Covid-19 Vaccination FAQs

Covid-19 booster for everyone aged 50 and over this autumn.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has confirmed that everyone aged 50 and over will be among those offered a Covid-19 booster this autumn to help increase protection ahead of winter. For more information see gov.uk or visit our ‘Autumn Covid-19 booster and flu jab’ page on the information centre.

Infographic. Covid-19 is still here! Make sure you are up to date with your Covid-19 vaccinations. It’s not too late! Book your first and second Covid-19 vaccinations, or your boosters if eligible, at nhs.uk or calling 119.

How do vaccines fight off a virus?
Bugs that cause infections are fought off by the body’s immune system. The immune system finds the bug in your body and trains white blood cells to attack the bug and make antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that attach to parts of the bugs to make them easier to find and attack.
Once the infection is cleared, your immune system will be able to remember what the bug looks like. If the same bug re-enters your body, your immune system should be able to attack it much more quickly and effectively than the first time, before the bug makes you feel unwell. This is known as immunity.
Vaccines are a way of training the immune system to recognise a bug without having the infection first. After having the two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, your immune system can react and make antibodies against the virus. This way, if the Covid-19 virus enters your body, your immune system should recognise and attack it quickly.

 

Why should you get vaccinated?

It can be hard to understand the concept of a having a vaccine to protect you from disease but not infection. Think about a car and a seat belt. The seat belt won’t prevent you from having a car crash, but it makes it much more likely that you’ll be OK if you do.

The vaccine protects you against the consequences of something you don’t want – a viral infection – but it won’t stop it from happening.

So, after being vaccinated, you’ll still need to do everything you can to avoid the bad thing – getting infected – happening in the first place.

Remember to wash your hands in warm soapy water for 20 seconds, wear a face covering where necessary, stay 2m apart from people when you go out and, when indoors, have a window open to let in plenty of fresh air.

How many people have been vaccinated so far?

Nearly 150 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been given to people in the UK, and the number continues to rise every day. Figures on vaccination uptake for the UK will be published on a weekly basis on the PHE coronavirus data dashboard.

Should people who have already had  Covid-19  get vaccinated?

Yes, the MHRA has looked at this and decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.

If I am identified as a close contact do I have to self-isolate if I am double vaccinated or unvaccinated?

You’re no longer required by law to stay at home (self-isolate) regardless of your vaccination status.
You are more likely to catch Covid-19 if you live with or have stayed overnight in the household of someone who has the virus.
If you’ve had contact with someone who’s tested positive, it can take up to 10 days for your Covid-19 infection to develop. This means you could pass on the virus to other people, even if you do not have symptoms.
You can take the following steps to reduce the chance of passing Covid-19 on to others:

  • avoid contact with the person who has Covid-19 as much as you can
  • avoid contact with people people at higher-risk from Covid-19M, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, even if they’ve had a Covid-19 vaccine
  • limit contact with people you do not live with, particularly in crowded places, indoors or where there is not much fresh air
  • wear a face covering that fits snugly against your face and has more than 1 layer where you’re in close contact with other people, or in crowded places
  • wash your hands often with soap or water, or use hand sanitiser

Should there be a space between contracting Covid-19 and getting the vaccine?

Yes, the MHRA recommends that those who have already had Covid-19 allow a 4 week period before getting vaccinated.

About the Vaccination

What vaccines for Covid-19 are currently available?

The Pfizer/BioNtech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are now available. These vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care responsible for ensuring medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe. For more information click here.

How do the vaccines work?

The vaccines work by making a protein from the virus that is important for creating protection. The protein works in the same way they do for other vaccines, by stimulating the immune system to make antibodies and cells to fight the infection.

Will the Covid-19 vaccines stop infection?

A vaccine doesn’t eradicate the virus, but it does help protect millions from its effects. It allows the body’s natural defences to fight and ultimately defeat the infection. This is the first step to safeguarding ourselves, and our community, against this disease.

The MHRA has said these vaccines are highly effective but to get full protection people need to come back for the second dose – this is really important.

Full protection kicks in around a week or two after that second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you get yourself booked in as soon as possible.

Even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance.

Will the vaccines work with the new strains of the coronavirus?

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 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.

Do the current vaccines prevent transmission?

People are being vaccinated with newly approved vaccines, so it will take a bit of time before sufficient data is available to provide a clear picture of how vaccination impacts onward transmission. We do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. However studies have demonstrated that being vaccinated against Covid-19 significantly reduces your risk of being infected.

For how long will the vaccines protect people?

