Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination FAQs

Surrey Heartlands Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Logo

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. An effective vaccine is the best way to protect you and your family from coronavirus.  

We know that waiting for contact from the NHS for your vaccination may be an anxious time.

The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn. 

Help us to help you.

  • Please don’t contact your GP practice, the wider NHS or any of the community venues that are hosting services to seek a vaccine, we will contact you when it’s your turn

  • When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments 

  • Please do not arrive too early for your vaccination appointment to help us maintain social distancing

  • Please continue to follow all the rules to control the virus and save lives


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Questions

Below are a series of Frequently Asked Questions to help you in making an informed decision about the Coronavirus vaccine.

You cannot chose which vaccine you will have. Vaccines provided by the NHS have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy. 

Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Updates page to find out the latest news and updates about the Vaccination Programme in Surrey Heartlands.

You cannot chose which vaccine you will have. Vaccines provided by the NHS have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy. Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. Please be assured that whichever vaccine you get, it is worth your while.

When will I be offered a vaccination?

We are following the guidance issued by the JCVI (Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation) and vaccinating people in a priority order based on the JCVI’s determination of risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19.

The current priority groups are:
  • People aged 65 and over
  • People aged 16 to 64yrs who have certain underlying conditions and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • People who live or work in care homes
  • Frontline health and social care workers

Follow our Vaccination Updates to see when we are moving to the next priority groups. 
How will I be contacted?
  • As long as you are registered with a GP, you will be contacted when it is time for your vaccination appointment.

  • Contact is being made with patients in a variety of ways - by letter, text message or telephone call. If you are not reached by one method, another method will be used until you have been reached. When you receive your invitation, please follow the instructions in the invitation to book your appointment.

Booking your vaccination appointment

How will I know where I have to go for my vaccination?
  • When you receive your invitation, you will be able to follow the instructions to book your appointment at a vaccination site. We have a number of sites across Surrey Heartlands. You can find more details about these sites on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Centres page.

Help with your vaccination appointment

I don't have transport to get to my vaccination appointment. What should I do?

Attending your vaccination appointment

What do I need to bring to my appointment?
  • You'll need to bring:

    o A face covering, unless you cannot wear one for an age, health or disability reason.

    o Your booking reference number.

    o If you are a health or social care worker, eligible because of your workplace, you will need to bring proof of your work identity such as a work ID card, wage slip or official letter from your employer.

After your vaccination appointment

Will I be protected from the virus straight after my first vaccination?
  • No. For both vaccines you get the vast majority of your protection from two weeks after the first dose. It is therefore extremely important that you continue to adhere to all current rules to minimise infection.

Vaccination locations

Where are the Surrey Heartlands vaccination sites?
  1. Epsom Racecourse and Community Pharmacies, which are sites coordinated by NHS England.

  2. GP-led Local Vaccination Sites.

  3. Roving vaccination for patients who are not able to attend a vaccination centre.

Vaccination safety

Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe?
  • Yes. The NHS will not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have confirmed they are safe.  

    The MHRA, the official UK regulator, has said that the vaccines currently provided – Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneka - and the newly approved vaccine – Moderna - are 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 they have been authorised and are being administered to the public.

Existing health conditions and the vaccines

I’ve had my flu vaccine, do I need a coronavirus vaccine?
  • The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19.

  • As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but they should be separated by at least a week.

Fertility, pregnancy, and the vaccines

I am pregnant, should I still get vaccinated?
  • There's no evidence the COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe if you're pregnant but more evidence is needed before you can be routinely offered the vaccine.

  • The JCVI has updated its advice and you may be able to have the vaccine if you're pregnant and at high risk of getting coronavirus (because of where you work, or if you have a health condition that means you're at high risk of serious complications of coronavirus).

  • If your consultant obstetrician decides that you would benefit from having the vaccine, they will write to your GP asking that a vaccination is arranged. You will be provided with a letter to take to your vaccination appointment.

The vaccines and suitability

Do the vaccines contain animal products?
  • No, the two approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg. The COVID-19 vaccine ingredients are available on the GOV.UK website. for both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines.

How effective are the vaccines?

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?
  • The 1st dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection.

  • There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have been vaccinated but the chance of serious illness is lowered. This means it is important to continue to follow social distancing guidance and wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people.

Enquiry Service

Please note: the Vaccination Enquiry Service is not able to answer any clinical questions. Patients with clinical queries relating to the vaccines are advised to contact their own GP or specialist.

If you cannot find an answer to your question you can contact our Vaccination team via:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 0300 561 2500 - lines are open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday only.

Please note: this is NOT a vaccination booking service.

 



 

Review Date: 2021-02-05
Review Due: 2021-03-05
Model Publication Scheme Class: Class 9: Services Commissioned