Your questions answered

Your questions answered

We understand you may have lots of questions about the vaccine and we will try to answer as many of those as possible below.

LINCOLNSHIRE'S VACCINATION PROGRAMME

Where is the vaccine available in Lincolnshire?

We have a variety of vaccination centres in Lincolnshire. Please see our How do I get my coronavirus vaccination? page to find out more

Which vaccine will I be offered if I am under 40 in Lincolnshire?

It’s really important that you have your covid vaccination when it is your turn.  In Lincolnshire if you are under 40 you will be offered the Pfizer vaccination.

Why are not all GP surgeries taking part in Lincolnshire’s primary care vaccination programme?

Local vaccination centres are not always a ‘like for like’ with practices, as they are delivered via primary care networks. For example, our vaccination centres at both Louth County Hospital and Grantham Meres Tennis centre are staffed by teams from different local practices coming together to ensure that they are able to get the service in the right place for the local community. Therefore, whilst not 100% of surgeries in the county will deliver vaccinations, 100% of the appropriate population registered with them will be able to access vaccinations by a joined up approach between neighbouring GPs.

What is a primary care network?

Further information about PCNs can be found here www.lpcna.nhs.uk

I cannot get to my nearest vaccination centre

Before you make your vaccination appointment, think about how you’ll get there. We realise travel may be difficult for some residents and we are working with our Lincolnshire County Council colleagues to ensure there is support in place. For more information on the options available to you if you anticipate difficulty travelling to your appointment, please see our link to the latest transport hub advice:

Travelling to a COVID-19 Vaccination Centre – Lincolnshire CCG

You can also find out more about the Voluntary Car Schemes, on the LCC transport page.

Can I just turn up to my nearest vaccination centre?

Lincolnshire's primary vaccination centres are now offering walk-in appointments on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Please visit Grab a jab at one of our drop-in clinics – Lincolnshire CCG for more information.

CHILDREN AND THE COVID-19 VACCINE

My child is in one of the eligible groups. How do I arrange his/her vaccination?

If your child is in one of the new groups recommended for vaccination by the JCVI, you will be contacted by the NHS before then to arrange for your child’s vaccinations.

16 and 17 year olds are being contacted directly by letter, followed up by text messages from 20 August.

If your child is within three months of turning 18, they will be invited directly to book an appointment via the National Booking Service at the appropriate time and may also be invited via local vaccination services.

There is no need for individuals to approach their GP or other local NHS services before they receive a letter or text. Those age 16 to 17¾ will not be able to use the National Booking Service, although they can find a convenient walk-in site near to where they live at www.nhs.uk/grab-a-jab.

How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child?

The JCVI has reviewed extensive clinical evidence for the safety of giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children and young people in the eligible groups and have determined it to be safe and effective. The JCVI has determined that the benefit of vaccinating children in these groups outweighs the risks.

Which type of COVID-19 vaccination should 16-17 year olds be offered?

The Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine is the only vaccine authorised for those aged 16 and 17¾. At this time, JCVI advises that 16-17 year olds should be offered a first dose only. (alongside the existing offer of two doses of vaccine to 16 to 17 year olds who are in “at risk” groups).

What about a second vaccine?

It is anticipated that a second dose will be offered later on, to increase the level of protection and contribute towards longer term protection. This will follow further work on effectiveness and safety in this age group, after which the JCVI will provide further guidance on whether a second vaccine dose should be offered to healthy 16 to 17 year-olds. This is expected to be made before second doses are due at approximately 12 weeks after the first dose.

Young people who are called as part of the 16-17 year old programme and receive their first dose above the age of 17 years and 40 weeks may be scheduled to receive their second dose after an interval of at least eight weeks, as part of the “turning 18 programme”.

Are any children under 16 eligible for a vaccine?

All children between the ages of 12 and 15 are now elligible for the vaccination.

My child is not in one of the eligible groups. When will they be able to be vaccinated?

There are no current plans to vaccinate children and young people outside of the eligible groups. However, the JCVI is continually reviewing evidence on this matter and will advise the Government if it decides that a change of approach is required.

Why is the NHS only vaccinating some children and young people against COVID-19, and not all?

The NHS vaccinates in line with guidance from the independent JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), which provides expert advice on vaccinations to UK health departments. The JCVI recommends that only certain groups of children and young people are vaccinated because of a combination of factors including their risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, passing it to others who may become seriously ill, and evidence of safety and effectiveness.

SAFETY AND THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COVID-19 VACCINE

Is the vaccine safe?

Which vaccine is better/more effective?

  • Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca are very effective vaccines. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used.
  • ·         It’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations.
  • ·         Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission
  • ·         Both vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from Coronavirus.
  • ·         An effective vaccine is one that saves lives and reduces hospitalisations.
  • ·         As Prof Wei Shen Lim from the JCVI said at the technical briefing on 30th December 2020, one dose of the vaccine is thought to be around 70% effective.
  • ·         The 4 UK CMOs advise that both vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose.