Because we are dealing with a new virus and new vaccines, it is likely to be some time before sufficient data is available to provide a clear picture of how long the protective effect of vaccination lasts. However, everyone aged 50 and over, frontline health and social care workers and those who are more vulnerable to the virus are being invited to increase their protection ahead of the winter months with a booster vaccination.

Where can I find information on the vaccination ingredients?

A detailed review of the vaccines and their ingredients has been provided by the MHRA and can be found at the following links.

Information on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is available on GOV.UK

Information on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information is available on GOV.UK

Information on the Moderna vaccine is available on GOV.UK

The British Islamic Medical Association has produced a helpful guide for the Muslim community

How long do the Covid-19 vaccines take to work?

Full protection kicks in around a week or two after that second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you book in as soon as possible.

Remember, even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance.

What happens if a person has the first vaccine but not the second?

Both vaccines have been authorised on the basis of two doses because the evidence from the clinical trials shows that this gives the maximum level of protection. Those who have been fully vaccinated are less likely to become seriously unwell if they contract the virus.

In addition, you will not be eligible for a booster vaccination until you have received both doses of the vaccine.

Vaccination Eligibility

Are children aged 5-11 now being offered the Covid-19 vaccine?

The NHS has now made both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine available for 5-11 year olds.

Experts have advised that parents of all children aged 5 to 11 years should be offered the chance to have their child vaccinated. Vaccination is particularly important for children who have health conditions that put them at high risk from Covid-19, as the benefits are greater.

Most appointments for this age group will be available at local vaccination centres or community pharmacies outside of school hours and are available to book through the online booking service or by calling 119.

For more information please read the governments leaflet on the Covid-19 vaccination for parents of children aged 5-11.

 

Are young people aged 12-15 now being offered the vaccine?

Chief Medical Officers approve vaccination of 12-15 year olds.

People aged 12 to 15 in England are now being offered both doses of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Healthy school-aged children aged 12 to 15 will primarily receive their Covid-19 vaccination in their school, with alternative provision for those who are home-schooled, in secure services or specialist mental health settings. Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought. For more information click here.

Parents can also book an appointment for their 12 to 15 year old at a vaccination site by calling 119 or visiting the NHS website. Take a look at this leaflet to help your child understand what to expect after their Covid-19 vaccine.

Are those aged 16-17 now eligible for their booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccination?

The Health Secretary has accepted the advice from the JCVI to offer the booster dose of the vaccine to young people aged over 16 in the UK. To find out more or to make a booking, click here.

 

Who is eligible for the third vaccine dose (not the booster)?

A 3rd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is now being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses. If you are eligible for a 3rd dose, the NHS will let you know when and where to have the vaccine. Find out more about the Covid-19 3rd dose for people with a weakened immune system here. The 3rd dose for people with a weakened immune system is not a booster dose.

About the Booster Vaccination

Who is eligible for the Covid-19 booster vaccination?

You can get a booster dose if you had a 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago and:

  • you are aged 16 or over
  • you are a frontline health or social care worker
  • you live or work in a care home

Some children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for a booster dose if either:

  • they live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • they have a condition that means they’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

You can pre-book a booster dose from 2 months (61 days) after your 2nd dose for an appointment a month later. Book online or call 119 to make an appointment. For more information click here.

Who is eligible for the spring Covid-19 booster?

Spring Covid-19 boosters are now available for people aged 75 years and over, those in care homes, plus people aged 12 years and over with a weakened immune system. To find out more please see gov.uk. To book your spring booster visit the NHS website.

Who will be eligible for the Autumn Covid-19 booster?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has confirmed that everyone aged 50 and over will be among those offered a Covid-19 booster this autumn under plans to increase protection against respiratory viruses ahead of winter.

Those eligible for the Autumn Covid-19 booster will be:

  • all adults aged 50 years and over
  • those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women
  • those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers
  • residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
  • frontline health and social care workers

The NHS will announce in due course when and how eligible groups will be able to book an appointment for their Covid-19 autumn booster.

People in these groups are asked not to come forward until further information is announced.

Which booster vaccines will be offered?

People eligible for a Covid-19 booster will be offered either a full dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or a half dose of the Moderna vaccine, following scientific evidence showing that both provide a strong booster response. This will be regardless of which vaccine the individual previously had.

Where neither can be offered, for example for those who have an allergy to either vaccine, the JCVI advise that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be used for those who received this vaccine for their first and second doses. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives in the UK and around the world.

Should there be a space between having the flu vaccine and having the Covid-19 booster vaccination?

