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Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine

New guidance has been issued for the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

This follows further reviews by the independent regulator, the MHRA, and the Commission for Human Medicines, of a very small number of people in the UK who have developed a rare blood-clotting condition since having the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The MHRA and Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations have emphasised that the risk of this condition is extremely small and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people. They have recommended that:

  • Everyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine should still have a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, irrespective of age, unless they suffered any serious side effects after their first vaccination.
  • People aged 30 and over or who have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease should still be offered the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The benefits in protecting them against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.
  • People aged 18-29 who do not have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease will be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine where available. (This has been recommended as a precaution as people under 30 are at less risk from Covid-19 and not because they are considered to be at particular risk of developing the rare blood clot.)
  • People under 30 can still choose to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if this will mean they can be protected more quickly and they have been made aware of the guidance.

Please see the leaflet below that has been produced by Public Health England and the NHS to answer any questions you may have

·         Leaflet on COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting

COVID-19 vaccinations

The NHS is currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations to people in the following priority groups:

  • Cohort 5 – people aged 65-69
  • Cohort 6 – people with underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk from Covid-19 and carers of elderly and disabled people.
  • Cohort 7 – people aged 60-64
  • Cohort 8 – people aged 55-59

If you are in one of these groups, you will be contacted when it is your turn for a vaccination, either by your practice or the NHS national booking service.

Anyone aged 55 or over can book an appointment through the national booking service without waiting for a letter or by calling 119. This will be extended to people in cohort 9 (50-54) over the next few weeks so keep an eye on the site homepage to see when you can use the service.

We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but please do not contact your GP practice or the NHS for an appointment. The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first and people will not be able to make an appointment until they have received an invitation.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge and only available through the NHS. Text messages from the NHS will show as being sent from NHSvaccine and will only link to the NHS.uk website. The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details, your PIN or banking password, or ask you to press a button on your keypad.

 

Please continue to follow all the safety guidance even when you’ve had the vaccine as you may still be able to spread the disease, in particular hand hygiene, wearing a face covering and social distancing.

For more information about the vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk or see these frequently asked questions.

 

If you are over 70 and haven’t had your first vaccination yet you can contact the NHS National Booking Service for an appointment.

We are working to contact all patients over 70 by the middle of February but if you haven’t heard from us yet and want to book an appointment, please visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
 
This will allow you to choose a time slot and location that suits you. If you are not able to book online you can call 119 free of charge, between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. (Please be aware that phone lines can get very busy so you may prefer to call later in the day when it is can be less busy.)
This is only available for first vaccination appointments and if you are aged 70 or over. Everyone else will still need to wait to be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn for a vaccination or for an appointment for their second vaccination if they don’t already have one.
 
You still need an appointment to get a vaccination so please do not go to any of the centres unless you have one booked. This is important because booking slots are carefully managed to allow for social distancing and the number of appointments is based on the supply available that day.
We are also contacting all patients who are registered as clinically extremely vulnerable and have been asked to shield, as well as people in the eligible cohorts who are housebound. If you haven’t been contacted yet, you should hear from us this week.
 
Finding your NHS number
You can still book an appointment if you don’t have your NHS number, provided you are registered with a GP practice. However, it will be quicker if you have your number: this will be on any letter or document you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, or you can find it online at
 
Registering with a GP
You can find a GP practice on the NHS.uk website. You will need to fill in a form to register - for some practices you can do this on their website so check there first. Alternatively, you can download a GMS1 registration form on GOV.UK or arrange a time to pick up a registration form from the GP surgery. If you have problems registering with a GP practice, call the NHS England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 22 33.
 
Other frequently asked questions (see separate attachment)

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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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 vaccine, please act on your invite straight away and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them.
 
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.
 
In the meantime, please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives
 
For more information about the vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk or see these frequently asked questions.

We have had many expressions of interest in volunteering to help with the vaccination campaign.  Our principle need will be for Marshalls to help with traffic (both cars and people) managements.  Outdoor/warm clothing required.  If you are over 18 and would like to volunteer please complete the form below and we will include you on our email distribution list.

 

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=slTDN7CF9UeyIge0jXdO408xdWtmTfdGr87mNKR_zeFUQU43MjhaQkI1S1M0VkZBSVVUTkc4T0EyWiQlQCN0PWcu