When will you know if the vaccines prevent transmission?

  • PHE will employ existing surveillance systems and enhanced follow-up of cases to monitor how effective the vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes including: infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality and onwards transmission.
  • It is likely to be some time until we have sufficient data to provide a clear picture of how vaccination impacts on onward transmission.
  • While the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from serious disease, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others.
  • We have been consistently clear in our messaging that everyone must continue to follow the rules to protect the NHS and save lives, even after they have been vaccinated, remembering hands, face, space.

How long will the vaccines protect people for?

  • PHE will employ existing surveillance systems and enhanced follow-up of cases to monitor how effective the vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes including: infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality and onwards transmission.
  • It is likely to be some time until we have sufficient data to provide a clear picture of how long the protective effect of vaccination lasts.

Is the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine safe for people over 40?

  • Yes, the vaccine has been thoroughly assessed by MHRA – the UK medicines regulator – for its safety and efficacy.

Can the government be sure that safety won't be compromised due to the speed of development of a Covid-19 vaccine?

  • There are extensive checks and balances required at every stage of the development of a vaccine, and this is no different for a Covid-19 vaccine. No stages in the vaccine development process are bypassed.
  • All vaccines are tested through three phases of clinical trials to ensure they meet the gold standard. Phase 1 trials are with a small group of people to make sure there are no safety concerns and determines the appropriate dosage for the best immune response. Phase 2 trials are conducted on a larger group of people to check the vaccine works consistently and that the immune response is sufficient. Phase 3 trials test the vaccines on thousands of people for scientists to assess if the vaccine is producing immunity that will prevent disease.
  • Usually, these phases are run in sequence, but in an effort to find a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine as quickly as possible, once safety has been ascertained through Phase 1, Phases 2 and 3 are being run in parallel.
  • The data from each phase then goes to the regulator in a “rolling” review rather than once the trials have completed, which means the regulator can start looking at the results earlier than normal.
  • Companies have made decisions to begin large scale production of vaccines which are still in trials. This means that if the vaccines are not shown to be safe and effective and are not approved for use the companies will have to destroy what they have manufactured.

How can people be confident there won’t be long term side effects?

  • Every single vaccine authorised for use in the UK has been authorised by the MHRA and the three components of authorisation are a safety assessment, an effectiveness assessment and a manufacturing quality assessment.

How was the Covid-19 vaccine developed so fast?

  • Vaccine technology and the technological approaches to making vaccines are getting better and better and we couldn’t have done it in this timeframe if we went back to the 2009 pandemic and we had a new virus about which we knew very little. We’re in a different place today because of the technology.
  • It was very clear that it was a global public health emergency from the word go and governments were prepared to put in lots of funding to manufacturers, without any guarantee of success, but hoping that they would find a solution
  • Manufacturers knew this had to be a straight run through, they didn't have time for investment decisions and pausing or thinking about a commercial market at the end of it. It had to happen with real urgency.
  • But the vaccine trials have been just the same as normal vaccine trials. Phase one, phase two and phase three. Where time has been saved is by recruiting participants in advance, so at the moment the study protocol is in place, the Ethics Committee is in place, so are the vaccine trial participants – which speeds up the process. And that happened at phase one, phase two and phase three and therefore things ran very fast.

How can a vaccine be developed in nine months?

  • These vaccines have been through phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials just like ordinary vaccines. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine clinical trial size was around 45,000 people. These are very, very big studies.
  • Time has been gained is instead of getting an investment decision then going to ethics committee then starting to recruit volunteers, all of the recruiting volunteers was done in advance so that the people were completely ready to go and the ethics committees moved very fast to approve the trials.
  • Organisations like the National Institute for Health Research made this their top priority and plans were made for the next phase by the companies without having to wait for things like investor decisions.
  • But the numbers of people in the trials were the same as you would expect for any other vaccine, and on top of that the safety assessments and the assessments of effectiveness at the end are the same – it’s the same regulators doing the same job.
  • Companies have made decisions to begin large scale production of vaccines which are still in trials. This means that if the vaccines are not shown to be safe and effective and are not authorised for use the companies will have to destroy what they have manufactured. If, however the vaccines are given authorisation for use, that means the vaccines are ready to be distributed. 

How was the UK able to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine more quickly than other countries? What has been compromised?

