If we want to return to normal, testing and vaccinations are by far our best way out the pandemic.
Confused about which COVID-19 test should you use? Find out whether you need a lateral flow or PCR test with this simple guide.
- PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests – mainly for people with symptoms, they're sent to a lab to be checked
- Rapid lateral flow tests – only for people who do not have symptoms, they give a quick result using a device similar to a pregnancy test.
Rapid lateral flow tests
About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. That's why the NHS recommends doing a rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate it helps tops the virus spreading.
Test kits are available free of charge from a pharmacy, most libraries and they can be ordered online for delivery to your home. Find out more about rapid lateral flow testing by following this link to the NHS website:>>
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you need a different test called a PCR test. For more information about PCR testing visit the Gov.UK website here:>>
Changes to Rapid Test Kit collection from pharmacies
Since the 4th of October, there is a new way to collect rapid Covid-19 tests from pharmacies. You will need to bring a collect code which you can get by registering for a collect code. A collect code matches your details to the test kits you collect from a pharmacy.
Verwood Pharmacy, used by many of our patients, have advised us the following will apply regarding their supply of kits from this date:
- There will be a reduction in the number of packs of test kits a pharmacy can supply per transaction from four to two, which brings the service in line with other providers of test kits;
- People should register for a collect code before making a collection from a pharmacy. You can get a collect code online or by calling 119.
- If citizens do not wish to register for a collect code, a supply can still be made as an anonymous collection, but people should be encouraged to use collect codes wherever possible, and
- A reduction in the minimum recommended age for a person to collect LFD test kits to 16 years.
As well as collection of rapid test kits from local pharmacies, you can get rapid lateral flow test kits sent to your home using this link to the GOV.UK website:>>
Frequently Asked Questions
Our team are fielding a number of questions which are asked so regularly that we have added them to our website here. Our colleagues in the NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group also provide answers to frequently asked questions here:>>
Q - How long do I need to wait after having COVID to get a vaccine?
If you've had a positive COVID-19 test, you need to wait before getting any dose of the vaccine. You need to:
- wait 4 weeks (28 days) if you're aged 18 years old or over
- wait 12 weeks (84 days) if you're aged 12 to 17 years old
- wait 4 weeks (28 days) if you're aged 12 to 17 years old and at high-risk from COVID-19
This starts from the date you had symptoms, or the date of the positive test if you did not have any symptoms.
Q - How long does it take for my vaccinations, including my booster jab, to show on the NHS App?
A - Please allow 5 – 7 working days from the date of your vaccination until details appear on your records in the NHS App. Note that the surgery is not responsible for updating NHS App records, and patients should phone 119 with any queries about the NHS App and the COVID Pass.
Q - Which vaccine will I receive at the Crane Valley PCN Vaccination Centre?
A - The Crane Valley PCN clinics currently offer the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The Joint Committee on Vaccines and immunisation (JCVI) advises a preference for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the booster programme, regardless of which vaccine brand someone received for their primary doses. This follows data from trials that indicate the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response.
Q - Does the Crane Valley COVID Vaccination Centre take walk in patients?
A - Yes, but it is quick and easy to book a slot and there are plenty available. Submit an request for an appointment by completing our online form here:>>
Are you a Vulnerable Patient
Advice for people at higher risk – those who are 70 or older, are pregnant or have a condition that increases the risks from coronavirus.
Mental Wellbeing During Covid-19
COVID-19 means we are all experiencing an unprecedented situation. Everyone reacts differently, and we will have periods where we find it more difficult to deal with. It’s okay not to feel okay. Talking to someone can often help.
Visit NHS Every Mind Matters for advice, practice advice and support groups.
If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, it’s important to get support.
Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS) Service
Have you had ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 for 12 weeks or more?
Our colleagues in the PCS Service provide specialist support for people who have ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 for 12 weeks or more, known as Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS). Often referred to as “Long COVID" the most common symptoms include:
- brain ‘fog’
- pain in the joints or chest.
If you have had symptoms of COVID-19 for 12 weeks or more since your first diagnosis, please contact us.
We can carry out a series of tests to rule out other causes for your symptoms and, if appropriate, refer you to the PCS Service for specialist support and guidance.