The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective.
It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

More information at Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Information for the public on the vaccination programme in NW London

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. It's being given to:

  • people aged 45 and over
  • people with a condition that puts them at high risk - (clinically extremely vulnerable)
    (More information about people in this group can be found here)
  • 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 coronavirus

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine and live in NW London?
Book your vaccine here

Residents aged 45 and over can now be vaccinated against Covid-19 at walk in services in mass vaccination centres across eight North West London boroughs: Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

The vaccination centres providing this service can be found here.

You are asked to bring proof of age, your name and address and your NHS number if you have it.

Please note that the walk-in services will operate on a first come, first served basis for residents eligible to be vaccinated and it is possible you will be asked to come back at a later date should supplies run out on a given day.

You can of course guarantee a vaccine slot by booking your appointment through the national booking system.

The walk-in services will go live from Saturday, 17 April across all our mass vaccination sites and will open 9am-7pm, depending on vaccine availability.

More information about how to book can be found here.


Having your second vaccine

It is important that you have both doses of your vaccine.

If your GP booked you in for your first vaccine they will also book you for your second dose 11-12 weeks later. Please note your GP may not call to book you in until close to the time your second vaccine is due at 11-12 weeks. We recognise this is causing concern and would like to reasure you, you will be booked in and thank you for your patience.

If you booked your first vaccine through one of our booking systems, you will be able to book your second vaccine for 11-12 weeks later through the national booking system the day after you have had your first vaccine.


Reports of very rare blood clots

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it's not yet clear why it affects some people.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

For people under 30 without other health conditions, it's currently advised that it's preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that's unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

More information 

  • The UK vaccination programme has been very successful, with over 30 million people vaccinated and 6,000 lives saved
  • There have been some reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots. Although extremely rare, there appears to be a higher risk in people shortly after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine doses given.
  • This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.
  • Although very rare, if you experience a severe headache, unexplained bruising, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination, seek medical advice urgently.
  • If you are over 30 or have an underlying health condition, the benefits of having the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccination far outweigh the risks and you should still get both the first and second doses, if not already.
  •  If you are under 30 and have already had the first AstraZeneca dose without any serious side effects, you should still get the second.

An information leaflet on covid-19 vaccination and blood clotting is available to download here.


When will it be my turn?

The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then. Please don’t contact your doctor or the NHS asking about vaccination.


Scams  

Please note the NHS will:

  • NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
  • NEVER ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please also see www.nhs.uk for more information.

You can also download a poster with your questions answered

Vaccine development

 

What COVID-19 vaccines are currently available?

 

The Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines have been approved for use in the UK and are now available in England.

 

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through.

 

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.

 

Currently the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 

How do the Covid-19 vaccines work? 

 

Vaccines teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases.

 

It's much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and treating them.

 

Once your immune system knows how to fight a disease, it can often protect you for many years.

 

More information on how vaccines work and why they are important is available on the NHS website.

 

How were these vaccines developed so quickly when it usually takes so long? 

The vaccines have been developed and trialled in the same way as other medicines and vaccines available in the UK but there are a number of reasons why they have been developed quickly compared to other medicines.

 

This includes:

 

  • The different phases of the vaccine trial were run at the same time, rather than one after the other, which sped up the clinical process.
  • The data from the trials was shared with the MHRA as soon as it was available, rather than waiting until the end.
  • Funding for all of the trials was available at every stage, so there were no delays often caused by seeking funding to continue.
  • Thousands of people were recruited to take part in the clinical trial very quickly, as it was a global effort and many people wanted to volunteer.

 

What is the difference between the vaccines that have been approved?

 

The vaccines that have been approved for use are classed as highly effective, even from just the first dose.

 

After one dose, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been estimated to offer 89% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given. The Oxford/AstraZeneca has been estimated to offer 74% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given.

 

Clinical trials showed the Moderna vaccine was 94% effective after two doses.

 

It is important to note that all vaccines approved for use in the UK are highly effective and offer the best protection against coronavirus.

 

Currently the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has
advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca. 

 

 
What’s going on with the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine?
 

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.
 

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca (AZ) vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.
 

This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.
 

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.
 

Currently the JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.
 

You can read more about the situation and the benefits vs risks of getting the vaccine here.

