Coronavirus: Vaccine FAQs
I've received a letter about booking my vaccination appointment - what should I do?
Letters are being sent inviting patients to book a vaccine appointment via the NHS website or by ringing 119. This being done by age cohort, in line with the JCVI guidance. This is an invitation to book an appointment at a mass vaccination centre - our local one is Ashton Gate stadium. You can do this by following the instructions in the letter. You do not need to do this if:
- You would prefer to get your vaccine at the practice. We can assure you that we have your details so you don't need to contact us - we will contact you when it's your turn.
- You already have an appointment booked with your practice to get your vaccine.
- You have already had your first dose with the practice - we'll contact you when it's time to come in for your second.
If you are unable to book an appointment using the details in the letter, don't worry. We have your details and we will contact you to invite you for an appointment very soon.
When will I get the vaccine?
Staff are working tirelessly to ensure the necessary measures are in place for those most at risk to get their vaccine first. To do this, we are following a nationally set prioritisation order, from which we are unable to deviate.
The priority list from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is as follows:
- 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
*Please note that 'carers' in this context refers to care home staff. If you are a personal or family carer you will be vaccinated within your age-related or clinically vulnerable group if that applies to you.
**Please note that frontline health and social care workers should contact their employer about getting their vaccination, not their registered GP surgery.
It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19.
We are currently vaccinating patients in cohorts 1 and 2.
I'm in an eligible cohort. Should I call the practice if I haven't heard anything?
While a vaccination programme of this scale will take some time, we can assure you that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it. We ask that you don’t contact your practice directly – we will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated.
Why haven't I had my vaccine when others the same age already have?
All the GP surgeries in our area are now offering the vaccine to their eligible patients. Staff have been working tirelessly to get this up and running over the last month but the scale of the vaccination programme means that this could not happen in every GP surgery at once. This is the same across the country. If you are in an eligible cohort and you haven't yet heard from us, you do not need to contact us directly. We can assure you we have your details and we will contact you when it's your turn.
When will I get my second dose?
The NHS is following new guidance from the Government’s expert advisors which says that prioritising a first dose for as many people as possible will save more lives. This is because even with just one dose the vaccine has been estimated to offer at least 74% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given.
Therefore, as a key part of the national effort to protect as many people in at-risk groups as quickly as possible, second doses will now be delivered in the 12th week following your first dose. We will be in touch to schedule your second dose appointment soon.
We apologise if we have had to reschedule your appointment.
When will the next cohorts be vaccinated?
We are making great progress in vaccinating our patients in the first two cohorts. This includes patients who can visit the practice, as well as some who we need to vaccinate in their home or care home. When it is time to move onto the next cohort, we will be told by the government and they will arrange for us to get a vaccine delivery. Once this happens, we will contact you. The government ambition is to offer vaccines to everyone in the first 5 groups (13 million people) by the middle of February.
I am an Unpaid Carer - when will I get vaccinated?
The vaccination programme is now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as those who are eligible for a carer's allowance, or those who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable. To be eligible, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include for example, shopping or cleaning.
If you are already registered as a carer with either your GP or the local authority or you are eligible for carers allowance you do not have to do anything. You will be invited for a vaccination either by your GP or through the COVID-19 Vaccination National Booking Service. Please wait until you are called directly.
Please do not be concerned if you are invited for vaccination more than once. For example, if you are registered as a carer with your GP and you receive carer's allowance, you may receive 2 invitations. Please only book one appointment.
If you are not registered with any of these bodies or you do not receive carers allowance then you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. A national system is being developed which will enable you to self -identify as a carer and book a vaccination. Further information on this system will be available in the coming weeks but in the meantime it is very important that you do not contact your GP or local authority directly to request a vaccination.
We will be prioritising vaccination based on risk and therefore those with underlying health conditions or on the shielded patient list (clinically extremely vulnerable) will be vaccinated as a priority. Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book an appointment. We remain committed to vaccinating everyone who is eligible in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire as soon as possible.
I have a question about the COVID vaccine - what should I do?
There is lots of information available online appropriate]. You can go to nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. We will get in touch with you when it is your turn to be vaccinated - you do not need to contact us to ask when this will be.