COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

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Latest vaccinations news

 

Updated 22 September 2021

COVID booster vaccinations

The NHS has started delivering COVID booster jabs to people in eligible groups, as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in health service history moves to the next stage.

In line with new guidance set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI), the NHS vaccination programme will now invite eligible people, who had their second COVID jab at least six months ago, for a top up.

This includes:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

People will be offered the vaccine through a range of services. Primary care teams will vaccinate care home staff and residents. Health and social care staff will be directed to book their appointments through employers and members of the public will be invited to get their booster through a GP-led service and/or be contacted by the NHS to go through the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service.

You do not need to contact the NHS to arrange your booster vaccine; the NHS will be in touch when you become eligible for the jab, with around 4.5 million people in priority groups eligible for a booster over the coming weeks.

The JCVI advises a preference for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the booster programme, regardless of which vaccine someone received for their primary doses. This follows data from the COV-BOOST trial that indicates the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response.

As most younger adults will only have received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose by late summer or early autumn, the benefits of booster vaccination in this group will be considered at a later time.

This advice is separate from recent JCVI advice on a third primary dose people who are severely immunosuppressed. The JCVI will review whether this group requires a further booster at a later date, following completion of their three  dose primary course.

Anyone  who hasn’t already had their first or second COVID-19 vaccination can still get vaccinated at a walk-in clinic or by booking through the NHS booking service ( or call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week). 

Vaccinations for young people

Young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs).

In line with the recommendation of the JVCI, the Government sought the views of the four UK CMOs on the wider issues that are relevant to the health of children.

The Government has accepted the advice of the four UK CMOs and the NHS is preparing to deliver a schools-based vaccination programme, which is the successful model used for vaccinations including for HPV and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP), supported by GPs and community pharmacies. Invitations for vaccination have begun this week.

Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination healthcare staff prior to vaccination in line with existing school vaccination programmes.

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.

 

Where to get your jab in Oxfordshire 

Map

 

 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 
  • Janssen (US): approved 28 May 2021 

The vaccines are allocated nationally and local centres do not have any influence over which they receive. In Oxfordshire, we have been allocated Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

There have been reports of an extremely rare condition involving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots. 

As a precautionary measure, the JCVI has advised that it is preferable for adults aged aged 39 and under, 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.

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. Some 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

 

Vaccine safety

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
    • Headache 
    • 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.  Pregnant women are now advised to have the vaccine. It's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine as they've been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified. Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will discuss with you when you can be given the vaccine. Please watch the short video below for more information.

 

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. Please watch the short video below for further information.

 

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.

More information

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

Translated Materials

 

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Extra leaflets can be ordered from the Publications line at: https://healthpublications.gov.uk/