COVID vaccines

How will patients be invited for a vaccination?
As of 15 February, the covid-19 vaccine is being given to:
people aged 65 and over
people who are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
people who are at moderate risk from coronavirus (clinically vulnerable)
people who live or work in care homes
health and social care workers
More information can be found on the CCG’s website in the Frequently Asked Questions section https://www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk/Your-Health/covid-19-vaccine-faqs.htm
The NHS will contact people in the 65 to 69 age group, and people at risk aged 16 to 64 with an underlying health condition.

GP led primary care networks will focus initially on those with an underlying health condition because of the relationship between general practice and those with long term conditions, and continuity of care.

People aged 65 to 69 will be invited by letter to book an appointment at a large vaccination centre such as Sheffield Arena. If you’re aged 65 to 69 and want to wait to be called by your primary care network or who have already received the jab you do not need to respond to the invitation.

This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken and these are the largest groups to vaccinate so far and will take time to contact everyone. In the meantime, please don’t call your GP to enquire about a vaccine, the NHS will contact you when you’re eligible and we have a supply of vaccines.

When it is the right time people will receive an invitation. For most people, this will be in the form of a letter from either their GP or the national booking system. This will include all the information they need, including their NHS number. 

This is the biggest vaccination programme in UK history, which means it will take time to vaccinate all the eligible people. We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we are asking people not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they get their letter.

If you are over 65, clinically extremely vulnerable, clinically vulnerable or a frontline health and social care worker and yet to have the vaccine yet for whatever reason, it’s not too late to come forward. You can now book a vaccination appointment online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ or call the free number on 119.

Additions to the clinically extremely vulnerable list
On 16 February, the government announced they were expanding the number of people being asked to shield, that is those identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable to serious complications from covid.
Rather than being place on the shielding list as a person that has one type of health condition, people are being asked to shield based on a combination of factors including underlying health conditions, ethnicity, age, weight and deprivation.
All people now identified as extremely clinically vulnerable will get a letter from the government asking them to shield explaining what they need to do. This means they will be advised to stay at home as much as possible and offered help such as for food or getting medicines where needed.
This data will be shared with GPs and they will be prioritised for being vaccinated. If newly added shielded patients haven’t yet had a vaccine, please do not contact your GP about the vaccine, they will contact you when they have supply available.

Carers
The NHS and council are compiling a list of carers based on who receives the carers allowance or those known to SCC, carers centre and their GP.

Once a list of unpaid carers has been pulled together by the council and NHS, all those who are eligible adult carers will be contacted via the national booking system to receive an invitation to book vaccination through at large vaccination centre such as Sheffield Arena.

Adult carers who are flagged on their GP systems will also be offered vaccination via a primary care network.

We ask people to not contact their GP with vaccine query.

Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe? 

Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.  The MHRA, the official UK regulator, has said this vaccine is very safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. Vaccines go through several stages of lab tests and clinical trials before they can be approved for use.

There is continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.

Vaccines are designed to prevent people from getting serious infectious diseases. It is much safer for your immune system to learn how to fight illnesses through vaccination than by catching and treating them.

Who should have the COVID-19 vaccines?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert group, has recommended that the NHS offers these vaccines first to those at highest risk of catching the infection and of suffering serious complications if they catch the infection. This includes older adults, frontline health and social care workers, care home residents and staff, and those with certain clinical conditions.

When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.

Am I at increased risk from COVID-19 infection?

Coronavirus can affect anyone. If you are an older adult and have a long-term health condition, COVID-19 can be very serious and in some cases fatal.

You should have the COVID-19 vaccine if you are:

An adult living or working in a care home for the elderly
A frontline healthcare worker
A frontline social care worker
A carer working in domiciliary care looking after older adults
Aged 65 years and over
younger adults with long-term clinical conditions (see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/#:~:text=People%20at%20moderate%20risk%20(clinically%20vulnerable)&text=are%2070%20or%20older,have%20diabetes)

I am in one of the listed groups above, why do I have to wait?

This is the biggest vaccination programme in UK history, which means it will take time to vaccinate all the eligible people.

The COVID-19 vaccines will become available as they are approved for use and as each batch is manufactured. So every dose is needed to protect those at highest risk.

You will be called in as soon as there is enough vaccine available. Some people who are housebound or live in a care home and who can’t get to a local vaccination centre may have to wait for the supply of the right type of vaccine. This is because only some vaccines can be transported between people’s homes.

How long does the vaccine take to become effective?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of your suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe

We don’t yet know whether it will stop people from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk. So, it is still important that people continue to follow social distancing rules for the time being.

Why is it important to get your COVID-19 vaccination?

Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe

The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.

Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly/ suitable for Muslim and Jewish people?

Yes, the Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.

If, and when, further vaccines are approved we will publish information about known allergens or ingredients that are important for certain faiths, cultures and beliefs.

Who cannot have the vaccine?

The vaccines do not contain living organisms and are safe for people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine.

A very small number of people who are at risk of COVID-19 cannot have the vaccine – this includes people who have severe allergies. Women of childbearing age, those who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding should read the detailed information on www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.

People who are suffering from a fever-type illness should also postpone having the vaccine until they have recovered.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

This is all included in the information published by the MHRA, and Public Health England will also be publishing more resources for patients and professionals. People can be assured the NHS will ensure that they have all the necessary information on those vaccines that are approved by the MHRA before they attend for their vaccination.

Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus. So, it is important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

Practise social distancing
Wear a face mask
Wash your hands carefully and frequently
Follow the current guidance www.gov.uk/coronavirus
After I have had the vaccine will I still need to follow all the infection control advice?

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. No vaccine is completely effective and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. So, you will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

Practise social distancing
Wear a face mask
Wash your hands carefully and frequently
Follow the current guidance www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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