really going to deny me my jab because someone else has screwed up the entry on the computer? Can't you call 119?" - you know that sort of thing, they eventually managed to sort out the computer problem themselves and gave me my jab.
Crazy that we have to jump through so many hoops to get what we have been told to have.
I'll presumably be called for a 5th jab but I'm just recovering from covid now so I'm not too worried if I have to wait until July for my spring booster.
You can take your letter you received re 3rd dose to any walk-in centre and they will administer your 4th dose. Most of us organised the 4th dose ourselves.
I thought that I would take that letter with me. Thanks.
Or have you got the NHS app, check on there to see how your other jabs have been recorded as if you are now showing as having had 3 x primary doses then it should be obvious the next will be a 'booster'?
That was a good idea - unfortunately it just states that the 3rd jab was a booster!!! Absolutely useless!
So didn't 119/VDRS change your record to show 3 primary? That's what their role was.
Sorry, what is VDRS? I haven’t called 119 because when I went for the 3rd primary they saw my letter and said it would be recorded as a primary but obviously it hasn’t. I’m sure that I checked before now and it was recorded as 3rd primary but I don’t see why it would be changed.
VDRS (should be VDRC) is the Vaccine Data Resolution Centre Clemmie.
Thank you ( I’m not with it at the moment 🥴)
To get my vaccine record changed, I had to phone Cambridgeshire & Peterborough CCG who told me to phone 119 and select options 4, 1 or vice versa, basically to speak to the VDRS (Vaccine Data Resolution Service) who can change our vaccine record. Someone took my details to pass on and said there would be 3 week wait.
I waited 5 weeks for a call back, and the guy asked what it was I wanted changing on my vaccine record, told him 3rd primary incorrectly recorded as 'booster' which he immediately amended. I was then able to book a 4th dose, i.e. a 'booster' myself using Gov.uk.
Yep I had to do that too. It took several weeks for them to sort it out but it got done eventually.
The Vaccine data resolution service rang me as I had requested and the woman said they could not change my third dose record from booster to third primary! And that it didn’t matter! It makes you wary of trusting anything anyone says.
I think you may have fallen through the net re the notification re the fourth(booster).🤨 I bet the walk in centre will do it for you no problem. Did you take a letter with you last time, or book via NHS online for your third primary dose? The admin staff at the vaccine centres have a box they tick to indicate on your online vaccine record you are immuno-suppressed, so they’ll be able to see that and know you need a booster. Good luck.
I took my letter with me for the third primary and went to the walk in clinic. I shouldn’t feel this way because obviously it is my health so I should be responsible for it but I’m so frustrated that I have had to point out to everyone from the beginning of the pandemic that I should be on “the list” as clinically extremely vulnerable and each time that a new directive came, I’ve had to do the running around! The hospital has done nothing unless prompted (and I know that I’m far from being the only one but it is so exhausting! )
Totally understand. I’ve been given the runaround for vaccines as I’ve needed to start again. Last week I had 6 hours of being on the phone .. 3 in one afternoon trying to get someone at my GPs and another local GPs mine use trying to get booked in for a vaccine. I’m repeating my first two so it’s more complex but my GP approved of her her staff booking the vaccine for me then they couldn’t/wouldn’t access the Pinnacle booking system or even able write notes in my online records?? 🤷♀️ For different admins had different stories. 😑 In the end I asked the practice manger who said .. bypass us and go to a walk in. I went to a large, very organised, football stadium walk in on Sunday with my immunologist’s letter and they understood everything, pre assessed me and did it.
I was not put on the CEV by a (very unpleasant and not very knowledgeable) general rheumy nurse so had to chase it for 10 months, April to December 2020. Awful, stressful times and I’m exhausted after two years of chasing such a lot including rheumy appointments, blood forms, blood results, appointments and antivirals letters. Extra stress we don’t need. Had to chase several things at GPs too. I was definitely classed as CEV by 3 different consultants. GP too but no one had coded me correctly. They wrote letters when I managed to make contact and were very helpful. I had to keep pursuing my issues as the alternative wasn’t good not to. Keep trying for what you need. We wouldn’t be chasing all this if it wasn’t important to our health. Good luck.
Shocking! They really don’t care, do they?
I’ve never been coded properly but each time I’ve contacted the CCG/GP/rheumatologist helpline and finally each time got the reply that yes I should be shielding, yes I was CEV, yes I needed the 3rd primary - it goes on and on as you well know. My GP refuses to have anything to do with the vaccinations and when I emailed this last time asking about getting the home PCR test and access to anti virals, I received a snotty email telling me that the doctors were far too busy to answer my email and to contact the CCG because the surgery had nothing to do with the antivirals. So I contacted the CCG who ignored my email for 3-4 weeks and then just sent me an email saying that I would have been contacted last year if I was eligible for the antivirals. So I sent them a stinking email, pointing out that I had already told them that I knew full well that I was eligible for the anti virals and they had been no help whatsoever. I had contacted the rheumatology department 4 weeks before and within an hour of my sending that email to the CCG I received an email from the rheumatology department saying yes I was definitely eligible for anti virals if I get Covid and to contact my GP (? - that will be a waste of time!) or call 119 to get a home PCR test and then the number to call regarding antivirals if I test positive. But my local hospital (Addenbrookes) doesn’t do the administering of antivirals and so I would probably have to go to Peterborough. I really feel that everything is begrudged to us. I have yet to call about the PCR test as I am currently away from home but will do so as soon as I get h9me early next month.