  • Public safety has been and continues to be the Government’s top priority.
  • No vaccine would be authorised for supply in the UK unless it meets high standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
  • Following a series of rigorous clinical trials, experts at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have concluded that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have met its strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.
  • The MHRA has already expressed that scientific rigour has been followed according to strict guidelines, and the vaccine has only been approved after passing these standards. The MHRA is recognised across the world for its high standards and professionalism.
  • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is a world leader in its field and followed rigorous international standards in its assessment of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to make sure it meets strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.
  • This has been a rigorous assessment with the rolling review starting in October as soon as data from the clinical trials became available. The MHRA also sought advice from independent experts from the Commission on Human Medicines before authorising the vaccine.
  • The way in which the MHRA has worked is equivalent to all international standards. The public can be absolutely confident that the standards we have worked to are equivalent to those around the world.

What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for ethnic minority 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.

Are you introducing vaccine passports?  

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.

It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 vaccine (or vaccines) when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.

From Monday 19 July, you may be asked to demonstrate your COVID-19 status at places that use the service in England as a condition of entry to a venue or event.

This is likely to include settings that have the following characteristics:

  • - crowded indoor settings such as nightclubs and music venues

  • - large unstructured outdoor events such as business events and festivals

  • - very large structured events such as business events, music and spectator sport events

Why are some patients receiving Covid-19 vaccination record cards?

When patients are vaccinated, they are likely to receive a vaccine record card that notes the date of their vaccination, the suggested date for their second dose and details of the vaccine type and batch.

Is this a vaccine ID card showing proof of vaccination?

  • This is a vaccine record card, similar to those given to patients for other NHS vaccinations as a note of when they received their vaccine.
  • It is not intended to be used for any other purpose, or as an immunity certificate.
  • All vaccinations are recorded on the patient’s record with their GP.

Will you make the vaccine compulsory?

There are no plans to make the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory. The UK operates a system of informed consent for vaccinations.

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. If 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 friends from flu this winter.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE DOSAGE

Should both vaccines be given in two doses?

  • The MHRA authorisation includes conditions that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should be administered in two doses, with the second dose given between 4 and 12 weeks after the first
  • The MHRA has also clarified that for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the interval between doses must be at least 3 weeks (21 days). This also aligns with the EMA position on the Pfizer vaccine.
  • For both vaccines, data provided to MHRA demonstrate that whilst efficacy is optimised when a second dose is administered both offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. For both vaccines the second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer term protection.

What protection is given by each vaccine after the first dose?

  • The Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca trials did not define a case of Covid using a common definition so vaccine efficacy numbers are not directly comparable between the two trials. Furthermore, VE measures how the vaccine prevents disease (whether mild or severe).
  • What we want are vaccines that prevent hospitalisations and deaths and reduce transmission; both vaccines are highly likely to do this but we have to wait to get those data in full.
  • JCVI has looked at all the data it can and is strongly convinced that both are good vaccines and both offer substantial protection after 1 dose, but that a second is needed to complete the course for longer term protection.

Why are you prioritising the first dose?

  • The JCVI has recommended that as many people on the JCVI priority list as possible should be offered a first vaccine dose as the initial priority.
  • The four UK Chief Medical Officers agree with JCVI that at this stage of the pandemic prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time and will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting the NHS and equivalent health services.
  • Operationally this will mean that second doses of both vaccines will be administered towards the end of the recommended vaccine dosing schedule of 12 weeks. This will maximise the number of people getting vaccine and therefore receiving protection in the next 12 weeks.
  • NHS delivery plans should prioritise delivering first vaccine doses to as many people on the JCVI Phase 1 priority list in the shortest possible timeframe. This will allow the administration of second doses to be completed over the longer timeframes in line with conditions set out by the independent regulator, the MHRA, and advice from the JCVI. This will maximise the impact of the vaccine programme in its primary aims of reducing mortality and hospitalisations and protecting the NHS and equivalent health services.

Does one dose of the vaccine offer protection?

The JCVI has recommended that as many people on the JCVI priority list as possible should be offered a first vaccine dose as the initial priority. This is because one dose of the vaccine offers important protection and we want to reach as many at risk people as possible in order to offer protection until the second dose can be administered.

They have advised that the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be given between 3 to 12 weeks following the first dose, and that the second dose of the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine may be given between 4 to 12 weeks following the first dose. The clinical risk priority order for deployment of the vaccines remains unchanged and applies to both vaccines. Both are very effective vaccines.

What about people who have already had their 2nd dose after 3 weeks? Is this safe? Will they be protected?

Yes. The updating of the dosing interval is not a safety issue but is designed to maximise the impact of the vaccination programme, as advised by the JCVI.

Should the first Oxford/AstraZeneca dose be lower, given efficacy from clinical trials?

  • The Committee on Human Medicines, an MHRA advisory committee that advises ministers on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicinal products, did not find any evidence to recommend this dosing regimen.
  • They concluded that the apparent increased efficacy in seen in this approach is more likely to be the result of other differences, such as the dosing interval which was longer in the group given the lower “half” dose.

Do we expect any other countries to follow this dosage regime? Has the WHO said anything on this issue?