No. If you are offered both vaccines, it is safe to have them at the same time.

We would always encourage anyone who is eligible but has not yet taken up their flu jab to do so as soon as possible.

Will flu vaccines be given to those eligible at the same time as Covid-19 boosters?

Flu vaccines and Covid-19 booster vaccines can be administered at the same time, but this might not always be possible. People who are eligible are encouraged to get both vaccinations as soon as possible when invited to do so, rather than waiting for the possibility of getting them together.

Vaccines and the Development process

How were the coronavirus vaccines developed so quickly?

With the incredibly urgent worldwide need to find a medicine to target the rapidly spreading coronavirus, the medical world joined forces on one common goal: to discover and develop a safe and effective vaccine to protect people from the coronavirus… and quickly. As this was a global public health emergency, governments were prepared to put in lots of funding to manufacturers, without any guarantee of success, but hoping that they would find a solution.

Barriers were lifted, obstacles removed and funding provided in record time. Add to this the great advances in vaccine technology and technological approaches to making vaccines, and the race was on. With everyone pulling together on a common goal, the vaccines were developed speedily and in line with all safety and effectiveness checks at every stage.

Was the approved regulatory process for new medicines followed?

It’s important to note that the trials of the coronavirus vaccines have been run just the same as for any other vaccine. Phase one, phase two and phase three of rigorous and strict clinical trial processes were conducted, albeit at record speed, thanks to everyone working together.

Time in the usually lengthy process of developing a new medicine has been saved by many factors mentioned already but also due to recruiting trial participants in advance. The moment the study protocol was in place, the Ethics Committee was ready to review and the vaccine trial participants were signed up to enter the trials. Great collaboration and planning for one common goal.

But the number of people in the trials was the same as you would expect for any other vaccine. On top of that, the safety assessments and the assessments of effectiveness at the end of the trials were the same – it’s the same regulators doing the same job.

How were the vaccines ready to roll out as soon as regulatory approval was received?

The manufacturers had begun large-scale production of vaccines while they were still in the development stage in trials.

This was a massive commitment because, if the vaccines had not passed all the strict regulations during testing, the companies would have had to destroy what they had manufactured.

As it turned out, the vaccines were approved and given authorisation for use, so distribution was a speedy process as the manufacturing (in line with the trial protocol) was ready to be rolled out.

Vaccination Appointments

How do I book and appointment for my 5-11 year olds vaccination?

Most appointments for this age group will be available at local vaccination centres or community pharmacies outside of school hours and are available to book through the online booking service or by calling 119.

How will the Covid-19 vaccination be delivered in schools?

You can visit the Gov.UK website for information on how the Covid-19 vaccination programme will be carried out in schools.

Where can I find a vaccination centre near me?

When you book your vaccination you will be able to select from a list of centres close to where you live.

In some areas there is also the opportunity to attend a walk-in centre, you do not have to book an appointment you can just turn up. Click here to find out if there are any walk-in centres near you.

What will happen at your appointment?

Your appointment should take 30 to 45 minutes and will include:

  • being checked in using your booking reference numbers
  • answering questions about your medical history
  • having the vaccination

You may be asked to wait for around 15 minutes after having the vaccination to ensure you are ready to go home.

Remember, even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance.

Can people choose which vaccine they want?

No. Any vaccines that the NHS provides will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s strict tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while to get vaccinated.

If you have received an invitation but haven’t booked an appointment

You may get a phone call from the NHS Immunisation Management Service. This call will be from 0300 561 0240. This will be a reminder to book your Covid-19 vaccination appointments. The person you speak to will ask if you need any help or support. They will not call you to book appointments over the phone.

Booking your online appointment

Follow the instructions provided when you’re invited to book your vaccination appointment. You will be asked for your NHS number.

If you do not know your NHS number you can still book an appointment.

How do I book my second vaccination?

If you have not been offered your second vaccination 12 weeks after your first, don’t worry – this doesn’t reduce your immunity. Call the vaccination centre that provided your first dose to book your second appointment.

Can I get a Covid-19 vaccination privately?

No. Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112.

Vaccine Safety

Is the vaccine safe for 5-11 year olds?

Experts have advised that parents of all children aged 5 to 11 years should be offered the chance to have their child vaccinated.

The vaccine has been tested to make sure it is as safe as possible.

For more information on the Covid-19 vaccination for 5-11 please read the governments leaflet. In addition, you can also find a leaflet on What to expect after your child’s Covid-19 vaccination here.

Is the vaccine safe for 12-15 year olds?

