Both the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine have now been approved for use and the NHS will be starting to offer this to priority groups as soon as supplies arrive.
When will a vaccine be available?
The NHS is now offering vaccinations to people who are most at risk from Covid-19. This follows the approval of both the Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines as safe and effective, after extensive trials.
The two approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.
Who will get a vaccine?
The first vaccinations are being offered to people in the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), starting with people in care homes and those aged 80 and over. Groups of GP practices are working together to provide local vaccination services and will contact eligible patients when it is their turn so please avoid contacting your GP practice.
When it is your turn, you will receive an invitation via the phone or through a letter either from your GP or the national booking system.
The vaccine will be offered to those at greatest risk from COVID-19 first, people over 80 years old and prioritised frontline health and social care workers. This is based on the guidance from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations which is available here. As more supplies of the vaccine or alternative vaccines become available it will be rolled out in phases to people aged between 80 and 50 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Where and when can I get a vaccine?
To start with, vaccines will only be available at hospital ‘hubs’ where the Pfizer vaccine can be stored safely. However, arrangements are also being put in place to offer vaccines from a number of different locations as more supplies and different vaccines become available. These include local vaccine services provided by GPs and pharmacists and new dedicated vaccination centres to make sure that everyone who needs a vaccine is able to get one.
We will be contacting more and more people over the coming days and weeks, as well as protecting those of our staff who are at greatest risk. Please don’t contact your NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you.
Please note that vaccinations are free of charge and only available through the NHS. 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. The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but please could we kindly ask you not to contact the practice for information about the vaccine or to ask for an appointment, as you will not be able to get one until you receive an invitation.
If you are invited for a vaccination, please act on your invite straight away and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them.
In the meantime, please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.
Further information and how you can help us
We will share further information with you as it becomes available. In the meantime, there are three things people can do to help:
- Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine – we will contact you when it’s the right time to you to have yours
- Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them;