5th jab, difficulties getting it: Hi, I thought I would... - NRAS


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5th jab, difficulties getting it

Living-in-the-moment profile image

Hi, I thought I would let people know about the problems I encountered getting my 5th jab and how I dealt with them. Firstly my GP has NEVER sent an invitation for any previous jabs, despite my trying very hard to reason with them and understand why not. So when it came to my fifth I read the guidelines on the NHS site, booked it and went along. The person at the centre (a doctor apparently) said a flat NO, they weren't doing 5th jabs, I explained about my circumstances, 2 immunosuppressant medications with proof, still , NO. I then asked to speak to someone else and explained the whole thing again, what followed next I found absolutely amazing, both the doctor and the other person, nurse I think, asked me what a Biologic medication was. I have been on Biologic medication for 20 years now, so hardly a new thing. I got my jab but only because I was determined and well prepared, the thing that gets me, is that people less well-educated about my condition than me, have the power to stop me obtaining what has been deemed appropriate for me. Sorry for the long post, hope it helps somebody else.

35 Replies

Such a lottery! That sounds like a horror story and really doesn’t give any confidence in bits of this disconnected system. I have been lucky all the way through since the pandemic started and am due my 5th jab on Monday having been pinged again by the NHS. Sometimes it’s seamless and sometimes it’s madness and you’ve unfortunately hit the mad bit! Being determined and well-prepared definitely pays off and glad you got your vaccination albeit having to battle for it.

Good luck with your jab. I am pleased that you've had a better experience than mine.

I'm dreading this. I'd rather just not bother than have to fight for it tbh. I've never had any invitations from GP either. Even my rheumatologist told me no one was having *4th* jabs when I asked about it in December. There's something on the government website that says the spring booster will be a 5th jab for people who are immunosuppressed, and a 4th for the over 75s. I'm not entirely sure they mean everyone who is immunosuppressed, but it's unclear.

Hi, please don't give up on what you are entitled to have because of other people's inefficiency. I had a look at the government website and in order to receive the spring booster you have to be severely immunosuppressed, the eligibility for this is as follows, copied from websiteSevere immunosuppression includes people who had or may recently have had:

a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)

a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy (sometimes called immunotherapy), chemotherapy or radiotherapyan organ or bone marrow transplant

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

Individuals aged 12 and above with immunosuppression are eligible for a spring booster dose around 6 months (and at least 3 months) after their last vaccine dose.

The site also says that you can get your jab if you have proof of medication.

I am assuming it is immunosuppressant medication that means you need another jab?

I really hope this helps, good luck

Thank you - this is the information I couldn't find. I wasn't deemed immunosuppressed enough for Covid treatments, I assumed - but I'm never sure whether I've been forgotten or not - so didn't know. I'm on a high dose biologic (300mg Cosentyx) and a low dose methotrexate (12.5mg) so would have thought that was enough. Thank you x

My GP says no a well for me. Taking ng methotrexate and a biologic plus I have a lung condition too. I know the reason because they don't prescribe the biologic so not on my medication list but on all my review letters from the hospital. It's prescribed by the hospital and is delivered by courier.

It’s so frustrating isn’t it? My GP is the same, they only ‘know’ I’m on a biologic if they look back at hospital letters mentioning it. I have asked for the biologic to be added to my records at the GP’s but apparently this is not possible as they don’t prescribe it, crazy! In this age of computers it is unimaginable that hospital and GP’s aren’t seeing the same records. It’s really ‘the computer says no’ scenario, and that was a comedy programme! As I said before if you take the prescription labels on your medication along with you to a vaccine centre, it is proof that you are prescribed it. Hope this helps, good luck!

Your GP is wrong re not being able to add to your records. It can and should be added to your electronic repeat prescription, so that if they prescribe you anything they interacts with your biologic, it will flag it up. Mine is recorded at the bottom of my prescription, I can’t order it, but it’s there for info. Also if your on antibiotics they should be advising you to hold off biologic, if it’s not listed there’s a danger you may continue your biologic. Here is a screenshot of mine on the system. I also received my priority PCR kit and all my letters as gp has everything recorded


This is very good advice. I requested the same, after I found that because RTX is prescribed and administered by the hospital, it was not on my GP’s list of medication.

It took a few phone calls and a letter, but it’s now visible at the top of my prescribed-drugs list.

If it was you who suggested doing this Maureen, thanks.