Trials have proved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations to be safe and effective for those aged 12 and over. For more information visit the NHS website

Will the vaccine change your DNA?

No. It doesn’t change the body’s DNA or “wrap itself into your system”.

The mRNA vaccine introduces a molecule into the body which instructs cells to build a disease-specific marker (antigen).

This marker is then recognised by the immune system as “real Covid” which produces antibodies to fight the real thing.

mRNA vaccines are generally viewed positively, as they don’t involve using part of a virus, like some traditional vaccines.

Was the approved regulatory process for new medicines followed?

Yes, the strict regulatory process was followed to the letter, just as with any other vaccine. The difference was that, thanks to everyone working together, it was done at record speed.

It wouldn’t have happened if the manufacturers hadn’t been prepared to take the risk, and if they hadn’t looked ahead and recruited trial participants in advance. The number of people in the trials was the same as you would expect for any other vaccine. And the safety and effectiveness assessments were the same too.

Without all these factors – the speed, the planning and the collaboration – we would not now have vaccines to protect us against the effects of coronavrius.

Is the NHS confident the Covid-19 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, has said these vaccines are 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.

The MHRA recommends that those with severe allergies to the ingredients of the vaccines should not receive them. Any person with a history of immediate-onset anaphylaxis to the ingredients contained in the vaccines should not receive them. A second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination.

How effective are the vaccines? 

The MHRA has said these vaccines are highly effective but to get full protection people need to come back for the second dose – this is really important.

To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care advises that the first and second doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines should be scheduled up to 12 weeks apart.

Are there any side-effects?

As with all medicines, side-effects can occur and are all captured during the clinical trial process, and are considered by the MHRA when assessing new medicines for use.

The same rigorous process has been followed for the Covid-19 vaccines.

Most side-effects of the Covid-19 vaccines are mild and transient and should not last longer than a week; usually, if they do occur, it’s within 24-48hrs, and can include:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

More information on possible side-effects can be found on NHS.UK 

Note:

If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection.

If your symptoms get worse, or you are worried, call 111.

All patients will be provided with information on the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side-effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the MHRA.

You can also use the MHRA’s Yellow Card website to report any side-effects here.

I’m part of the Black African and Caribbean community – can you reassure me that the vaccine is safe?
What about the allergic reactions that have been reported?

These vaccines are safe and effective for the vast majority of people – they have been tested on tens of thousands of people and assessed by experts.

Any person with a history of immediate-onset anaphylaxis to the ingredients contained in the vaccines should not receive them. A second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination.

Everybody will also be screened for potential allergic reactions before getting vaccinated. All vaccinators will have the training they need to deal with any rare cases of adverse reactions and all venues will be equipped to care for people who need it – just as with any other vaccine.

Are there any people who shouldn’t have the vaccine?

People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated. Please check your allergy against the list of ingredients and ensure you tell your vaccinator at your appointment.

The MHRA has updated its guidance to say that the Covid-19 vaccines have not been tested in pregnancy, so until more information is available, those who are pregnant should not routinely have the Covid-19 vaccine. For those who are breastfeeding, the MHRA states they can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

Why are people under 40 being offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine?

Given the (albeit extremely rare) slightly higher incidence of concurrent thrombosis (blood clots) and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) following the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in younger people, on 7 May 2021 the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) issued updated advice based on the available data on the current epidemiology, benefit-risk profile by age, modelling predictions on future disease trends and the current forecast on vaccine supply.

The JCVI advises that, in addition to those under 30, unvaccinated adults aged 30 to 39 who are not in a clinical priority group at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease, should be preferentially offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Blood clots occur naturally and are not uncommon. According to Thrombosis UK, around 1 in 1,000 people in the UK develops a blood clot each year. In fact, Covid-19 itself causes an increased risk of blood clotting – 7.8% of coronavirus patients suffer blood clots on the lungs, while 11.2% will suffer deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs.

No medicine is risk-free. The risk – approximately one in one million – of dying from a blood clot following the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been received by nearly 200 million people worldwide, is incredibly small. By contrast, Covid-19 kills one in eight people who are infected over the age of 75, and one in 1,000 infected in their 40s who develop symptoms.

Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.

Do the vaccines work on people taking immune suppressants?

Although the vaccine was not tested on those with very serious immunological conditions, the vaccine has been proven to be very effective and it is unlikely that the vaccine will have no effect at all on these individuals.

Information on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is available on GOV.UK.

