Flu and COVID-19 vaccination
Flu and COVID-19 vaccination
Influenza will shortly be circulating. If you’re eligible for a flu vaccination, please make an appointment with us to have yours early in the season.
We’ve contacted patients who are eligible for a flu vaccination. If you’ve previously had a flu vaccination provided by the NHS and we’ve not contacted you yet, please get in touch to check whether you’re eligible. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
Some patients will be eligible for a vaccination against COVID-19. If you’re eligible, we’ll be in touch to arrange your appointment. If you haven’t heard from us, you can check your eligibility here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination/getting-a-covid-19-vaccine/
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should not have the vaccine?
There are very few groups of people who cannot have the vaccine. Currently these are patients who have had anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) to one of the ingredients in the vaccine, or to an unknown trigger. If you have had a mild allergic reaction to a medicine or food in the past (such as a rash), it is still recommended that you have the Covid-19 vaccine.
People with lowered immune systems, on immunosuppressant drugs, or those on blood thinning medications should still have the vaccine.
If you are unwell with a fever, it is recommended that you do not have the vaccine, but wait until you have recovered from your illness.
I'm pregnant/planning pregnancy/breastfeeding - can I have the vaccine?
There is not much data on vaccine safety in pregnancy, however it is not thought to cause any problems. If you are high risk of catching Covid or of having severe illness and are pregnant, the benefit of having the vaccine could outweigh the risk. Speak with your midwife about this. If you are planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding and are invited to have the vaccine, it is advised that you do so, as there is no evidence to suggest it woud be unsafe.
I have an egg allergy. Is it still safe to have the vaccine?
Yes. Some other vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. The Covid vaccines do not contain any egg, or any other animal product.
Can I have my flu jab at the same time?
The current guidance states that you should not have the Covid-19 vaccine within a week of having another vaccine. It is not known to be harmful, but would be best to plan them at least 7 days apart.
I'm a carer for a vulnerable adult. Will I get my vaccine at the same time?
Whilst carers will be eligible for the vaccine, the current guidance states that individuals will receive their vaccine based on their own clinical vulnerability. This however may change in due course when more vaccine becomes available.
Is it a live vaccine, or could I catch Covid from having the vaccine?
No it is not a live vaccine, and only contains a small bit of genetic code from the virus. It is not possible to develop the Covid-19 illness from having a vaccine.
I've heard a lot on the news about different types of vaccines. Which one is best?
There are over 200 different vaccines in development across the world. Three vaccines have been licenced in the UK. These are the Pfizer/BioNTech, Astra Zeneca/Oxford and Moderna. All three vaccines have shown very good results in the trials, and are proven to be very safe. They work in slightly different ways, but achieve the same result of developing a memory immune response. The vaccines we are using are the Pfizer/BioNTech and Aztra Zeneca vaccines.
Can I choose which vaccine I can have?
No you cannot request a specific vaccine, as we would generally have access to one type at a time from NHS England.
Should my child have the vaccine?
Currently, trials have only just begun in children, and there is little data at the moment. As most children and young people are very low risk compared to the rest of the population of severe disease or death, it is not currently routinely recommended for children and young people under 16 years of age to have the vaccine. When more data and guidelines are published, we will keep you updated.
What side effects should I expect after having the vaccine?
As with most vaccines, it is common to have some soreness and redness at the jab site. You may experience a mild fever, muscle aches (myalgia) or headaches in the 24-48 hours after having the vaccine. It is safe to take paracetamol if you can usually take this to help with these symptoms, and it will not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.
After having the vaccine, will I be immune, and do I still have to practice social distancing?
Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective. The Covid vaccines do however significantly reduce your risk of developing severe disease. It is unclear whether they also protect against transmission (passing the virus on to others), so the current guidance is still to continue with social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering, and regular hand washing.