COVID Vaccine Clinic FAQ and Information for Patients

Who is eligible for the vaccine?

We are following the national guidance on the most at risk groups. At present we are vaccinating:

  • Care homes and care home staff (Category 1)
  • Over 80s (category 2)
    Health and Social care workers (Category 2)
  • 75-79 year olds (Category 3)
  • 70-74 year olds (Category 4)
  • Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, previously known as “shielding” patients (Category 4)
  • 65-69 year olds (Category 5)
  • Clinically Vulnerable patients aged between 16-64 (category 6)
  • Unpaid carers (classed as those looking after disabled and vulnerable patients) and those on the carer allowance (Category 6)
  • Patients aged 60-64 (Category 7)
  • Patients aged 55-59 (Category 8)
  • Patients aged 50-54 (Category 9)
  • Patients aged 40-49 (Category 10)
  • Patients aged 35-39 (upper half of Category 11)

All patients in these categories will have received a text message invite and we are moving down the list, calling and sending out letters to those who have no registered mobile numbers. Please call your GP to book in if you fit the above criteria and wish to book in for a vaccination.

Some patients at the moment are not allowed to have the vaccination:

  • Any patients with a known serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to medicine or food (Pfizer only)
  • Anyone with active Covid-19 symptoms
  • Anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 within the last 4 weeks
  • Children under 16 for the Pfizer and 18 for the AZ vaccine
  • Previous covid-19 vaccine trials

Pregnant women are now allowed to have the vaccine and are recommended to have the Pfizer vaccine.

Please speak to your GP if you wish to discuss vaccinations with any of the above situations.

I fit the criteria but am not registered with you, can I have the vaccine?

We are currently working as a group of practices to vaccinate our patients. Patients registered at the following practices are part of our grouping and will be invited for vaccination:

  • Dr Ngan and Partners at the Vallance
  • Dr Chiu and Partners at the Vallance
  • Ardwick Medical at the Vallance
  • Ailsa Craig Medical Practice, Longsight
  • Longsight Medical practice, Longsight
  • Parkside Medical, Longsight
  • Dickenson Road Medical Practice, Longsight
  • Surrey Lodge Medical Practice, Victoria Park
  • Wilmslow Road Medical Centre, Rusholme
  • Urban Village Medical Centre, Ancoats
  • City Health, City Centre
  • New Islington Medical Centre, Ancoats
  • The Docs, City Centre
  • Cornbrook Medical Practice, Hulme
  • The Arch Medical Practice, Hulme
  • Manchester Medical, Moss Side

All NHS staff will be eligible as well working in these sites.

When will I receive an invite?

Please be patient, we receive the vaccination in batches of approx. 1,000 and may not be able to vaccinate everyone in our at-risk groups in one sitting.

Practices will make attempts to contact you either with a text message, phone call or even a letter. We have entrusted individual practices who know their patients best, to be responsible for contacting patients.

All patients in the above categories will have received a text message invite and we are moving down the list, calling and sending out letters to those who have no registered mobile numbers. Please call your GP to book in if you fit the above criteria and wish to book in for a vaccination.

I have not received an invite, can I just turn up for one? Or can my family member who is accompanying me just have one at the same time?

No, unfortunately only those who have booked after being invited can have a vaccination. We appreciate it can be frustrating to wait.

When are we going to run the vaccination clinic?

We are now running clinics every weekend at the Vallance and satellite clinics at Cornbrook medical practice and Ailsa Craig Medical Practice. We have also ran clinics at Manchester Medical and Parkside Medical practice, The Docs, The Arch.

Please note the Pfizer can only be given by the Vallance centre.

More recently we have been attending with medically equipped vans in local focal points such as mosques, supermarkets and so on.

We receive vaccines in batches and one particular type of vaccine (Pfizer), has to be used within 4 days of being delivered, hence the Pfizer clinics can be any time in the week, and invites can be very short notice.

Are you offering the Pfizer or AZ/Oxford Vaccination?

We are due to receive both. At present we are vaccinating as fast as we are able to receive the vaccines and you will be unlikely to receive a choice. Your vaccine will be whatever is available at the time.

We are aware some people have a preference for one or the other due to a variety of reasons. All of the doctors in these practices have agreed that both are good vaccines, having been approved for use after thorough trials and checks. Unless there is a medical reason for taking one or the other (serious allergy or patients under the age of 30 for example), we would always recommend vaccinating sooner rather than waiting for one or the other.

We are also awaiting the rollout of the Moderna vaccination and will shortly be updating our FAQs to reflect when we receive these.

Please note, if you are a vulnerable patient aged 16-17, Pfizer vaccinations are the only one available to you.

What is the difference between Pfizer and Oxford for me on the day of the vaccination?

After having the Pfizer vaccination, you will need to be observed for 15 minutes in the practice.

After having the Oxford/AZ vaccination, you will only need to be observed for 15 minutes if you have driven to the practice. If you have walked in, taken public transport, you do not have to wait. If you were driven to the practice by another person, you can wait 15 minutes in your car.

Both vaccinations have similar side effects which are outlined in the Covid Vaccination leaflet below:

Please note the Pfizer vaccination can only be given at the Vallance Centre. The AZ vaccine can be moved to other practices and is also given at local clinics.

Is there a way to check the latest on which clinics are where and offering what vaccines?

