We are receiving large numbers of queries from patients who are understandably concerned about what they will be offered a Covid vaccination. This is putting a significant strain on our phone lines and staff availability, so we have put together some frequently asked questions below that we hope will answer the majority of your queries. If having read this information you still have a particular questions, we would kindly request that if possible you submit a query through our website by “asking reception a question” rather than phoning where possible. We will respond to your query as soon as possible within 2 working days.
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes, all the vaccines being offered to patients have been through all the necessary trials and been approved for use in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Is it safe to have the vaccine with my health conditions or medication I am taking?
There are very few reasons not to have the vaccine. In most cases if you are invited it is best that you attend. The person vaccinating you will run through some questions and check that you are able to have the vaccine, and answer any queries you may have. On very rare occasions we will defer the vaccine.
I have previously had a very severe allergy / anaphylaxis reaction. Can I have the vaccine?
If this is the case, we would ask you to submit a query via the website and we will ask a member of our clinical team to review your records and respond to you.
I have previously tested positive for Covid. Should I still have the vaccine?
Whilst we believe that Covid infection gives you some immunity, it is strongly advised that you still have the vaccine as it offers further protection. However, it cannot be given within 4 weeks of a positive Covid test.
How does the Practice decide which patients to call next?
We are following the strict cohort (priority groups) guidance as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI). We are not able to deviate from this guidance. Further information can be found via the GOV.UK website.
When will I be sent for?
You will be called once we are notified by NHS England that we are able to move on to your group.
How will I be sent for?
If we have a mobile number on your records we will send you a text invite with a link to book your appointment. This is the simplest and quickest way for us to invite you, so if you think we may not have your up to date mobile number, please submit this via our website using the “change personal details” section. If you do not have a mobile number of are unable to book using this method we will phone you to arrange an appointment, however this may take longer.
How do I know if the text is a scam?
Unfortunately there are several scams around offering patients a Covid vaccine for a fee. The NHS will never ask for any payment details, including your bank account or credit card numbers. If you receive a text, email or phone call asking for payment then this will be a scam so do not engage with this.
The text message from the Practice asking you to book your appointment will ask you to confirm your date of birth and offer you an appointment at Buxton Medical Practice.
Why are some patients being sent to other locations for the vaccine (e.g. Etihad Stadium, Macclesfield, Derby Stadium)
You may receive a letter from NHS England inviting you to another vaccination centre. This is the first option for some groups of patients to allow a larger number of patients to be vaccinated within the shortest amount of time as Practices concentrate on group 6, which is a large group.
However, we recognise that some patient may wish to be vaccinated at the local vaccination hub in Buxton or are unable to travel and we will therefore be able to offer the vaccine to these patients, though this may require you to wait longer for an appointment. If you wish to receive your vaccination locally please submit a query through our website or if you are not able to do this please ring the receptionist at the surgery. Currently we are unable to give a timeframe as to when we will be able to offer you a vaccine as this will depend on vaccination deliveries and uptake from patients in other cohorts.
I am a carer and believe I am eligible for a vaccine now – how can I arrange this?
Those who are currently in receipt of carers allowance, or who are the sole or primary carer for a clinically vulnerable individual are considered to be carers. Please let us know if this applies to you, by registering as a carer on our website, including the details of who you care for. We may follow this up with a phone call if we need to confirm any details and will then record this on your records and invite you for a vaccine.
Can I choose which vaccine I am given?
No, unfortunately this is not possible.
Does the Practice control the number of vaccine available?
The Practice has no control currently over the number of vaccinations delivered to the local clinic. Vaccine supply fluctuations sometimes limit the number of appointments available at different vaccination venues. This can be frustrating, but is beyond the control of GP staff or the vaccination teams.
Can I defer my vaccine to a later date?
Yes, if you do not wish to have the vaccine at the current time then we will invite you again at a later date or you can contact us to request a vaccine and we will offer you an appointment when available any time after you have first been invited.
Can children have the vaccine?
Currently the Pfizer vaccine can be given to patients aged 16 years and over and the Astra Zeneca vaccine can be given to patients aged 18 years and over. There is no vaccine licenced to be given to children under 16 years of age.
Can I have the vaccine if I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant?
No, it is not recommended that you have the vaccine if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before you receive your second dose.
Are teachers eligible for the vaccine as a priority?
The guidance is that only teachers and others working in an educational setting who are in close contact with a clinically extremely vulnerable (i.e. shielding) child or provide personal care are eligible for a Covid vaccine as a priority. This is likely to be a small number of patients. You will otherwise be called along with your priority group based on your age or health conditions.
I have asthma but have not been called for a vaccine?
The JCVI guidance is that only patients who have a history of an asthma exacerbation which has resulted in a hospital admission or those who have had 3 courses of oral steroids within a 3 month period are eligible for the vaccine as a priority in group 6. This means that the majority of patients with asthma will not be included in group 6 and will be offered the vaccine when their age group is eligible.
I have had my first vaccine, when will I be invited for my second dose?
It is very important that everyone receives both doses of the vaccine to offer the best immunity. The current guidance is that the second dose should be given 10- 12 weeks after the first and the Practice will contact you to invite you for this.
Once I have had my Covid vaccine do I still have to follow social distancing?
Yes, it is vital that everyone continues to follow all Government guidance relating to social distancing, wearing of face masks and lockdown rules even after having received the Covid vaccine. This is because the vaccine does not provide 100% immunity and it is also not yet known whether the vaccine will prevent you being able to spread the virus to others.
Are any vaccines being wasted?
No, we are working hard to ensure that no vaccines are wasted and should there be any spare vaccines that need to be used at the end of a day then the vaccine hub has a list of patients within the currently eligible cohort(s) to contact at short notice. Please do not contact the Practice to request to be added to this list.