COVID-19 Vaccine – Frequently Asked Questions

How is the COVID-19 vaccination being delivered in Kirklees?

The NHS has well-established routes for delivering vaccinations.  Our planning for the COVID-19 vaccination programme has built on these.  The NHS will be delivering the vaccine in three main ways:

  • Hospital hubs
  • Local vaccination services – provided by groups of GPs or pharmacies
  • Large-scale vaccination centres – large sites, set up for high volumes of people.

In Kirklees, we have a vaccination hub at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary as well as GP-led centres in:

  • Batley
  • Dewsbury town centre
  • Holme Valley
  • Huddersfield town centre
  • Kirkburton

In addition, we have started to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination to care home residents and staff, and to patient-facing NHS staff in Kirklees.

As more supplies of the vaccine become available, we will be able to offer vaccinations to more people and at other locations including a large-scale vaccination centre at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield, community pharmacies and in people’s homes, if they can’t come to us.

How will patients be invited for a vaccination?

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

As more supplies of vaccine become available we will be able to offer a greater number of vaccinations.

When it’s the right time, people will receive an invitation to come forward. You will be invited to have the vaccination by letter, text or phone call from your GP practice or NHS.

We know people are eager to get protected but please do not contact your GP practice or NHS, we will contact you.

Before you can be offered the vaccine, you will  need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can register with a GP if you do not have one. You do not need an NHS number to do this, by registering one will be generated for you if you do not already have one.

Why have I been invited to attend a vaccination centre outside Kirklees? 

The NHS has opened a number of large-scale vaccination centres including one at the Etihad Tennis Club in Manchester. Invitations to book an appointment are being sent to people aged 80 or over who have not yet been vaccinated and live up to 45 minutes drive from a centre.  This may include people who live in Kirklees.

If you do not want to/are unable to travel, you will be able to access a vaccination closer to home when they become available.

Four large-scale vaccination centres are planned for West Yorkshire, including one at The John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.  Vaccinations are also being delivered by groups of GP practices and will be available at a number of community pharmacies in Kirklees soon.

My neighbour has had the vaccine but I have not been contacted

GP practices are working through their patient lists and offering appointments as soon as vaccine is available, in accordance with national guidance on priority groups.

We know people are eager to get protected but GP practices are very busy so please do not contact them about the vaccine.   You will receive an invitation to come forward when it is your turn.

Why do I have to wait for my vaccination?

The national COVID-19 vaccination programme is still at an early stage.

NHS is offering vaccinations to those at greatest risk from COVID-19 first, in line with recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI).

The first groups being offered vaccinations are care home residents and workers, frontline health and social care staff and people aged 80 and over.

As more vaccine becomes available, we will be able to offer appointments to a wider group of people.  For more information , please refer to our publication ‘COVID-19 Vaccination: Why do I have to wait’ available  here

I work for the NHS / in social care, when will I receive the vaccination?

Vaccination of patient-facing health and social care workers will be co-ordinated through your employer.   You will receive an invitation to attend for your vaccine as soon as possible and in line with national guidance on priority groups.

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

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

  • people aged 80 and over
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers at high risk

You will also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can register with a GP if you do not have one.

The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.

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

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine 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.

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.

So far, thousands 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.

To find out more about the vaccines approved in the UK, see:

 

COVID-19 vaccine ingredients

The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.

Can people pick what vaccine they want? 

No. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while.

Can I have the vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

There’s no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. But more evidence is needed before you can be routinely offered the vaccine.

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 serious complications of coronavirus
  • if you’re breastfeeding

Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccine with you.

You do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

Read the latest COVID-19 vaccine advice if you’re pregnant, may get pregnant or are breastfeeding on GOV.UK

Should people who have had COVID-19 be vaccinated?

Yes, they should get vaccinated.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

It’s given as 2 doses.

The latest evidence suggests the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine provides protection for most people for up to 3 months.

As a result of this evidence, when you can have the 2nd dose has changed. This is also to make sure as many people can have the vaccine as possible.

The 2nd dose was previously 21 days after having the 1st dose, but has now changed to 12 weeks after.

Why are second doses being postponed?

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. This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives. Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for their second vaccination at the right time.

Are there any people who shouldn’t have the vaccine?

People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated. The MHRA has updated its guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. Similarly, advice for women planning a pregnancy has also been updated and there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after having the vaccination.

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. The guidance says this should be at least four weeks after the start of symptoms or from the date of a positive Covid-19 test.

I have been told to pay for a vaccine 

The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a crime.

The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details.

At the moment we are also not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine. Anyone offering this now is committing a crime.

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.

Can I get a vaccine privately?

No. Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS for the moment. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112.

Will the vaccines work with the new strain?

There is no evidence currently that the new strain will be resistant to the vaccines we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal. Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.

Do the vaccines include any parts from foetal or animal origin?

There is no material of foetal or animal origin in either vaccine currently in use in Kirklees. All ingredients are published in the healthcare information on the MHRA’s website.

For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-pfizer-biontechvaccine-for-covid-19

For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-covid-19-vaccineastrazeneca

The British Islamic Medical Association has produced a helpful guide for the Muslim community which can be found at https://britishima.org/pfizer-biontech-covid19-vaccine/

Can the vaccine alter your genetic material?

There is no evidence to suggest that individual genetic material will undergo an alteration after receiving the vaccine.

The British Islamic Medical Association (IBMA) position statement on the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

After consulting Muslim health care professionals, Islamic scholars and Muslim umbrella bodies from across the UK, the IBMA has issued a position statement on the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine stating that they recommend the vaccine to ‘all eligible at-risk individuals in Muslim communities’.

Read about the Council For Mosques Position on COVID-19 Vaccines

Where can I find more information?

The most up to date information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the NHS website.

The BBC has produced some information about coronavirus vaccines in five South Asian languages.

 

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