 

 

Vaccines trials

Who have the vaccines been trialled on? 

 

Both vaccines approved for use in the UK have been trialled on a variety of people from different backgrounds. This includes men and women of various ages and ethnicities, and those with underlying health conditions.

 

Further information on the vaccine trials can be found here:

 

Were the vaccines trialled on different ethnic groups? 

 

Yes, all vaccines that are approved for use in the UK have been trialled on people from a variety of different ethnic groups.

 

Out of the participants in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trial, 82.1% were White, 9.6% were Black or African American, 26.1% were Hispanic/Latino, 4.3% were Asian and 0.7% were Native American/Alaskan native.

 

Out of the participants in the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial, the 75.5% of recipients were White,10.1% were Black and 3.5% were Asian.

 

Out of the participants in the Moderna vaccine trial, 19.7% were Hispanic or Latino, and 9.7% were African American.

 

There is no evidence either of the vaccines will work differently in different ethnic groups. 

 

Further information on the vaccine trial can be found here:

 

Covid-19 vaccine – eligibility

 

When will I receive the vaccine?

 

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

 

The NHS.uk website includes an up-to-date list of who is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. Please visit nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

 

The vaccine will be offered to people aged 16 years and over. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

 

The latest Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on priority groups for the Covid-19 vaccine can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 

Do I have to pay for the Covid-19 vaccine?

 

No, the Covid-19 vaccine is free and is available through the NHS to eligible groups.

 

The NHS will never ask you to pay for your vaccine, share any bank details/passwords or any documents such as a passport or driver’s license.

 

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the police online or by calling 101.

 

If I’ve already had Covid do I still need to get vaccinated?   

 

Yes, you should still get vaccinated when you are eligible even if you have had Covid.

 

I’m suffering from ‘Long Covid’ should I get vaccinated?

 

If you are suffering from ‘Long Covid’ and you are eligible for a vaccination, you should discuss this with your GP or another healthcare professional who will be able to advise you on whether or not to get the vaccine.

 

Should I get the vaccine if I have underlying health conditions?

 

All people who are in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group and all those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease or mortality are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine. Whether you are offered the vaccine as part of these groups may depend on the severity of your condition. Your GP can advise on this.  A full list can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

If you've ever had a serious allergic reaction, you should tell healthcare staff before you are vaccinated.

You should not have the COVID-19 vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis) to:

 

  • a previous dose of the same vaccine
  • any of the ingredients in the vaccine

 

Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you. This follows reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.
 

You can read more about the situation and the benefits vs risks of getting the vaccine here.

 

How do I get a vaccine? If I’m vulnerable will the vaccine be brought to me?

 

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

 

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.

 

The NHS will contact you and invite you to book an appointment when it is your turn. You may receive a phone call, text message or letter from your GP practice or local NHS service. You may receive a letter from the NHS to book online or over the phone at a vaccination centre.

 

If you are vulnerable, the NHS is putting plans in place to ensure people who are eligible get the vaccine safely. If you are a care home resident or you cannot leave home, this will involve someone from your local vaccination service coming to you.

 

The latest Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on priority groups for the Covid-19 vaccine can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

I’m not registered with a GP, how will I be contacted?

 

Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery and see a primary care doctor or nurse for free. You do not need proof of address or immigration status.

 

Overseas visitors to England, including anyone living in the UK without permission, will not be charged for vaccination for COVID-19, and immigration checks are not needed to receive the vaccination.

 

For information on how to register with a GP, please visit www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-surgery/. You can usually contact them online or by phone.

 

I’m healthy, do I need to get vaccinated? / is the vaccine compulsory?

 

Even if you are healthy you should get vaccinated. Although the covid-19 vaccine is not compulsory, it gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 

I’m pregnant, should I get vaccinated?

 

There's no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you're pregnant. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19, but more evidence is needed before you can routinely be offered it.

 

The JCVI has updated its advice to recommend you may be able to have the vaccine if you're pregnant and:

 

  • at high risk of getting coronavirus because of where you work
  • have a health condition that means you're at high risk of serious complications of coronavirus

 

Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks with you.

 

The latest Covid-19 vaccine advice if you’re pregnant can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 

I’m breastfeeding, should I get vaccinated?