Other countries will come to their own view as to the vaccination approach appropriate to their respective situations.

What is the science behind the interval change – how effective is it compared to having 2 doses closer together

  • The JCVI has recommended that as many people on the JCVI priority list as possible should be offered a first vaccine dose as the initial priority
  • At this stage of the pandemic prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time and will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting the NHS and equivalent health services.
  • Operationally this will mean that second doses of both vaccines will be administered towards the end of the recommended vaccine dosing schedule 8 to 12 weeks after the 1st dose.

Surely the most vulnerable need more protection – why don’t you give them two doses closer together and then prioritise first dose for less vulnerable

  • The JCVI has recommended that as many people on the JCVI priority list as possible should be offered a first vaccine dose as the initial priority.
  • The four UK Chief Medical Officers agree with JCVI that at this stage of the pandemic prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time and will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting the NHS and equivalent health services.
  • For both vaccines, data provided to MHRA demonstrate that whilst efficacy is optimised when a second dose is administered both offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. For both vaccines the second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer term protection.

If you're given one type of vaccine does that mean you have to stick with that vaccine forever?

  • The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is rapidly being rolled out across the UK, starting with the highest priority groups.
  • The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine and other candidates will be deployed alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to increase the pace and volume of the UK programme.
  • More evidence is needed to understand whether a seasonal vaccination or booster dose might be needed.
  • The vaccines people are offered will be appropriate for them. This decision is based on clinical judgement supported by the advice of Joint Committee on vaccination and immunisation. This will take into account individual vaccine characteristics, which may mean they are more suitable for some groups of people, and not others – for example, some may be less well tolerated or effective in certain age groups.

Can people choose what vaccine they have? It has been suggested that vaccines could be mixed and matched?

  • No. Any vaccines that are available 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 will be highly effective and protect them from coronavirus.
  • The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is being rolled out as fast as possible by the NHS across the UK. Now authorised, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be deployed alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to increase the pace and volume of the UK programme. There are no current plans to mix these vaccines.
  • The Government’s Vaccine Taskforce keeps its approach under review, ensuring the UK is in the strongest position to protect people. The science is uncertain about how mixing vaccines could produce a better immune response, so trials and testing will continue to assess and test vaccine responses.

In rare cases can the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine be mixed and matched?

  • We do not recommend mixing the COVID-19 vaccines – if your first dose is the Pfizer vaccine you should not be given the AstraZeneca vaccine for your second dose and vice versa.
  • However, there may be extremely rare occasions where the same vaccine is not available, or where it is not known what vaccine the patient received.
  • Our guidance is very clear that every effort should be made in these instances to give the same vaccine to the patient, but where this is not possible it is better to give a second dose of another vaccine than not at all.
  • This is a reasonable measure on a very exceptional basis, when the alternative is to leave someone with an incomplete course – which is the greater concern, especially if the individual is likely to be at immediate high risk or is considered unlikely to attend again.
  • In these rare circumstances, as both vaccines are based on the spike protein, it is likely the second dose will help to boost the response to the first dose.
  • While there is no evidence on the interchangeability of the COVID-19 vaccines at this time, this is a pragmatic and scientific approach agreed by many scientists and vaccine experts, including the UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

WHAT ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS?

Are there any side effects?

  • It’s normal to experience side effects after the vaccine. It shows the vaccine is teaching your body’s immune system how to protect itself from the disease, however not everyone gets them.

    Most of these are mild and short term. They may include:

  • tenderness, swelling and/or redness at the injection site
  • headache or muscle ache
  • joint pain
  • chills
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling tired
  • fever (temperature above 37.8°C).
  • These common side effects are much less serious than developing coronavirus or complications associated with coronavirus and they usually go away within a few days.

    If you feel uncomfortable, take paracetamol. Make sure you take paracetamol as directed on the label or leaflet.

    Another possible side effect is swollen glands in the armpit or neck, on the same side as the arm where you had the vaccine.

    This can last for around 10 days, but if it lasts longer see your doctor.

    If you're worried about your symptoms, phone NHS 24's 111 service.

How do I report any side effects from having a COVID-19 vaccination?

If you suffer any side effects following a COVID-19 vaccination, you should complete the coronavirus yellow card form available online to help share information about reactions to the national vaccine development team.

This is the link to the online form: https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

There have been reports about people developing blood clots after having the AstraZeneca vaccine, should I be concerned?

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 coronavirus vaccine can help stop you from 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 coronavirus vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

If you have already had a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca 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 household contacts of those who are severely immunosuppressed.

There have been reports of adverse reactions to the vaccine – what has happened?

Incidents are common with new vaccines and the MHRA has tried and tested processes to deal with them. The public can be reassured that we continue to adhere to the highest standards of safety as we provide this life-saving vaccine to those who need it most.

