Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered:
Who can get the covid-19 vaccine?
In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.
It’s being given to:
- people aged 50 and over
- people at high risk from coronavirus aged 18 – 65 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
- people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people with a learning disability
- people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
Find out more about who is eligible to have a COVID-19 vaccine
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have developed a list of nine high-priority groups. The JCVI recommended an order to which vaccines have been given, with the most vulnerable people having theirs first.
In Knowsley, Prescot Medical Centre are responsible for the delivery of the Knowsley COVID-19 vaccination programme (CVP) and have advised the practice which group of patients to invite in and when.
How do I book my vaccination?
We have a dedicated booking team within the practice called the ‘Call and Recall Team’ who will contact you directly to offer an appointment. Our booking team are contacting patients via SMS, letter and/or telephone call to invite them to an appointment at one of the three local vaccination clinics in Knowsley.
Alternatively, you can book an appointment online at a larger mass vaccination centre here.
We have now contacted all eligible patients to offer an appointment for the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. If you are eligible and yet to receive your first dose, please contact our central booking team on 0151 902 0015 and they will book you in to the next available appointment.
Once you are due your second dose vaccination our call and recall team will make direct contact with you again to book an appointment via SMS / letter / telephone call.
Where will I be vaccinated?
If you have booked an appointment with our team at the practice, your vaccination will take place at one of the following locations:
Huyton One Stop Shop
Kirkby One Stop Shop
Kirkby Town Centre
The Hollies Hall
I'm being asked for my NHS number when I try to book my vaccine online, how do I find this out?
You can find your NHS number online by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/find-nhs-number/, you must be registered with a GP and the GP must have either a mobile number or email in your record so that your NHS number can be text or emailed back to you. If you don’t have these registered with your GP you’ll have to phone your practice to ask them for your number.
I’m housebound so cannot get to a vaccination clinic – how will I get my vaccine?
As a practice, we have a list of our housebound patients and have successfully given a first dose vaccine to the vast majority of our house bound patients. If you are either temporarily housebound (e.g. due to a recent change in circumstances) or permanently housebound then please indicate this to the practice. A member of the administration team will contact you and ask you a series of questions; you will be provided with a date and a 2 hour time slot for when our vaccination nurse will attend your home.
As a housebound patient you will receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Can I get my jab from my pharmacist like I did for flu?
There are currently two pharmacies in Knowsley that are now offering vaccinations to people over 50 years of age:
112 Dinas Lane; Huyton; Merseyside; L36 2NS
Pharmacy2U Whiston Village Hotel
Pharmacy2U (Village Hotel), Fallows Way, Whiston, Liverpool, L35 1RZ
Car parking onsite, Close to train station, Taxi drop off point and Close to bus stop
You can book an appointment here.
Can women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have the vaccine?
Currently, there’s no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you’re pregnant. But more evidence is needed before you can routinely be offered it.
The JCVI has updated its advice to recommend you may be able to have the vaccine if you’re pregnant and:
- at high risk of getting coronavirus because of where you work
- have a health condition that means you’re at high risk of serious complications of coronavirus
You can have the COVID-19 vaccine if you’re breastfeeding.
Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks with you.
There’s no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine has any effect on your chances of becoming pregnant. There’s no need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination.
The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.
Is the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine safe? Does it cause blood clots?
The World Health Organization, the medicines regulator in Europe, and the UK’s own medicines regulator have all said that Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and emphasised that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks.
The UK regulator, the MHRA, has studied 79 cases of people who developed specific types of blood clot linked to low platelet levels in the blood after receiving a first dose of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine, 19 of whom died. Blood clots after the vaccine are extremely rare. These 79 cases of blood clots are after 20 million doses of the vaccine, which is a rate of just four in a million.
This problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it’s not yet clear why it affects some people.
The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.
Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:
- a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
- a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
- a headache that’s unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
- a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
- shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain
Information for under 30's
For people under 30 without other health conditions, it’s currently advised that it’s preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
If you have had the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and you are under the age of 30, it is still advised you receive the second dose of the immunisation course. The potential risks are very rare and the benefits of having the vaccine significantly outweigh any risks. If you are due your second AstraZeneca vaccination, this is what you will be offered at the time of booking.
Can the vaccine give me covid-19?
No, you cannot get coronavirus from the vaccine. A vaccine would not be approved for use if it could give you the disease it is supposed to protect you from.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is not a live vaccine, meaning it does not contain any live viruses – nor does the Moderna vaccine. The Oxford vaccine contains a harmless form of a different virus, which has been altered so it cannot cause an illness.
Can I drive after having the vaccine?
You shouldn’t drive for 15 minutes after getting the vaccine.
Is the vaccine safe for people with heart conditions?
Yes, the vaccine is safe for people with heart and circulatory conditions. No vaccine will be approved unless it is considered safe for people with long-term conditions, including heart and circulatory conditions, and including older people. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has decided that people who are at risk because of a heart condition should be among those who are prioritised to receive the vaccine.
I've already had covid-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes, it’s really important to get the vaccine, even if you’ve already had Covid-19. You may have some level of immunity if you’ve had coronavirus, but this varies and may not last long. The MHRA has considered the issue and decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 then you will have to wait 28 days before being able to have your vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine side effects
Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
- a sore arm where the needle went in
- feeling tired
- a headache
- feeling achy
- feeling or being sick
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.
You may get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery 1 or 2 days after having your vaccination.
But if you have a high temperature that lasts longer than 2 days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste you may have coronavirus. Stay at home and get a test.
If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.
Tell healthcare staff before you are vaccinated if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction.
You should not have the COVID-19 vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis) to:
- a previous dose of the same vaccine
- any of the ingredients in the vaccine
Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
COVID-19 vaccine ingredients
The Pfizer vaccine contains highly purified single-stranded, 5’-capped messenger RNA (mRNA) as its active ingredient.
The inactive ingredients are chemicals to make up the vaccine solution. They are: ALC-0315 = (4-hydroxybutyl) azanediyl)bis (hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate); ALC-0159 = 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide; 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine; cholesterol; potassium chloride; potassium dihydrogen phosphate; sodium chloride; disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate; sucrose; and water. It contains polyethylene glycol/macrogol (PEG) as part of ALC-0159.
- Read more about how the Pfizer vaccine works
The Oxford vaccine contains a modified harmless form of a different virus as its active ingredient. It contains genetically modified cells.
The inactive ingredients are chemicals to make up the vaccine solution. They are: L-Histidine; L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate; magnesium chloride hexahydrate; polysorbate 80; ethanol; sucrose; sodium chloride; disodium edetate dihydrate; and water.
- Read more about how the Oxford vaccine works
The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.
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