Coronavirus Vaccination - Update 18/12/2020
Following extensive trials, the first safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in the UK and the NHS is starting to offer vaccinations to those at greatest risk from coronavirus.
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 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.
We know that many people will be keen to have the vaccination as soon as possible and we want to reassure you that we will be in touch when it is your turn. In Bradford district and Craven a significant number of our population are over the age of 80, which means we have lots of people to vaccinate.
We are offering appointments first to those people aged over 80 who are most at risk from coronavirus. That includes those who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and/or who have been discharged home after a hospital stay, and people living in care homes. You do not need to contact our GP practice for an appointment.
When it is the right time for you to receive your vaccination, you will receive an invitation via the phone or through a letter either from your GP or the national booking system.
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 vaccine, please act on your invite straight away and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them. Your Vaccination appointment will be at the Ridge Medical Practice, Cousen Road, Bradford, BD7 3JX.
In the meantime, please continue to follow local restrictions, social distancing measures, and hand hygiene guidance, all of which will still save lives.
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.
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.