How do you monitor for problems, such as injuries or allergic reactions?

  • Each COVID-19 vaccine candidate is assessed on a case-by-case basis and will only be approved by the independent regulator, the MHRA, once it has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety and quality. Right through the tests and the trials, teams of scientists and clinicians carefully, methodically, scientifically rigorously review all data on safety, effectiveness and quality as soon as they become available.
  • The independent expert working group have supported MHRA proposals for a proactive safety monitoring strategy. This comprises the Yellow Card scheme and a special active monitoring programme which we are inviting people to join. 
  • Approved COVID-19 vaccines will be monitored continuously after roll out by the MHRA and PHE to ensure that the benefit of the vaccines continues to outweigh any risk.
  • You can report suspected side effects to COVID-19 vaccines through the Coronavirus Yellow Card reporting portal https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/
  • The MHRA will work in collaboration with partners in the health system to rapidly assess all available safety data in real time and communicate any emerging issues, as necessary.

If there are any significant medical incidents, could rollout be halted? 

Each COVID-19 vaccine candidate is assessed on a case-by-case basis and will only be approved once it has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety and quality. Right through the tests and the trials, teams of scientists and clinicians carefully, methodically, scientifically rigorously review all data on safety, effectiveness and quality as soon as they become available.  

Once a vaccine has been rolled out, PHE will continue to closely monitor safety data. In the rare instance of a medical incident, DHSC will review the available data.  

The government are clear that all vaccines being rolled out must continue to meet high standards of safety and efficacy. 

What are the ingredients in the COVID Vaccine?

What engagement has DHSC had with faith/vegetarian/vegan groups on vaccine components?

We have met with faith leaders and the Moral and Ethical Advisory Group (MEAG), on COVID-19 immunisation and sought consideration of how best to clearly communicate about potential COVID-19 vaccines candidates.

PRIORITY GROUPINGS ORDER

Prioritisation 

The full prioritisation list can be found here and is as follows (in order of priority):  

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers 
  • All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers 
  • All those 75 years of age and over 
  • All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals 
  • All those 65 years of age and over. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and 
  • mortality 
  • All those 60 years of age and over 
  • All those 55 years of age and over 
  • All those 50 years of age and over 
  • All those aged 40 to 49 years
  • All those aged 30 to 39 years
  • All those aged 18 to 29 years
  • All those aged 16 to 17 years
  • All those aged 12 to 15 years

How many people need to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in JCVI’s first phase?

  • The JCVI recommendations of vaccination by age and risk factors is estimated to cover over 25 million people in phase 1.
  • The vaccination of the top two cohorts is estimated to cover over 6 million people.

Why aren’t ethnic minority groups being prioritised?

  • There is clear evidence that certain Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups have higher rates of infection, and higher rates of serious disease and mortality. The reasons are multiple and complex.  
  • There is no strong evidence that ethnicity by itself (or genetics) is the sole explanation for observed differences in rates of severe illness and deaths. What is clear is that certain health conditions are associated with increased risk of serious disease, and these health conditions are often overrepresented in certain Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.  
  • Prioritisation of people with underlying health conditions will also provide for greater vaccination of BAME communities who are disproportionately affected by such health conditions.  
  • Tailored local implementation to promote good vaccine coverage in Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups will be the most important factor within a vaccine programme in reducing health inequalities in these groups. 
  • The NHS will provide advice and information at every possible opportunity, including working closely with BAME communities, to support those receiving a vaccine and to anyone who has questions about the vaccination process.
  • Throughout the pandemic, we have prioritised protecting the most vulnerable in our society and have invested more than £4 million into research into Covid-19 and ethnic disparities so that we can go further.

Why are care home workers prioritised over NHS staff?

There is evidence that infection rates are higher in residential care home staff, than in those providing home care or in healthcare workers. Care home workers are therefore considered a very high priority for vaccination. 

Why aren’t you vaccinating economically active people? Surely that would be a good approach to get the economy back up and running again?

  • The full impact of vaccination on infection and transmission of the virus will not become clear until a large number of people have been vaccinated. 
  • The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. 
  • The Committee have advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention COVID-19 mortality and protection of health and social care staff and systems. Secondary priorities could include vaccination of those at increased risk of hospitalisation and at increased risk of exposure, and to maintain resilience in essential public services. 
  • Given the current epidemiological situation in the UK, all evidence indicates that the best option for preventing morbidity and mortality in the initial phase of the programme is to directly protect persons most at risk of morbidity and mortality. 

Why no priority for certain occupations?

The JCVI have considered evidence on the risk of exposure and risk of mortality by occupation. Under the priority groups advised, those over 50 years of age, and all adults in a risk group, would be eligible for vaccination within the first phase of the programme.  

This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19, including those associated with occupational exposure to infection.  