Please see our Facebook page for the latest updates on which clinics are being run, where and which vaccines we are giving out.

I am housebound or in a care home, how do I receive the vaccine?

We are relying on individual practices to reach their housebound and care home patients. There is an active plan for each practice and they will contact you shortly to arrange the vaccination if there is vaccine availability. We have had medical teams both from practices, from the district nursing team as well as the military medical teams give vaccinations. Please do not be alarmed if someone attends in a military uniform to offer you the vaccination!

If you receive an invitation for a vaccination at the Vallance or at one of our local sites but feel you cannot travel to or are housebound, please contact your own practice who will be able to discuss with you the options.

We have currently vaccinated most of our housebound patients but have a handful to be done. We will be planning for second doses shortly.

Please note only the AZ/Oxford vaccine can be given on a home visit.

Is the vaccination safe? Is it effective? What are the ingredients? What are the side effects?

We know there is a lot of uncertainty about this vaccination due to its rapid rollout. We respect patients’ opinions and their freedom to choose to have or not have the vaccination. However we also must note that there is a lot of misinformation and not entirely true or even completely false news and information.

Please have a read of the official NHS guide for patients on the vaccinations here which has a list of ingredients, side effects etc:

If you are unsure about the vaccination please speak to your GP for advice.

There has been lots of news articles about the AZ vaccine – Is the AZ still safe? I’m under the age of 40, should I take the AZ vaccine?

We know this issue which has been on the news has caused significant anxiety to patients. There are reports of patients getting blood clots after having the AZ vaccine. However, we want to make some points:

  1.    All vaccines can cause clots. With the AZ vaccine, there is a possible link to certain types of clots in the brain. This is still very rare.
  2.    The risk of clotting is higher in patients under 30, and reduces with age, whereas the risk of covid increases with age.
  3.    The risk of clotting is caused by a special type of immune reaction. This is very different to most clots like DVTs and PEs (leg clots and lung clots). If you have a history of clots please speak to your GP to discuss whether the AZ is suitable for you.

The JCVI (the UK’s vaccination authority) has noted that the risk of clotting is very low, risk similar to taking a long haul flight. Overall, the guidance is that the AZ is effective and the risk of the vaccine side effects is heavily outweighed by the risk of getting serious side effects from Covid.

The risk of covid and risk of clotting has to be balanced. At younger ages, the risk of clotting is similar to the risk of covid so the advice in younger patients is to have an alternative such as Pfizer or Moderna.

In the case of much younger patients, the risk of side effects of catching Covid dramatically risk reduces, and the risk of clotting is more finely balanced. JCVI have therefore released some guidance for 18-30 year old patients:

  1.    18-40 year olds with serious health conditions (category 4 Clinically extremely vulnerable or 6 Clinically vulnerable) have higher risk of getting serious side effects from catching Covid and it is recommended that they continue with a vaccination as soon as possible, including the AZ vaccine. This should be done after discussion with the patient’s GP to balance the pros and cons of any decision
  2.    18-40 year olds who are healthy but at risk due to being a carer or a healthcare worker. Given the risk of catching serious side effects of Covid is lower, JCVI recommends offering an alternative vaccination such as Pfizer or Moderna where available.
  3.    18-40 year olds who are healthy and not falling into any of the above categories, the advice is to have an alternative vaccination, where available.
    Please note advice for patients aged 40+ should remain the same as previously.

Please note NHS England recently released additional guidance to include 30-40 year olds as well.

Does the vaccine contain any animal products?

Neither the AZ or the Pfizer vaccine contain any animal products.

The vaccines have both been approved by the Muslim Council of Britain after consultation with the British Islamic Medical Association.

When will I be invited for the second vaccination?

We will invite patients around 10-11 weeks after their vaccination for their second.
This may be earlier with Pfizer dependent on deliveries of the vaccination and uptake.

Our first vaccinations were the 3 Pfizer clinics in 13th Jan – 24th Jan. For these patients we have been informed by NHS England that we will receive a second dose Pfizer jab on the 31st March, 5th April and 9th April. We will be sending out invites shortly to these clinics.

With the AZ vaccination, our recommendation is to have the vaccination after 10 weeks as the benefit of the second dose improves with more time. We do not recommend taking the second dose of AZ before 8 weeks as studies have shown reduced effectiveness.

I have received a letter about a Covid Vaccination Mass vaccination centre

There are some additional Nationally organised vaccination centres. In Manchester the nearest is the Etihad Tennis centre. Some local pharmacies are also offering this service.

These centres are running at the same time as the GP practice led vaccination centres, but they have different ways for us to invite you for the second vaccination.

It is therefore highly recommended that you attend the same centre for both your vaccinations. It does not matter which one you choose.

Please note the Mass vaccination centres only offer AZ vaccines. GP led vaccination centres can offer both the AZ and the Pfizer.

Do you know anything about proof of vaccinations for the purpose of travel?

We give out a vaccination card during the vaccination days and it is highly recommended that you keep the card and bring it to your second vaccination clinic. This will be a hard copy of your vaccinations.

The latest Government guidance advises that there will be an electronic covid vaccine passport and that this will be made available through the NHS app. Please see the following:

Please note that some countries are only allowing those who have been vaccinated to travel. The Saudi government has expressed confirmed that Covid vaccinations are required for the Pilgrimage (Hajj).