COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
Latest vaccinations news
Updated 10 May 2021
The NHS is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 40 over. Also to:
- people who will turn 40 before 1 July 2021
- people at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
- people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people with a learning disability
- people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
Find out more about who can get a COVID-19 vaccine
Updated 29 April 2021
The NHS vaccination programme continues to make strong progress. Thanks to the thousands of people involved, the NHS has now offered vaccines to everyone aged 50 and over as well as millions of health and social care workers, unpaid carers and people at higher clinical risk, and delivered almost 28 million first and over 11 million second doses.
You can see the encouraging picture in Oxfordshire in the table above.
Invites are now being sent to 42 to 44 year olds as we work our way down the age groups as quickly as supplies allow. You can book your vaccination via the NHS national system.
Local teams are also doing a great job of inviting people back for their second doses, which are really important to give maximum protection from the virus. So if you receive an invitation, whether for your first or second dose, please act on it as soon as possible so that you can join the millions of others who are helping to protect themselves and others.
Millions of people are already benefiting from protection from the virus and this has contributed to the dramatic falls in infections, hospitalisations and deaths from the virus we are now seeing. But NHS staff are still having to work hard to deliver the largest vaccination drive in our history, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it. So we need you to continue to play your part too:
- unless you have been invited before, please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you when it is the right time;
- please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to, and make sure you come back for your second dose;
- and whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.
The order in which people are being offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Vaccines approved to date for use in the UK:
- Pfizer/BioNTech (Germany) vaccine: approved 2 December 2020
- Oxford University and AstraZeneca (UK) vaccine: approved 30 December 2020
- Moderna vaccine (US): approved 8 January 2021
The vaccines are allocated nationally and local centres do not have any influence over which they receive.
During April the NHS is focusing on second doses, but appointments are still available for those in the initial priority groups who have not yet been protected.
People who had their first jab at a vaccination centre or pharmacy-led service should already have a date for their second while those jabbed by a GP will be called back.
Anyone aged 50 and over can still arrange their jab, as well as people who are clinically vulnerable or a health and care worker, who should contact their GP for an appointment.
The NHS is also inviting those eligible for a jab by letter and text, with some GPs also calling un-vaccinated patients personally to encourage uptake.
Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are delivering the life-saving jab at more than 1,600 sites ranging from cathedrals, mosques and temples to racecourses, sports stadiums, cinemas and museums.
Use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
Recently there have been reports of an extremely rare condition involving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.
As a precautionary measure while this is being carefully reviewed, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has now advised that it is preferable for adults aged under 30, who don’t have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative vaccine when it is their turn to be vaccinated.
For those in this age group who have had already their first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and had no adverse reactions, they should still come forward for their second dose when invited.
This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.
An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines but is being carefully monitored.
For people in older age groups, the JCVI has stated that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh the risks.
For further information go to GOV.UK website
Reasons to get vaccinated
Getting vaccinated is your best defence against the virus and will help protect you, your family and those you care for.
It’s not just about protecting you. Many people have conditions preventing them from developing an effective immune response to vaccination, which makes them highly vulnerable to COVID-19.
We do not know the extent to which the COVID-19 vaccines will prevent individuals from being able to transmit the virus. However, since they protect individuals from disease, we can be reasonably sure they reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.
The COVID-19 vaccine is helping to reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives, it will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.
Why Get Vaccinated? – Arun Joseph & Sandy Hayes
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety. Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.
Millions of people have now been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported. The vaccine cannot give you coronavirus.
If you would like to hear more about common questions around the COVID-19 vaccine and its safety, then watch the 'Facts about COVID Vaccines Webinar' below, run by Imam Monawar Hussein from Oxford University Hospitals.
Facts about COVID vaccines - Webinar
Receiving your vaccine
- The vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.
- While the injection can be given very quickly, patients receiving the Pfizer vaccine must wait on site for 15 minutes afterwards to check they do not experience a severe reaction.
- Patients are also urged not to arrive too early, to avoid queuing outside for too long.
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.
- 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
- Feeling tired
- General aches, or mild flu like symptoms
Do the vaccines contain animal products?
No, none in any of the vaccines approved contain any components of animal origin.
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 COVID-19 antibody.
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 separated by at least seven days.
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.
Should I still go to my vaccination appointment in lockdown?
Leaving the house for medical reasons, including a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, is allowed. So if you are contacted by the NHS to book a vaccination appointment, it’s crucial that you attend. Each service is carefully planned with strict safety measures in place.
If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to get pregnant
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to have a baby, tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. There is limited data on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will discuss with you whether you can be given the vaccine.
Will the vaccine effect my fertility?
There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of COVID-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data. There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact to fertility.
Once you’ve had your vaccine:
Please remember that you must still stick to the social distancing and hands, face space rules as this will go a long way to preventing the spread of the virus.
Patient information is available on the GOV.uk website:
- Information for eligible adults on COVID-19 vaccination see here
- Information for people who have had their first COVID-19 vaccination see here
- Information about COVID-19 eligibility and vaccine supplies - 'why are you being asked to wait?' see here
- Help and advice for women of childbearing age who are currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding see here
- Link to ICS level vax data stats see here
- Public Health England - Vaccination Guide - what to expect see here
- COVID-19 vaccination: guide for healthcare workers
- COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults
- COVID-19 vaccination: what to expect after vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for social care staff
- COVID-19 vaccination: why you are being asked to wait
Useful Translated Videos
- Why Get Vaccinated? – Arun Joseph (Tamil)
Extra leaflets can be ordered from the Publications line at: https://healthpublications.gov.uk/