As such, JCVI does not advise further prioritisation by occupation during the first phase of the programme.

Are you going to prioritise giving teachers the vaccine so schools can reopen?

We are following the advice from independent experts on the JCVI on which groups of people to prioritise for Covid-19 vaccines.

The Committee advised the immediate priority should be to prevent deaths and protect health and care staff, with old age deemed the single biggest factor determining mortality.

We understand this is a challenging period for many, and the NHS is working hard to vaccinate those most at risk as soon as possible.

What about people who are immunocompromised who can’t benefit from a vaccine?

The Government is exploring all avenues available to us, to ensure that a treatment for COVID-19 is found.  

Treatments containing COVID-19 neutralising antibodies have been secured from AstraZeneca to support immunocompromised people who will not be able to benefit from a COVID-19 vaccine.  

The antibody treatment currently being developed by AstraZeneca is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies and has the potential to be given as a preventative option for people exposed to the virus, and to treat and prevent disease progression in patients already infected by the virus if successful.

Why do the JCVI’s recommendations focus on reducing people’s individual risk and not stopping transmission?

The most important thing is that we protect those who are most at risk of dying. At the start of any vaccination programme, we won’t know the impact of the vaccine on transmission and so we will vaccinate those who are at highest risk of serious illness and death. This includes older people and care home residents.  

As vaccination programmes roll out globally, our understanding of the safety and effectiveness of each vaccine will increase, and these data will be used to develop advice on the next phase of the programme. 

Will you be vaccinating children? 

We are currently working on our plans for the roll out of the vaccination programme for the 16 and 17 yr old cohort following the issue of the clinical guidance.  At this moment we are asking people to be patient as the NHS will be in touch when it is time to come forward for their vaccination. 

Does the addition of the Oxford/AstraZeneca mean you can start vaccinating secondary school children?

We are following the advice from independent experts on the JCVI on which groups of people to prioritise for Covid-19 vaccines.

They advised the immediate priority should be to prevent deaths and protect health and care staff, with old age deemed the single biggest factor determining mortality.

We understand this is a challenging period for many, and the NHS is working hard to vaccinate those most at risk as soon as possible.

WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS?

Who should not have the vaccination?

The vaccines do not contain living organisms, and so 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 to a component in the vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe for people with pre-existing conditions?

The trials have involved people with chronic underlying conditions deliberately, and they have involved people from very broad age ranges and quite a lot of people in the elderly bracket. The JCVI have looked at this, there’s no indication that there should be any difficulty in giving it to people with chronic underlying conditions.

The JCVI has picked out, not just by age, but people 18 to 65 with at-risk conditions. The reason for that is that they are at extremely high risk from coronavirus compared with the general population.

I have an illness/ long term condition. Should I have the vaccine if offered it?

The vaccine will also be offered to adults with conditions such as:

• a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)

• diabetes

• dementia

• a heart problem

• a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma

• a kidney disease

• a liver disease

• lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)

• rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis

• liver disease

• having had an organ transplant

• having had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

• a neurological or muscle wasting condition

• a severe or profound learning disability

• a problem with your spleen, e.g sickle cell disease, or having had your spleen removed

• are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)

• are severely mentally ill

All people who are in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Whether you are offered the vaccine may depend on the severity of your condition. Your GP can advise on whether you are eligible.

If I am currently self-isolating, should I go and get vaccinated?

You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well. If you are positive, self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well you should follow government guidelines.

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. If you are positive, self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well you should follow government guidelines.

Should people who have already had Covid get vaccinated?

Yes, if they are in a priority group identified by JCVI. The MHRA have looked at this and decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t. 

Are people who are under 18 are eligible for the vaccine?

Only young people age 16-18 years, who are carers, or are employed in, studying or in training for health and social care work should be offered vaccination alongside their colleagues if a suitable vaccine is available.

Pregnancy and fertility - Can pregnant women have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines?

  • The JCVI has amended its previous precautionary advice on Covid-19 vaccines and pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • The new advice sets out that vaccination with either vaccine in pregnancy should be considered where the risk of exposure SARS-CoV2 infection is high and cannot be avoided, or where the woman has underlying conditions that place her at very high risk of serious complications of Covid-19, and the risks and benefits of vaccination should be discussed.
  • The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should only be considered for use in pregnancy when the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks for the mother and baby. Women should discuss the benefits and risks of having the vaccine with their healthcare professional and reach a joint decision based on individual circumstances. Women who are breastfeeding can also be given the vaccine.
  • Those who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination, and breastfeeding women may be offered vaccination with either vaccine following consideration of the woman’s clinical need for immunisation against COVID-19. The UK Chief Medical Officers agree with this advice. 

Carers - I am a carer when will I get my vaccination in Lincolnshire?

Unpaid adult carers are now eligible. (Those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person or child who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable).