 

Although there is no data on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or breastfed infants, the vaccines are not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants.

 

The JCVI has recommended the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is also recommended by the World Health Organisation.

 

The latest Covid-19 vaccine advice if you are breastfeeding can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 

A Q&A specific to fertility and pregnancy can be found here

 

I’m trying for a baby, should I get vaccinated?

 

There is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility and you do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby Covid-19.

 

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College Midwives (RCM) issued a joint statement to provide reassurance around the misinformation that has been shared about the impact of Covid-19 vaccines on fertility. You can read the full statement here.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 

A Q&A specific to fertility and pregnancy can be found here

Covid-19 vaccine – timing

 

Why are you postponing second doses? / Why is there such a long gap between the first and second vaccine?

 

The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection after two weeks.

 

This decision will help us save lives by getting the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time.

 

Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for it at the right time.

 

For further information, please see the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s statement on prioritising the first does.

 

Covid-19 vaccine safety

 

How do I know the vaccines are safe?

 

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 coronavirus 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.

 

The vaccines were trialled in the same way as other medicines and vaccines available in the UK. The COVID-19 vaccine trials involved tens of thousands of people from a range of backgrounds to ensure that they are safe for everyone.

 

So far, millions of people have 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.

 

For more information, please see the NHS.uk website.

 

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.
 

You can read more about the situation and the benefits vs risks of getting the vaccine here.

 

Can having the Covid-19 vaccine give me Covid?

 

You cannot catch Covid-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught Covid and not develop the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.

 

The most important symptoms of Covid-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

 

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

 

If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test. If you need more information on symptoms visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/symptoms
 

Have people died from the vaccine?

 

So far, millions of people have 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 Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is continuing to monitor reports of adverse reactions.

 

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.

 

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.

 

This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.

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.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 

Further information on adverse reactions can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

Can I choose which vaccine I have?  

 

You will not be able to choose which vaccine you have. However, all the vaccines have been approved for use which means they are safe and effective.

 

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

 
Is it safe to have the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine?

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.

This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.

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.

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

You can read more about the situation and the benefits vs risks of getting the vaccine here.

 

Covid-19 vaccine side-effects

 

 Are there any side effects?  

 

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a few days, such as:

 

  • 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.

 

Although a mild fever can occur within a day or two of vaccination, if you have any other COVID symptoms (new continuous cough or loss of/change in your normal sense of taste or smell) or your fever lasts longer, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

 

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

 

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.
 

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Around four people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.

 

Further information on side-effects for the vaccines approved for us in the UK can be found on the gov.uk website:

 

 

Reports of very rare blood clots

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it's not yet clear why it affects some people.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

For people under 30 without other health conditions, it's currently advised that it's preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:

-a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse

-a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over

-a headache that's unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)

-a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin

-shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

 

Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness

 

How long after I have a vaccine until I am protected?

 

The MHRA have said these vaccines are highly effective even with just the first dose, 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. There is a small chance you might still get coronavirus or pass it on even if you have the vaccine.

So even if you have received a vaccine you still need to follow social distancing and other guidance. 

 

What happens if I have my first jab but not my second?  

 

It is important to get both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, as evidence from clinical trials shows this gives people the maximum level of protection.

 

Although the vaccines give you the majority of your protection from around two weeks after the first dose, it is still really important to get your second booster dose.

 

If you have already had a first dose of Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you should complete the course. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed.

 

Will the vaccines work with the new strains?

 

There is currently no evidence that the new strains will be resistant to the vaccines we have. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often develop into new strains, but these new strains rarely make vaccines completely ineffective. This is being continually monitored.

 

Once I’ve had my vaccine how long will it be effective for? 

 

It is expected that the vaccine will be effective for at least a year. This will continually be monitored.

 

Can I still pass on Covid-19 to others after having the vaccine?

 

There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

 

This means it is important to:

 

  • continue to follow social distancing guidance
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people

 

For further information, please see the gov.uk website.

 

Covid-19 vaccine ingredients

 

What ingredients are in the vaccines?  

 

Vaccines only contain ingredients that are essential to make them safe and effective. Any ingredients with potential to cause harm, for example, an allergic reaction, are listed even if present in such small amounts.

