You may have heard the announcement on the news to say people are starting to be invited for the Covid-19 vaccine in the group 3, over 70s and Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.
We share your excitement, but please be aware we still haven’t completed all of groups 1 and 2. We had a very successful clinic this weekend and the vaccinating continues through this week too.
We have an obligation to ensure our vulnerable patients are vaccinated before we move on to the next groups.
Please don’t call us to ask about your vaccine- it means patients with a medical need are unable to get through to us.
We know not everyone has access to the internet, so please do share this message with family and friends locally.
Thank you again for your patience. We are going as fast but as safely as we can.
Front line Health and Social Care Workers
We are aware that frontline health and social care workers are priority 2 for covid vaccination at the present time. We don’t yet know when, or how, these workers will be called forward for vaccination.
It will be useful for us to know who the health and social care workers are amongst our patients.
please email your employment details to us at: [email protected] – please include your profession and either your work email address or your employer contact details as we may need to verify your details.
We would prefer it if you did not telephone Reception to provide this information as this prevents patients who need to access the surgery from getting through on the phones.
When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be in the form of a letter either from their GP or the national booking system; this will include all the information they need, including their NHS number.
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.
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, have 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. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.
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.
Why is it important to get your COVID-19 vaccination?
If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work.
Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can, should protect you and may help to protect your family and those you care for.
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?
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 COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended for women who are pregnant.
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.
Is the NHS confident the vaccine will be safe?
Yes. The NHS would not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until it is safe to do so. The MHRA, the official UK regulator authorising licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has made this decision, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process.
What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for BAME communities?
The phase three study of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated a vaccine efficacy of 95%, with consistent efficacy across age, gender and ethnicity. Overall, among the participants who received the COVID-19 vaccine 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.
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, so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is their time to do so.
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.
Very 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
- General aches, or mild flu like symptoms
As with all vaccines, appropriate treatment and care will be available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following administration.
How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?
You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 21 days apart. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of vaccine.
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 normally separated by at least a week.
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.
Where will people get the vaccine in Devon?
Dozens of NHS trusts will act as hospital hubs where patients and staff can be vaccinated on site. These hubs are where we know the Pfizer vaccine can be stored safely. There are 50 hubs in the first wave and more hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as vaccine supply increases and the programme ramps up.
Local Vaccination Services
To make it as easy as possible for those who are eligible to access a vaccination safely, Local Vaccination Services will also be available. These community and primary care-led services will include GP practices, local authority sourced buildings or other local facilities and as vaccine supply increases in the New Year, local pharmacies too.
The NHS will also establish vaccination centres, where large numbers of people will be able to go and get a jab. The majority will open in the New Year when supply of the vaccine increases. They are being set up in local venues such as sports stadiums and concert venues that offer the physical space to deal with large numbers of people while maintaining social distancing.
Locally University Hospitals Plymouth is the first hub site and started to administer vaccines on the 8 December 2020. The Royal Devon and Exeter site has also been announced as a further hospital hub site.
The first phase of GP-led vaccination centres in Devon has seen the opening of eight sites serving 49 of the county’s GP practices. More Primary Care Networks will join in on a phased basis in the coming weeks and months.
Are there any vaccinations to be delivered from our hospital sites?
In Devon University Hospitals Plymouth is the first hub site and started to administer vaccines on the 8 December 2020.
The Royal Devon and Exeter site has been announced as a further hospital hub site.
Where are GP surgeries in Devon already delivering the vaccine?
GP practices are working in groups to set up local vaccination centres for the most vulnerable people in our communities, particularly people over 80, which will open in phases over coming weeks.
The first phase of GP-led vaccination centres in Devon saw the opening of eight sites serving 49 of the county’s GP practices.
As well as using NHS locations like GP surgeries and health centres, some local vaccination centres are being opened in more unusual venues.
The eight locations in Devon’s first wave of local vaccination centres are:
- Abbey Surgery, Tavistock
- Exmouth Tennis Centre
- Limes Surgery, Exminster
- Okehampton Medical Centre
- Riviera International Centre, Torquay
- St Boniface House, Buckfast
- Seaton Community Hospital
- The Staddy function centre, Plymouth