If you are an adult carer, you can either:

  • Wait to be contacted by your GP or local vaccination service to invite you to attend an appointment at your local vaccination centre.
  • Make an appointment at either of our large vaccination sites (at Boston’s PRSA, or Lincolnshire Showground), by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination , or calling 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. 

To ensure you are eligible to attend as part of this group, you must also be eligible for carers allowance, or registered as a carer with your GP, the County Council or the Lincolnshire Carers’ Service.

If you are not yet, it is simple to register using our dedicated service. Please complete this form at the Lincolnshire Carers’ Service or call 01522 782031.

People with learning disabilities - When will learning disability patients receive their vaccination?

Anyone on the GP Learning Disability Register is now eligible for vaccination as part of priority group 6.  If you are on your GP practice register you do not need to do anything as the NHS will contact you.

Below are a series of leaflets and resources that can be read prior to attending the vaccination centre.  These resources will help provide accessible appointments to ensure people with a learning disability and autistic people in a high-risk group have safe and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination:

Covid Vaccine film produced by Skills for People and Learning Disability England

HOW ARE YOU STAFFING THE VACCINATION PROGRAMME?

What role will the military have in distributing the vaccine?

  • An enormous amount of planning and preparation has taken place across government to be able to quickly roll out the vaccine, including ensuring we have adequate provision, transport, PPE and logistical expertise to do so.   
  • The whole of government is working closely with the NHS to put plans in place to distribute the vaccine, including military planning teams to help coordinate regional and national deployment activity.  
  • The NHS is well prepared to deliver the vaccine and keep pace with supplies as they increase over the coming weeks.
  • As part of prudent planning, a reserve force of 250 Army medically qualified military personnel has been placed on standby to support this work if needed.
  • The MOD works hard to identify where it can most effectively assist other government departments. The Armed Forces have personnel, including specialist planners, logisticians, and medics ready to support responses to the outbreak however required.

Who will vaccinators be?

  • They will either be existing staff or those recruited specifically for the programme– including those who signed up to the NHS Bring Back scheme. There are a number of roles within the vaccination programme and these will require different levels of qualifications and experience.
  • The Department for Health and Social Care recently changed legislation to allow a wider group of people to administer vaccines, including more health care professionals as well as others who have passed a programme of training developed by PHE and HEE. New vaccinators will be assessed in person and closely supervised to ensure their and patients’ safety.

What is the training?

PHE have compiled comprehensive training which will include anaphylaxis and Basic Life Support training, injection administration, training on vaccines in general and the specific ones that will be used, and all the mandatory training NHS have to do.

Importantly vaccinators will be supervised and assessed by senior clinicians to ensure both their safety and of course the safety of the people they are vaccinating – just like any other vaccinator. 

Will you be pulling staff away from other care?

Our planning will ensure that wherever possible this doesn’t affect other vital services by drawing on a pool of experienced NHS professionals through the NHS Bring Back Scheme, recruiting new vaccinators from amongst a wider group of healthcare professionals and others who complete training, and using independent Occupational Health providers. 

Latest updates

If you are interested in finding out more about vaccinations, keep checking the updates below for latest news and summaries on a range of issues. *all updates correct at the time of publishing

 

Booster vaccinations for people aged over 50

In addition, we are also preparing to offer covid booster jabs from next week (w/c 20th September). We are currently awaiting the NHS operating guidance that will outline who will be eligible for a booster vaccination, as well as the legal framework to allow administration of the vaccines. We will be following JCVI guidance in relation to eligibility and the optimum window for vaccination.

The Pfizer vaccination will be the primary vaccine used as the booster, irrespective of whether you were previously vaccinated with Pfizer or AstraZeneca, and should be given at least six months after the your second dose, with the optimum window being between 6 and 9 months With this in mind, please do not contact the NHS, including your GP practice, about this – you will be called when it is your turn.

Vaccination of children aged 12 to 15

Following yesterday’s recommendation by the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers that healthy children aged 12-15 should be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, we continue to prepare for the imminent rollout across Lincolnshire, which will be delivered in schools by our Schools Aged Immunisation Service. Those being home schooled or excluded will receive confirmation of how to access vaccinations shortly. We are liaising closely with the education
department at Lincolnshire County Council to ensure we minimise disruption to education.

We will be managing the covid vaccination programme separately to the flu vaccination programme. The consent processes will be managed separately and any parent that has offered consent to-date for the flu vaccination can be assured that this consent is not applicable nor will be used to vaccinate their child/ children with the covid vaccine. Parents, guardians or carers will shortly be contacted and advised how to give consent for their child to receive the covid vaccine. In the meantime please do not contact your child’s school or the NHS. Once children become eligible the NHS will contact you.