Information on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is available on GOV.UK

Information on the Moderna vaccine is available on GOV.UK

There may be a very small number of people with very complex or severe immunological problems who can’t make any response at all – but the vaccine should not do any harm to these individuals. Individuals meeting these criteria may want to discuss the vaccine further with their specialist doctor.

The Vaccination and Pregnancy

Is it safe to have the flu vaccine during pregnancy?

Yes, the NHS recommend that all pregnant women have the flu vaccine. It is safe to receive the flu vaccine during any stage of pregnancy, it will protect you and your baby. For more information, watch Dr Fatima Hussain in the video below.

Should I avoid pregnancy after the vaccination?

No. In its advice to women of childbearing age, the NHS says you do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby Covid-19. The government’s guidance also states there is no advice to avoid pregnancy after having the Covid-19 vaccination.

Can I have the vaccine if I’m pregnant?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered the Covid-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

Read the government’s guidance for women who are of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding

Can I be vaccinated if I’m breastfeeding?

The MHRA advises that Covid-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, so it is possible for breastfeeding mothers to be vaccinated.

Watch the video below to hear health professionals answer some common questions around the Covid-19 vaccine on pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Will the vaccine affect my fertility?

There is no evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccines will affect your fertility, nor do they adversely affect anyone undergoing fertility treatment. Read the statement from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives here.

Watch the video below to hear health professionals answer some common questions around the Covid-19 vaccine on fertility and women’s health.

The Vaccination and my religion

Do the vaccines include any parts from foetal or animal (including porcine) origin?

There is no material of foetal or animal (including porcine) origin in the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines. All ingredients are published in healthcare information on the MHRA’s (the official UK regulator) website.

Information on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is available on GOV.UK

Information on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is available on GOV.UK

Information on the Moderna vaccine is available on GOV.UK

Are the Covid-19 vaccines compatible with my religion?

The British Islamic Medical Association has considered all varieties of the vaccine and recommends that Muslims have the vaccine.

The Muslim Council of Britain is also recommending the vaccine and Imams across the UK have confirmed that all the varieties of the vaccine are halal.

The British Sikh community has also supported the vaccine, as have Hindu leaders.

The Church of England says that all clinically recommended vaccinations can be used with a clear conscience.

The Catholic church has said that the vaccine, including the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, is acceptable and can be morally justified.

More than 80 Jewish doctors in the UK have signed a letter to confirm that the Pfizer vaccine does not contain any ingredients that are not kosher.

The Pfizer, Oxford and Moderna vaccines have all been purchased by the Israeli government.

Orthodox Jewish groups including the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America have also encouraged their community members to get vaccinated.

Delivering the Vaccine

How is the NHS delivering vaccines?

To make it as easy as possible for those who are eligible to access a vaccination safely, hundreds of Local Vaccination Services have been set up, with more due to start in the coming weeks.

These community and primary care-led services will vary based on local and logistical considerations but include GP practices, local authority sourced buildings, pharmacies and other local facilities, as well as roving teams who have started delivering it in care homes and to people with in-home care.

The NHS has also established vaccination centres, where large numbers of people will be able to go and get vaccinated. These could be in local venues such as sports stadiums, racecourses and concert venues that offer the physical space to deal with large numbers of people while maintaining social distancing.

Will vulnerable people have to travel to get the vaccine or does it come to them?

We are planning a mixed approach to ensuring that people who are eligible can get the vaccine safely. For care home residents and those who can’t leave home, this will involve roving community teams coming to them in their places of residence.

If you are a carer for someone, how do you register the fact so you can also get vaccinated and continue to care for them?

The guidance states that other groups at higher risk, including those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination alongside these groups. Local authorities are working with Clinical Commissioning Group colleagues to map all health and social care staff, including domiciliary carers, to ensure effective communication with all eligible groups.

If you are a resident of Berkshire, but are registered at a surgery in another county, who deals with your vaccination?

The programme is based on which surgery you are registered with, not your home address.

How does your GP know whether you took up the NHS offer or not?

Patient records will be updated so they know who is receiving their vaccine through the different schemes.

Stay informed 

One of the most important things people can do to support the vaccine effort is to make sure they, and the people around them, are fully equipped with the latest NHS vaccine advice.

People can keep up to date through the official NHS website (www.nhs.uk) and if a family member, close friend or acquaintance is offered their vaccine, encourage them to take it and make sure they have access to official advice.

The public should watch out for Covid-19 vaccine email scams. People can report suspect emails they’ve received but not acted upon to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS), by forwarding them to report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you have provided personal or financial details, or transferred any money as a result of a suspicious email, you should report what has happened to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or through the Action Fraud website.