When will a vaccine be available?
The first, limited, deliveries of the vaccine started week beginning 7 December and the NHS is offering them to those who need them most based on the guidance from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations.
Who will get a vaccine?
According to the Governement's priority list, the vaccine will be offered to those at greatest risk from COVID-19 first, people over 80 years old and prioritised frontline health and social care workers. This is based on the guidance from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations which is available here. As more supplies of the vaccine or alternative vaccines become available it will be rolled out in phases to people aged between 80 and 50 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. People will be invited for a vaccine when it is their turn so please avoid contacting your local hospital or GP practice.
Who should have the COVID-19 vaccines?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert group, has recommended that the NHS offers these vaccines first to those at highest risk of catching the infection and of suffering serious complications if they catch the infection.
This includes older adults, frontline health and social care workers, care home residents and staff, and those with certain clinical conditions. When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.
Do you have the vaccine at the surgery?
We do not have the vaccine in the surgery and will not for some time
How can I book an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine?
Arrangements are also being put in place to offer vaccines from a number of different locations as more supplies and different vaccines become available.
Please be aware that these lines will be very busy and we ask for your patience when booking.
The surgery will call you to book an appointment
Where will I be vaccinated?
The designated sites for our locality are:
How many appointments do I need
For the vaccine to be effective you will need two doses and will need two appointments 11-12 weeks apart.
How do I prepare for my appointment?
Come alone if possible.
If you are able, please wear a face mask or face covering.
It will help us if you wear clothing that gives easy access to your upper arm.
We are trying to limit use of our toilets, so if possible, go before you leave home.
Do not bring unnecessary bags or belongings into the building.
Everyone who has been vaccinated must wait for 15 minutes afterwards, before leaving; so please allow for this additonal time.
About the types of vaccine
In the UK, there are two types of COVID-19 vaccine to be used once they are approved. They both require two doses to provide the best protection.
Am I at increased risk from COVID-19 infection?
Coronavirus can affect anyone. If you are an older adult and have a long-term health condition, COVID-19 can be very serious and, in some cases, fatal.
You should have the COVID-19 vaccine if you are:
- an adult living or working in a care home for the elderly
- a frontline healthcare worker
- a frontline social care worker
- a carer working in domiciliary care looking after older adults aged 65 years and over
- younger adults with long-term clinical conditions
Will I test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
The recently authorized and recommended vaccines do not cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
Who cannot have the vaccine?
The vaccines do not contain living organisms, and so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system.
These people may not respond so well to the vaccine. A very small number of people who are at risk of COVID-19 cannot have the vaccine — this includes people who have severe allergies to a component in the vaccine.
Women of childbearing age, those who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding should read the detailed information on www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.
I have already been ill with COVID-19, will I still benefit from getting vaccinated?
Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.
At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
Will the vaccine protect me?
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine.
The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people.
Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective — some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Will the vaccine have side effects?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short- term, and not everyone gets them. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. Although you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus.
Very common side effects include:
- having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1-2 days after the vaccine
- feeling tired
- general aches, or mild flu like symptoms
Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for two to three days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection. You can rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice 4 in the packaging) to help you feel better.
Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111
If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card if possible) so that they can assess you properly. You can also report suspected side effects to vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card scheme.
I have had my flu vaccine; do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?
The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week.
Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?
You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.
The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in your normal sense of taste or smell
If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test. If you need more information on symptoms visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/ coronavirus-COVID-19/symptoms
What do I do next?
After you have had the first dose you will need to plan to attend your second appointment.
It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection.
Keep your card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.
Make sure you keep this record card in your purse or wallet
What I do if I am not well when it is my next appointment?
If you are unwell, it is better to wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine, but you should try to have it as soon as possible. You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well.
Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?
The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus. So, it is important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.
To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:
- practise social distancing
- wear a face mask
- wash your hands carefully and frequently
- follow the current guidance www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Remember COVID-19 is spread through droplets breathed out from the nose or mouth, particularly when speaking or coughing. It can also be picked up by touching your eyes, nose and mouth after contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.
Vaccination, helping to protect those most vulnerable. If you need more information on the COVID-19 vaccination, please visit: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination
Further information and how you can help us
We will share further information with you as it becomes available. In the meantime, there are three things people can do to help:
Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine - we will contact you when it’s the right time to you to have yours
Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them
Please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.