We are planning to start our COVID vaccination programme this week. Initially we will be vaccinating patients who are in the over 80’s age group and care home residents. We will call eligible patients directly to book their appointment so please do not ring the surgery with queries.
We would be very grateful if you could understand that we may take longer than usual to process your problems and requests but we are available as usual for urgent symptoms and emergencies.
The NHS is now ready to deliver a vaccination programme for England. The programme is starting to be delivered in Oxfordshire. The Practice expects to receive the first batch of vaccines in early January.
When we have a confirmed delivery date we will contact eligible patients by phone to arrange appointments. This is likely to be at short notice. Please do not contact the Practice to seek a vaccine before then.
A prioritisation list based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has been produced. This will ensure the vaccine will be delivered to groups who will need it first.
Check this list to see whether you are eligible.
How you can help us
The timing of vaccine delivery is not yet confirmed, and when we receive the vaccine we must use it within three days. Appointments will be at short notice. Flexibility in travel plans would be appreciated.
Consider before January whether you would like to be vaccinated. When we contact you, let us know your decision as soon as possible. The FAQ (see below) provides information to help you make this decision.
Please make sure we have up to date contact details for you. It is most important we have your current mobile number. You can update your contact details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org use the subject line “Contact Details”, and include your :
FAQ (last updated 17/12/20)
How will patients be invited for a vaccination?
When it is the right time patients will receive a phone call/ to book an appointment.
We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we are asking people not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they get their letter.
Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe?
Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have signed off that it is safe to do so. The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the official UK regulator, have said this vaccine is very safe and highly effective, 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.
How long does the vaccine take to become effective?
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of your suffering from COVID-19 disease.
You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine
Why is it important to get your COVID-19 vaccination?
If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work.
Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can should protect you, and may help to protect your family and those you care for.
The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.
Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly?
Yes, the Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.
If, and when, further vaccines are approved we will publish information about known allergens or ingredients that are important for certain faiths, cultures, and beliefs
Who cannot have the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended for women who are pregnant. People who are suffering from a fever-type illness should also postpone having the vaccine until they have recovered.
How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
This is all included in the information published by the MHRA. Public Health England will also be publishing more resources for patients and professionals. People can be assured the NHS will ensure that they have all the necessary information on those vaccines that are approved by the MHRA before they attend for their vaccination.
Is the NHS confident the vaccine will be safe?
Yes. The NHS would not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until it is safe to do so. The MHRA, the official UK regulator authorising the use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has made this decision, 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.
What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for BAME communities?
The phase three study of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated a vaccine efficacy of 95%, with consistent efficacy across age, gender and ethnicity.
Overall, among the participants who received the COVID-19 vaccine 82.1% were White, 9.6% were Black or African American, 26.1% were Hispanic/Latino, 4.3% were Asian and 0.7% were Native American/Alaskan.
I’m currently ill with COVID-19, can I get the vaccine?
People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered.
Do people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?
Yes, they should get vaccinated. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is their time to do so.
Are there any known or anticipated 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. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.
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
- General aches, or mild flu like symptoms
As with all vaccines, appropriate treatment and care will be available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following administration.
How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?
You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 21 days apart. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of vaccine.
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.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu?
No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family and patients from flu this winter.