It has definitely felt that way at times. 😑 Some want to pass the book a lot of the time. They must be so fed up the last two years but WE are too! The practice manager was helpful to me but other GP staff were not. It is worrying when the GP practice isn’t involved in the vaccinations and I was certainly given the runaround by my GP staff but she did get her sec to phone to try help and she did do an antivirals letter. I had to chase it though and write to her. Would be different if they were the practice doing the vaccines but they’re not. I think near me there are a few options in each area for anti virals venues if you needed the infusion type. You can search these online. A
When I phoned 119 to request a PCR in January I was “escalated” due to severe immunosuppression to a manager and she was high risk immunosuppressed herself so knew what to do. I was sent the standard PCR as no priority ones left, and then last week got the red box one but she’d said to me we can get a courier to collect a standard one next day. Now a LFT test can be used, I think you’d get action quicker from 119 and recording your LFT with them and telling them you’re high risk etc. and liasion with CMDU.
That’s very negative of the CCG and extremely disappointing and they deserved the stinking email! It can be/has been such a slog trying to be eligible for CEV/antivirals/vaccines/appointments. 🤨
Thanks for this, but I’m still not sure what I’m entitled to. I’ve had 3 doses but don’t meet the criteria for a 4th jab as I wasn’t on certain medication at the time of my 2nd jab.
I’m immunosuppressed but not classed as CEV.
My rheumy nurse said she’d check with the consultant and then forgot 😡
I’ve got another phone call with her next week so will ask again.
In some ways, you are lucky, namely that you get a phone call from your Rheumy at all.
I have had one phone call after another canceled totaling 8 phone calls struck off until eventually none were rescheduled. It's been a year since I last had a call.
When I called apmnts and questioned it a call was set up 3 months later, and that was subsequently canceled. I mean how hard is it to get a ten-minute phone call over the space of 1 year, someone throw me a bone. My ALT numbers were worrying 3 months back but I guess no one cared.
I would tell your doctor about this. Drop a letter in marked for the GP’s attention and ask re the blood result as the GP can see the test results on the computer records. They can advise you what it means too. Also say to the GP you’ve been cancelled so many times by rheumatology. I’d send something similar to the rheumy too. Good luck.
Your right I should do, but I'm tired of fighting to gain no ground at the end of it most times. I've taught myself how to interpret my blood test results. I call reception at GP and ask for 4 parameters that are the main ones to keep an eye on and if I see some funny business in results then I call GP. My Doc does also look out and flag any uptick in bloods so between us we have it covered.
A funny thing just happened at work. I'm working in our warehouse where it's just me and my husband. We have DHL and FedEx guys come to the door to pick up parcels.
We keep them in the front area not strolling into the warehouse proper, obv bcz of covid. Well, this guy waltzes in past all my signs saying "Staff only beyond this point" and "Please wear a mask" and asks to use the loo. He caught me off guard tbh and my 1st reaction was no lol! I said "it's the covid thing" I feel bad but he had no mask on. Anyway, he mumbled something and went off.
That guy should not be wandering on your premises. 🤨 You can see your main blood results on the NHS app but not all of the extra or non standard ones are out on always. Your GP admins should give you a password and user name to initiate that. Keep fighting. I did and it resulted in me getting my vaccines repeated as the first two were zero antibodies and I’m severely immunosuppressed.
Oh wow, I had no idea that the NHS app would allow access to bloods, it doesn't at mo bcz as you say I need to get them to share the PW. ThanksNeonkittie.
Well done getting your jabs repeated. I'm guessing the 1st were AZ vax. Mine were. I haven't had an antibody test but bet mine didn't give any protection either.
Thank you. No, the first two were Pfizer. It was Rituximab depleting all my B cells despite leaving 23 weeks from prior Rtx to first Pfizer. Unless you were on Rtx or high steroids you may have mounted a decent response. Many people on here did and had multiple meds and conditions and were surprised they had quite a few antibodies.
Ask your admins at the GP practice if they can give you a user name, password and some instructions to use the App and see your blood results.
So after many failed phone call attempts, failed bcz I didn't want to wait 15th in the queue at 12.30 in the afternoon. They close the lines for lunch 🙄 I called at 2.30 only to find they haven't got to the point that they can offer that service yet.
My surgery is so backward it's infuriating. I mean it's a phone call from GP and that's all the service you get. They don't offer email support nor can you contact them via text and now this. She says there's no lead time on when they will bother to make this service live. Just annoys the heck outa me.