 

The vaccine ingredients for both vaccines approved in the UK can be found here:

 

 

Do the vaccines contain any animal or meat products? 

 

The approved Covid-19 vaccines do not contain any animal, meat or egg products.

 

The vaccine ingredients for all vaccines approved in the UK can be found here:

 

 

Do the vaccines contain any materials from foetal origins?

 

No. There is no material of foetal origin in either vaccine. 

 

The vaccine ingredients for all vaccines approved in the UK can be found here:

 

 

Do the vaccines contain any alcohol?

 

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine does not contain any alcohol. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a very small amount of alcohol (ethanol), which is less than what is found in natural foods or bread. This is not enough to cause any noticeable effects.

 

The vaccine ingredients for both vaccines approved in the UK can be found here:

 

 

Can the vaccines alter your genetic material? 

 

There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines alter your genetic material.

 

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine uses mRNA technology. This teaches our cells to make protein that triggers a protective immune response. The mRNA is broken down soon after it enters the body. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, where our DNA is kept.

 

Further information about the vaccines approved for use in the UK can be found here:

 

Vaccine hesitancy

 

I am not sure what stance faith leaders hold on these vaccinations.

 

The Covid-19 vaccines that have been approved for use in the UK have been endorsed by numerous faith leaders.

 

Some examples of support include the British Islamic Medical Association, which has consulted various experts about both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and has advised that eligible, at-risk individuals in the Muslim community should receive the vaccine.

 

The Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has also issued a video explaining that is important to have the Covid-19 vaccine to protect yourself and others around you.

 

The Sikh Council have urged Sikhs to safeguard themselves against rumours and misinformation and encouraged them to follow government guidelines and advice.

 

Faith leaders from the Church of England, Anglican, Methodist, Salvation Army, Baptist, Pentecostal, Evangelical and black majority churches have pledged their support to the ‘Give Hope’ campaign which aims to share information about the Covid-19 vaccine and dispel any misinformation.

 

Further information:

 

 

  • A video of the Chief Rabbi can be viewed here.

 

  • Information on the Give Hope campaign can be found here.

 

My family are saying they won’t get vaccinated, what should I do?

 

People are advised to make their own choice based on the information and facts from NHS and government organisations.

 

Certain health conditions mean that some people are at higher risk of serious illness or death due to Covid-19, and some of these health conditions are more common in certain BAME groups.

 

There is more of a risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 than suffering an adverse reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine. Although not compulsory, the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective and it gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

 

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).

 

So far, millions of people have 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.

 

For more information on the Covid-19 safety and effectiveness, see the NHS.uk website.

 

Second doses

I’ve had my first dose but don’t have a second appointment booked – how do I book it?

 

If you booked your appointment through the national booking service (online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by ringing 119), you should have booked both your first and second appointments at the same time.

 

If you don’t have a second appointment booked, go online to www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or call 119 to arrange one as soon as you can.

 

You may also receive a call from the national booking service if you had your first dose at a vaccination centre or community pharmacy but have not got a second appointment booked yet.

 

If you had your first dose through your GP or a hospital hub, they will get in touch with you to arrange your second dose appointment. You do not need to contact the NHS.

 

 

I can’t attend my second appointment now – what do I do?

 

If you had your first dose at a vaccination centre or community pharmacy and now can’t attend your second appointment, you can cancel or change your appointment

through the “manage appointments” section on the online national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine, or by calling 119.

 

If you had your first dose through your GP or a hospital hub, call them directly to rearrange.

 

I missed my second appointment – can I rebook?

 

If you had your first dose at a vaccination centre or community pharmacy and were unable to attend your second appointment, rebook it online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119.

 

If you had your first dose through your GP or a hospital hub, call them directly to rearrange.

 

It is important you rebook your second dose appointment as soon as possible. I need to change where I get my second dose – how do I do that?

If you booked your first dose online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by ringing 119

and you need to change where you get your second dose, you can manage your appointments on the online booking system or by calling 119.

 

Will I get the same type of vaccine for my second dose?

 

Yes, you will get the same vaccination for both doses. There is enough supply going to the right places to ensure that everyone can get their second dose of either Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca.