Otto11 profile image
Otto11 in reply to Maureengibson

Hi MaureenMy GP has added Abatacept to my prescription however next to last issued it says never. So I’m not too sure how useful it actually is x

Maureengibson profile image
Maureengibson in reply to Otto11

I don’t think it will be an issue, mine hasn’t changed since they added it in 2017. It will still flag interactions etc, and be coded to alert NHSE your in the highest risk group, unless it’s only been added recently then you need to still ask for referral to CMDU for antivirals, but the GP has it clearly visible to see you meet the criteria. Take care 🤗

Otto11 profile image
Otto11 in reply to Maureengibson

Yes it was added a few months ago after you suggested it. thanks x

Maureengibson profile image
Maureengibson in reply to Otto11

Your welcome. Since my stroke my memory is appalling, so I never remember who I’ve given info too. 🤪

Otto11 profile image
Otto11 in reply to Maureengibson

No problems. My memory’s awful since diagnosed with Epilepsy. It is what it is no need to apologise x

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to Maureengibson

Don't worry Maureen, someone like me won't even realise that they've read your post before! Keep chuckling...it really does us good. xx

Maureengibson profile image
Maureengibson in reply to Knip


Thank you, you obviously have a much more sensible GP practice than me. I will try again to get them to do it, it makes such good sense.

My GP added my Biologic to my repeat prescription even though he dosnt prescribe it but it hasn’t helped in that I too never had a letter or invite from NHS England. I booked my own vaccinations taking evidence with me. GP arranged first 2 then Rheumy sent a letter regarding 3rd primary so rang & had it & following one done at a different centre. It was the 5th one ( booster) that was so difficult to access x

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to Otto11

Can the RA consultant's letter be taken as evidence for this one...it should be sufficient if you are still on the same meds etc. x

I agree it should be, but my consultant sent a general letter, not actually addressed to me. I think it's a lottery really, depends on your consultant, gp and vaccination centre staff! X

Yes, it sorting out before the autumn...there should be a definitive list sent to consultants and GPs. They just aren't getting the up to date info through. My RA Consultant said that having two conditions makes you more vulnerable if you get Covid. Suppose I can understand that...and no doubt some of our more learned friends on here will know why that it. Hopefully someone will know. My husband and I are off to London to see my youngest son this morning and, after school ends,we shall see our grandchildren and our daughter in law. Something I am really looking forward to. That's enough to give me a great boost! Take care, God Bless, Kx

Otto11 profile image
Otto11 in reply to Knip

I took my prescription my box from my injections with my name on it, a consultants letter & my letter for 3rd primary! They didn’t need them as they could see on the system I was eligible x

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to Otto11

Where I went for my fifth they were screening everyone at the entrance to the chemist's shop. x

Otto11 profile image
Otto11 in reply to Knip

👍 x

Really glad it helped !x

Yes; my guy wandered off to check his documentation. He opened with ‘so you’ve come for your 4th jab?’. Er no.

Uncanny, he must have had the same script as the man I saw!

At least they are ‘in the know’ now!

Can only hope!

I'm on biologic too, didn't know anything about getting a 5th jab? How did you hear?

We didn’t. Just looked on advice and info posted here and various govt websites. You can book via 119 or online. You can have it 91 days or more after 4th. I posted a link to an ‘open letter’ on here a few days ago encouraging us to get the Spring booster.

I had my fifth last week. I received a text on Tuesday saying that it was due, looked on line and booked for the next day. It said that I would be screened beforehand to see if I qualified and that I should take evidence of why I was entitled to it. I took my repeat prescriptions, highlighting the steroid and MTX, as well as a written list of my autoimmune conditions, They had a screening desk at the entrance and when I sat down she took a look at my paper work and said...'I can see that you are eligible for it' and carried on verbally checking the 'have you had a blot clot' etc etc. She was a nurse (my other jabs were givne by retired doctors) and seemed to know what she was doing. For my fourth I had to ask my GP to arrange that....because RA weren't. To be fair my RA consultant said that they were getting little info through and he thought that six months might have been the optimum timing according to something he had read 'somewhere'. It is really wrong that centres aren't properly informed about the qualifying medications and that patients have to fight so hard in this way. ' IT' is still out there! Take care, Kx

All I can say is wow! What is a biologic, asked by a medical professional. Scary.

Very interesting and thank you for sharing! I am afraid to get my 4th Covid shot myself due to the side effects I (and only I) seem to experience after the shot. After my 1st booster, I started getting tinnitus in both my ears. It's finally toned down a bit so I am afraid to get another booster which might cause it to return and not ever leave. So, needless to say, I am in a quandary and not sure if I should take that risk. I had Covid but apparently, that doesn't matter at all with these variants.

Hi, sorry to hear that, it's very difficult for you, hope you keep well.

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