Oh booo, yes they are slow not having the App/facility. You could ask your rheumy admins if they can help you and if it can be done via a password from them? Tell them your GP isn’t doing it yet. I waited 50 minutes Friday phoning my GP admins back to be told you are first in the queue and no one answering at the GP. Hours of holding and waiting too the week before. Not easy, I know.
I can’t access results on my Patient Access site for any blood tests the hospital request, only those from the GP. They are two different systems which cannot communicate with each other! Similarly the X-rays I had on my feet for the orthopaedic consultant at one hospital cannot be accessed by my rheumatologist at another hospital in a different trust. Computer says no! FGS !!
Uhhh .. it doesn’t show any xray/scan results either the NHS App/SystmOnline Apps but it records tests/scans/ops/procedures with dates but not result details to the patient. It does tell patients results of procedures like smears etc. At present and since October I can only use the NHS App and I recall both were accessible via the other. Now I can only see selected results of WBC/RBC and none of my extra immunology tests. I requested my full blood tests from the rheumy admin a week ago and got an email same day saying I will post them out, but I’ve waited a month before and once waited two months and by then another lot of bloods are being done.🤷♀️
I have mine done at the GP practice/nurse, and almost always with the rheumy blood forms sent to me. All other bloods except Ig’s and B cells (analysed in the main immunology centre hospital) were on the GP system until October, then it went rather erratic and only some red and white cells online since then. 😳x
My GP practice won’t do blood tests for my Rheumatologists. But I don’t like to keep asking for copies to be sent by my Rheumy nurse as they are struggling to cope with demands on their time at the moment. I’ll ask for a set of results to be sent when I have my biologic Rescore review telephone appointment on 20th April.
My ex rheumy said years ago she didn’t want me waiting in a very uncomfortable area where seats were almost like footstools and I would pull joints left right and centre just sitting down and standing up. Then when I started biologics the rheumy said even more reason to go to the GP and said no to sitting amongst many others and my GP/nurses have been fine. They say many immune suppressed patients go to them for rheumy hospital blood tests and with mobility issues also. Some GP practices won’t make exceptions I know. They do like you to take the rheumy blood forms with you.
Hi there it is very confusing I was told you can't have the fourth jab unless you are sent a letter, and the fifth is supposed to be a general one for all. So far I have had three but now seem to be treated as not CEV to spite my diagnosis and drug regime just chaos, as the amount of replies verifies. Good luck with yours.
Not all those originally classified as CEV are offered the 4th jab, only those who are or were immune suppressed when they had their previous jabs. Maureengibson's post above summarises the situation and I copied it below:
"It depended on what medication you take as to eligibility for a 4th dose. People on dmards and those on 20mg or less of methotrexate didn’t meet the criteria. See point 3&4 on pages 5 &6 for eligibility. The devolved nation apparently havd the same criteria"
Here's the link she posted too:
I have read the green book details but still feel it is confusing for many, my freind had it but only because of age not her health issues & she had a letter after asking if she was entitled. I do not expect to be given a fourth jab but do expect to be given the Autumn booster as my 6months runs out in May. I feel there are more people with pressing need than myself and I can always Isolate if I am concerned. I hope not to get the virus but thats not the case so hope my own immunity keeps me out of hospital plus the jabs so far.
I received notification I can book mine now so I'm booked in for tomorrow. What was confusing was it was on my h's email but addressed to me. Anyway it's done. Decided because if I waited 6 months it would have been December by the time I have my autumn one.
I had my 4 th jab end December 2021 and just received a text from my Health Centre suggesting I book my 5th .
Although it's only 3 months from the last jab and not the recommended 6 months , it will leave me time for the Autumn jab , which I think will be important.
I've printed off a couple of copies of the relevant section of the Green Book which Maureengibson kindly provided for us - just in case minds are changed at the last hurdle .
I know it's all "new" but this reply is about the 50th comment on this post , with most comments indicating that people ( including me ) weren't completely sure of the protocol .
I have just been able to book my fifth jab (spring booster) on government website. It checks your previous vaccination history.
I take 20 mg methotrexate and my Rheumatologist has sent me letters to say I should have the third primary and booster. He follows BRS guidance, which was different from JCVI. The BRS advised more of a blanket approach for anyone on methotrexate.
The website is geared up now for the immunosuppressed and does say you can book an appointment and take letters or medication to the vaccine centre and they will make sure it’s advised for you. So, if they don’t agree with my Rheumatologist I guess they won’t give it me.
The government website will let you book an appointment for over three months after your last jab. I’m going abroad in May so have made an appointment in April, which will be nearly four months after my last dose so if I get it I will feel a bit more reassured about my protection.
I don't know if this will be the same for all but I didn’t need to show anything, not even the booking number… I was asked my name, dob & then my address was given which I was asked to confirm. I did go armed with the booking number, my repeat script list & a box of MTX as I have no other paperwork, all my other vaccines were arranged by my Surgery, but none was necessary. I had the Moderna vaccine this time.
That's interesting. Maybe not going to make it as hard work as it was before. Glad you got sorted.
Yes we are. It will be our 5th..