Please do not contact the practice to ask for a COVID-19 vaccination. You will be contacted when you are eligible.
To make sure everyone gets the vaccine in a safe and controlled way, a prioritisation list has been established so the vaccine can be given to those who need it first.
We will contact you when you are eligible to receive the vaccine and provide you with information about location and date, so please don’t contact the practice to ask for a vaccine before then.
We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details
- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving license, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud.UK on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.
If you receive a text message from your practice it should start with:
This is a message for [name], date of birth [DOB], from [organisation name].
We are very busy at the moment vaccinating people against both COVID and flu and also supporting our patients with routine and urgent health requests so we are unable to answer questions about the Covid vaccination.
We have created a list of frequently asked questions which may be useful to you. There is also more information on the NHS website.
What vaccine for COVID-19 is currently available?
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available. Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the MHRA.
The Government has in principle secured access to seven different vaccine candidates, across four different vaccine types, totalling over 357 million doses. This includes:
- 40 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
- 100m doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
- 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has been approved by the MHRA but is not expected to be delivered to the NHS until Spring.
Is the NHS confident the vaccines are safe?
Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.
The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said that both of these vaccines have good safety profiles and offer a high level of protection, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products.
There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.
Will vaccines still be provided/can I still attend my appointment during the national lockdown?
Yes. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other vaccine, is an important medical appointment and so is within the rules wherever you live. Vaccinations will continue as normal in all areas through the national lockdown and beyond. If you have booked or are offered an appointment, please attend it.
The place that you choose to have your vaccine will keep you safe from COVID-19 through a range of measures including cleaning and disinfecting and having social distancing in waiting areas. Please also wear a face covering to your appointment. You should also take the usual steps to minimise your risk as you travel to your appointment.
Will the vaccines work with the new strains?
There is no evidence currently that the new strains will be resistant to the vaccines we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal. Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.
Why are you postponing second doses?
The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection after two weeks.
This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.
Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for it at the right time.
Why are healthcare workers amongst the first groups to receive the vaccine?
The JCVI have put patient-facing health and social care staff into a priority group because of their heightened risk of exposure to the virus. Healthcare workers are not the top priority though, and with limited vaccine available up to now, employers have been asked to offer the vaccine to the most at risk healthcare workers first. With many more doses now expected over the coming weeks, employers will be widening this out and protecting staff as soon as possible.
The NHS is experienced in vaccinating hundreds of thousands of staff quickly and safely – we do it every year for the flu vaccine – and all local NHS employers will be responsible for ensuring that 100% of eligible staff have the opportunity to take it up over the coming weeks and months.
How will healthcare workers get the vaccine?
The NHS will offer vaccinations using different models. For healthcare workers, most will get vaccinated either at their own work or a local hospital.
What about the Moderna vaccine? Why is this available in the USA but not here?
The MHRA have now decided – after extensive assessment – that the Moderna vaccines are safe and effective. The Government provisionally ordered several million doses of this vaccine ahead of it being approved, but we don’t expect Moderna to be able to make these available until Spring 2021.
Will you use the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine more because it’s cheaper and easier to store?
The vaccines that the NHS uses and in what circumstances will be decided by the MHRA. Both vaccines are classed as being very effective. The Oxford/AstraZeneca is easier to store and transport, meaning we can deliver them in more places, and we expect to have more doses available as they are manufactured in the UK, so we would expect that most people are likely to receive this vaccine over the coming weeks and months.