Vaccinating under 18s

We are currently working on our plans for the roll out of the vaccination programme for the 16 and 17 yr old cohort following the issue of the clinical guidance.  At this moment we are asking people to be patient as the NHS will be in touch when it is time to come forward for their vaccination. 

Vaccination of people aged under 40

It’s really important that you have your covid vaccination when it is your turn.  In Lincolnshire if you are under 40 you will be offered the Pfizer vaccination, and if you are aged 18 or over you can book online now here.  If you can’t get an appointment straightaway, please keep trying.

Vaccination of people aged 40 and over

NHS To Invite All People 40 and Over For Life Saving Covid-19 Jab

Everyone aged 40 and over is now being invited to book a life-saving Covid-19 jab as the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and fastest in the health service’s history, goes from strength to strength.

Nearly three quarters of a million appointments were made on Monday and Tuesday as the NHS began inviting 44-year olds followed by people aged 42 and 43 by text.

Text messages are now going out to 40 and 41-year-olds today allowing them to arrange a jab at the click of a button through the national booking service.

Those aged 42 to 44 have already been text this week meaning in total another 2.5 million more people have been invited for their jab.

Since the vaccination rollout began in December, more than 28 million people have been protected with at least one dose in England – nearly two thirds of the adult population.

NHS staff have fully vaccinated more than 11 million people with second doses remaining a priority. It is vital everyone books in for their second jab to ensure they receive the maximum protection from coronavirus.

The NHS is vaccinating in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation as supply allows. Those eligible will be able to book once they are invited to do so.  

NHS England Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "With nine tenths of people aged 45 and over having been jabbed, nearly three quarters of a million new appointments were made in just two days as our booking service opened to people aged 42 to 44.

"With second doses also proceeding apace, we're now ready to invite all those aged 40 and over to join the most successful vaccination drive in health service history."

NHS Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “The rapid rollout of the NHS vaccination programme, the swiftest in Europe, is down to months of careful planning and sheer hard work by nurses, doctors and countless other staff supported by our volunteers.

“If you receive a text inviting you for your jab, please follow the instructions provided and book – it is simple, effective and provides vital protection against the virus.”

When invited, people will be able to book in at a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy site through the national booking service.

The NHS currently vaccinates using three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, all of which have been approved as safe and effective by the world leading medical regulator the MHRA.

People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment. 

Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,700 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, meaning the vast majority of the people live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.

The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on 8 December.

The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, received his on 4 January.

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting

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 shortly after 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.

More information is available here

Vaccination of people aged 45 and over

People aged 45 and over now able to book their covid-19 vaccination

Following the confirmation nationally that everyone over 50, and those in high risk groups, have been offered a first dose of the covid vaccination, people aged 45 and over are now able to book their covid-19 vaccination, as the rollout out of the covid vaccine programme enters its second phase.

Appointments to have the vaccination at one of Lincolnshire’s Large Vaccination Centres – Boston PRSA or the Lincolnshire Showground – can be made on the national booking website nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119 free of charge between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week.

Alternatively you can have your vaccination at your Local Vaccination Site – if you would prefer to do this, please wait to be contacted and we will confirm the details of where your appointment will be, or contact your practice/Local Vaccination Site.

Vaccination of people aged 50 and over

Over 50’s now able to book their covid-19 vaccination

 People aged 50 and over are now able to arrange their vaccination appointment at one of Lincolnshire’s Large Vaccination Centres (Boston’s PRSA or the Lincolnshire Showground). They can do so by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or calling 119 free of charge anytime between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week. 

If you prefer to wait until an appointment is available with your GP or closer to your home address at a local vaccination site, please wait to be contacted in due course as the NHS continues to work through the national priority group order.

Please don’t call your local GP surgery about the Covid vaccination unless you’ve been asked to do so - GPs and their teams are currently focused on contacting people with underlying health conditions.

Vaccination of people aged 55 and over

We are making excellent progress with the covid vaccination programme across Lincolnshire.

You are now eligible for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination if:

  • you are aged 55 or over
  • you have previously received a letter saying you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

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

Find out more about who is eligible to have a coronavirus vaccination.

You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, self-isolating or waiting for a COVID-19 test.

If you are not eligible yet, please wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.

Adult carers 03.03.21

We are currently vaccinating adult carers as part of the JCVI priority list group 6. (Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.)

If you are an adult carer, you can either:

•            Wait to be contacted by your GP or local vaccination service to invite you to attend an appointment at your local vaccination centre.

•            Make an appointment at either of our large vaccination sites (at Boston’s PRSA, or Lincolnshire Showground), by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination , or calling 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

To ensure you are eligible to attend as part of this group, you must be eligible for carers allowance, registered with your GP or be supported by the Lincolnshire Carers’ Service.

If you are not yet, it is simple to register. Please complete this form at the Lincolnshire Carers’ Service or call 01522 782284

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