COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

Updated 22 November 2021

COVID-19 booster vaccinations

From today (Monday 22 November) COVID-19 booster jabs are available to people aged 40-49. 

The NHS will continue to contact people directly to let them know when it is their turn to get their booster vaccine through the National Booking Service.  People in this age group can also make a booking by calling 119, or use the NHS online vaccine walk-in finder to find a site which requires no appointment. The clinic finder shows which doses are offered at each location and to which age groups. Some people may also be contacted by their GP practice and invited to attend for their booster.

The booster jab is now available to all the following groups:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 40 years or over 
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all those aged 16 to 39 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

Since Monday 8 November, it has been possible for eligible people to pre-book a booster vaccine five months after their second dose. People will still get this jab six months after their second dose, but this change is speeding up the rate of vaccination as people can book a convenient appointment for the day they become eligible, rather than waiting. 

The vaccine booster dose will give you longer term protection and will help reduce the risk of being admitted to hospital if you get COVID this winter. Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to reduce over time, so getting your COVID-19 booster is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your friends. 

Second doses for 16 and 17 year olds

Most 16 and 17 year olds have now had their NHS COVID-19 vaccine. This is important protection for them and their families – infection rates for this virus are still high.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidance now recommends 16 to 17 year olds should have a second dose of vaccination between eight and twelve weeks after their first dose.  This can be booked via the National Booking Service or call 119 for an appointment. There are also walk-in options which you can find on the NHS online vaccine walk-in finder.

Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated can also go to www.nhs.uk/Covid-Vaccination or call 119 for an appointment to get their first jab or go towalk-in clinic .

You don’t need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to get your jab, but it will be quicker if you do, so take that information with you if you can.

There is information about walk-in services in Oxfordshire here

Vaccinations for 12 -15 year olds

More than one million 12 -15 year olds have been vaccinated against COVID-19, gaining extra protection for themselves and their families.

The NHS is offering the jab through schools across the country. Young people are also able to access their jab at hundreds of existing vaccine centres, including GP practices and community pharmacies. To do this, young people or their responsible adults can visit the National Booking Service or by call 119.  There are also walk-in options  which you can find on NHS online vaccine walk-in finder.

Oxford Health NHS FT has also published a new web page giving information for parents and young people about the COVID-19 vaccination. 

 

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 booster?

In line with new guidance set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI), the NHS vaccination programme is now inviting 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 40 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

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.

The booster vaccine will be offered at least six months (182 days) after a second vaccination and the NHS will contact people directly to let them know when it is their turn to get their booster vaccine. 

What vaccine will the COVID-19 booster be?

People will be offered either a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna, 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. 

When will I receive the COVID-19 booster?

Booster vaccinations have now begun. The NHS will contact people directly to let them know when it is their turn to get their booster vaccine. Once you have been invited to have your booster dose, you can book your appointment via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119.

Where will I be able to have my COVID-19 booster?

Boosters are being delivered through:

  • Local vaccination services co-ordinated by primary care networks and community pharmacies; and 
  • vaccination centres and community pharmacies across the country, ensuring people can access a booster dose regardless of where they live. 

The NHS will contact people directly to let them know when it is their turn to get their booster vaccine and outline options available. 

Will I get the Flu jab and COVID-19 booster at the same time?

The JCVI has also advised that the flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given at the same time). In our area, co-administration may be offered if you are invited to have your booster at a GP-led vaccination hub. If you book your booster online via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119, you will not be given the flu vaccine at the same time as your booster.

It is important people take up the offer of both vaccines when they receive it, so people are encouraged to get both vaccinations as soon as possible rather than waiting for the possibility of getting them together. 

I'm eligible to get a booster vaccine because I am a frontline health and social care worker. How can I get my booster?

Frontline health and social care workers in England are eligible to get the booster vaccine.

If it has been at least 182 days since you had your last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please book your booster vaccine as soon as possible through the National Booking Service by visiting www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine, or by calling 119. 

When you book through the National Booking Service, you will be offered appointments at large scale vaccination centres and community pharmacy sites near you. Please make sure you bring proof of your employment status to your appointment, such as your ID badge or a recent payslip. 

 

 

 

COVID Vaccination Record Queries

If you believe you have missing or incorrect COVID-19 vaccination data on your NHS app or on your GP record, call 119 and ask the agent to make a referral to the Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS). The service has been set up to resolve missing or incorrect vaccination records for people vaccinated in England who have a current NHS number and are registered with a GP practice in England.

The VDRS team will call you back within five working days to discuss your records.

However, please note 119 and VDRS call agents do not provide clinical advice and cannot help at this time with queries related to vaccinations received overseas. If your query is about personal information which is incorrect on the patient record (e.g. name, address), this will still need to be resolved by your GP practice.

 

Walk-In Vaccination Clinics

Please see here for the latest information on our #Grabajab walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics currently open. There is also information available on the Oxford Health FT NHS website here.

 

Vaccinations For Young People

You can find detailed information about the Oxfordshire vaccination programme for 12-15 year olds in schools on the Oxford Health NHS FT website here

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

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.

 

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

 

Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine

 

 

How do you receive the 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

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