Covid-19 Vaccinations – Your Questions Answered

When will I get my Covid jab? (Do I need to book it or will the surgery alert me?)

All patients will be contacted according to priority lists. Please can we ask that you do not contact the practice as we will contact you when it’s your turn.

The priority order that patients are receiving the vaccinations is decided at a national level by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (often referred to as the JCVI).

JCVI agreed that a programme that combining clinical risk stratification, an age-based approach and prioritisation of health and social care workers will optimise both outcomes and deliverability.

  • The priority list groups are as follows :
  • 1 Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  • 2 All those 80 years of age and over Frontline health and social care workers
  • 3 All those 75 years of age and over
  • 4 All those 70 years of age and over Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  •  5 All those 65 years of age and over
  • 6 All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  • 7 All those 60 years of age and over
  • 8 All those 55 years of age and over
  • 9 All those 50 years of age and over

Will I get the jab at Frithwood or elsewhere?

Initially, our patients are being vaccinated at Rowcroft Medical Centre. Our Primary Care Network, made up of 5 local practices, came together to offer the Pfizer vaccination at this site, the only one suitable to meet the extensive requirements for giving this vaccine.

We are hopeful that the other vaccines, particularly the Astra Zeneca one, might be given at Frithwood. However, this is not certain yet and we encourage everyone to have the vaccination as soon as they are contacted and at whichever site is offered.

Is the coronavirus jab a bit like the flu jab? (i.e. does it hurt?) / Can I expect any side effects?

Some vaccine recipients may experience a painful heavy arm where they had the injection and may feel tired or have a mild fever for a couple of days. These are common side effects following vaccination. If you experience other major side effects please contact your GP surgery.

How has the priority order been drawn up?

Priority of who gets the vaccination is decided at a national level by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. We follow their guidelines. (See previous answer)

My mum is housebound and won’t leave the house. What will happen to her?

We are hopeful that all housebound patients will quickly be offered a vaccination before the end of January. A doctor or nurse will give the injection at their home, using full PPE during their visit.

I work in the care sector and visit lots of vulnerable people. Do I need to make the surgery aware of this or do I have to wait until I’m contacted?

If you are a frontline healthcare worker, it is useful for the practice to know this. You can probably get a vaccination from Gloucester Royal Hospital by registering yourself with their online portal.

Can I choose which jab I want? (Pfizer or Oxford)

Both vaccines give very high protection against severe disease, which is the primary aim of the first phase of the programme, and both vaccines have good safety profiles. The logistical challenges posed by the storage and distribution requirements for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine mean that in some populations, the AstraZeneca vaccine is the only vaccine which can be deployed rapidly, and without substantial vaccine wastage. JCVI does not advise a preference for either vaccine in any specific population. For operational and programmatic reasons, such as to enable more extensive and timely vaccine coverage, one vaccine may be offered in certain settings in preference over another vaccine.

How can I be sure the vaccines are safe?

These vaccines have undergone the same testing and quality processes that all medicines need to go through, in the UK with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We are satisfied that these vaccines meet the quality levels required.

Should I remind the surgery of any underlying allergies that might cause a bad reaction to the jab?

It’s always good that the practice always knows about any allergies you have. However, the situation regarding this has changed since the first vaccinations were given.

Initially, the Pfizer vaccine was not given to any patient who had ever had an anaphylactic reaction to any drug or food. However, further studies and monitoring confirm this has changed. Patients now only need to avoid the vaccine if they have had anaphylaxis after taking anything actually contained in the vaccine.

Can I decline the jab?

Yes. The vaccination is voluntary.

I’ve had coronavirus. Do I still need the jab?

Yes, studies show you still need vaccine to boost immunity levels

I’m a bit worried about vaccinations and would like to talk over my concerns with a medical professional. Who should I call?

We understand some people may have concerns. However, all information is available at the gov.uk and NHS websites.

This vaccination programme will be the biggest ever undertaken and we are keen to be at the forefront of delivery conjunction with our Primary Care Network and other regional centres.

Meanwhile, our doctors continue to offer healthcare services in as normal a way as possible with 600-700 patient contacts each week.

Hence, we kindly request that unless your concern is medically very important, you seek the information from one of those trusted sources elsewhere.

How long will the jab protect me against Coronavirus?

We don’t know as yet, but current indications are for a minimum of 6 months, hopefully for considerably longer.

Will I have a letter/certificate to say I’ve been jabbed?

Yes

Why has it been decided that the jabs will now be given 12 weeks apart, when initially, everyone was told they would be done 3 weeks apart?

These are relatively new instructions from the UK Chief Medical Officers. The new medical advice is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose, and should be given towards the end of this 12 week period.

While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long-term protection from the virus, you will still have significant protection at 22 days after you received the first dose. The new guidance crucially helps ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible with the view to saving lives and reducing pressure on the NHS.

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 normal guidance to protect those around you.

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current guidance