 

Your GP or the national booking system, depending on how you booked your first appointment, will have a record of which vaccine you received at your first appointment. The place you receive your second dose will also check that you are receiving the same type of vaccine before you are vaccinated. It is useful to take your vaccination card with you on the day as a reminder, but it’s not essential.

 

I had Oxford/Astra Zeneca for my first vaccination but I’m worried about the side effects – can I have a different vaccine?

 

If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you should complete the course. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed.

 

Do I need to take anything with me to my second dose appointment?

 

You don’t need to take anything with you, however your vaccine card can be a useful reminder of which vaccine you had at your first appointment, and can make the process smoother and quicker.

 

I’ve heard protection from one dose of vaccine is really good – why do I need the second?

 

The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection from COVID-19, everyone will need to get a second dose.

Videos

Dr Sahota explains about getting the Covid-19 vaccine and why vaccines are safe, effective and will save lives 

Dr MC Patel, a GP in Brent and Chair of Brent CCG, shares his experience of having the vaccination

How are COVID-19 vaccines being developed so quickly?

Dr Afsana Safa, a GP in Westminster, gives advice about the Covid-19 vaccine

Dr Rishi Chopra, a GP in Westminster, gives advice about the Covid-19 vaccine

Translations

Leaflets

  1. Covid-19 guide for older adults leaflets (translations, BSL and large print)
  2. What to expect after my COVID-19 vaccination leaflet (translations, BSL and large print)
  3. Covid-19 pregnancy leaflet (translations, BSL and large print) 

Videos

Vaccine information in community languages

NHS doctors, nurses and other frontline staff have come forward to help reassure communities that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and have been independently tested to the highest standards.

NHS staff have recorded messages in some of the most commonly spoken languages – apart from English – in the capital to help ensure messages about the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine reach all Londoners.

They explain how the vaccine is given, and give clear evidence that the vaccines work and are safe. It is hoped that the videos will be shared among friends, families, faith and community groups via WhatsApp, text message and on social media. You can view the script in English and download the videos via the links below.

The languages the videos have been produced in are:

  • Arabic
  • Bengali
  • Gujarati
  • Igbo
  • Nepali
  • Polish
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Yoruba
  • More videos in additional languages are in development.

    Dr Mohammed Abdul-Latif, Clinical Oncology Registrar at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, speaking in Arabic. Download here.

     

    Tazmina Ahasan, Discharge Coordinator at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, speaking in Bengali. Download here.

     

    Sangita Patel, clinical lead for therapies at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, speaking in Gujarati. Download here.

     

    Comfort Ekwueme, triage and assessment team leader at Tower Hamlet’s Community Services, East London NHS Foundation Trust, speaking in Igbo. Download here.

     

    Sumita Regmi, dementia specialist nurse at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Foundation Trust, speaking in Nepali. Download here.

     

    Kasia Kurkowiak-Jolley, apprentice nursing associate and Accident Department Assistant at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, speaking in Polish. Download here.

     

    Dr Harmandeep Singh, cardiology consultant at Ealing Hospital for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, speaking in Punjabi. Download here.

     

    Stefania Vasilescu, Maternity Assistant at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, speaking in Romanian. Download here.

     

    Dr Farah Bede, GP in Tower Hamlets, speaking in Somali. Download here.

     

    Lorena González, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at East London NHS Foundation Trust, speaking in Spanish. Download here.

     

    Vivian Motana, Healthcare Assistant at Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Trust, speaking in Swahili. Download here.

     

    Dr Muhiddin Ozkor, consultant cardiologist and clinical director at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, speaking in Turkish. Download here.

     

    Dr Fharat Raja, consultant oncologist at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, speaking in Urdu. Download here.

     

    Temitope Akinfolarin, Administrator at East London NHS Foundation Trust, speaking in Yoruba. Download here.

  • Information on vaccine scams in South Asian languages

Dr Sahota explains about getting the Covid-19 vaccine and why vaccines are safe, effective and will save lives (Punjabi)

Dr Navin Thakrar, a GP in Hounslow, gives advice about the Covid-19 vaccine (Gujarati language)

Local GP practice shares advice about the Covid-19 vaccine (Sinhalese language)

Staff from the HESA Medical Centre share advice about the Covid-19 vaccine (English, Arabic, Farsi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu languages)

Vaccination centres

For details on the locations of the vaccination centres in NW London, visit here