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COVID Vaccinations

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NHS guidance - The latest information on the vaccine programme can be found on the NHS website.

Government advice - For the latest information on coronavirus guidance please visit GOV.UK.

The national NHS COVID vaccination booking service went live in advance of booking letters starting to arrive from Saturday 9th January 2021. 

The NHS will send out letters for eligible people who have not yet been vaccinated to book their vaccine appointment.

They can do this in two ways:

  1. Booking online on the NHS website
  2. Phoning 119.

How it will work:

  • The NHS will write to eligible people (based on the nationally decided priority groups) offering them to book through this service
  • People will be able to book their appointment in a vaccination centre or community pharmacy
  • Letters will go to people in the priority groups currently being vaccinated who live in reasonable travelling distance of the active locations (currently up to 45 minutes), and who haven’t already been vaccinated through other NHS vaccination services
  • The letter that people will receive also explains that people may have also been contacted by other local services and, if they have booked with them, they should take no further action
  • Additionally, the letters advise that if people can’t or would prefer not to travel to a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy site, they can choose to wait to be invited to somewhere closer
  • As we have now written to everyone aged 70 and over or on the Shielded Patients List, everyone in these groups who has yet to have their first dose can now book using the system.

Ensuring patients can access the service when they need to:

  • In line with the process already in place for other vaccination services, the NHS will contact people in other priority groups when it is their turn to book their vaccine
  • It will not be possible to use the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service if you haven’t been sent an invitation letter. It will also not be possible to get a vaccine at a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy site without an appointment.

Eligibilty for vaccinations

How will I know when I can get a vaccination?

You will be invited either by your GP or by the NHS in England, and sent information on how to book an appointment

What groups are currently being vaccinated?

  • Anyone over 65 (though everyone 70 and over will have been contacted by now)
  • Anyone who is “clinically extremely vulnerable” (though everyone will have been contacted by now)
  • People under 65 who have underlying health conditions, carers, and adults in residential settings – starting with those in the upper age range, and then on to younger groups.

I want a vaccine but I’m not in the current priority group – what do I do?

You will need to wait to be offered an appointment. If you think you qualify under one of the current groups, eg you have an underlying health condition, then you need to contact your GP.

I am in cohort X, when will you be starting to vaccinate this group / when will I be called for my vaccine?

The timetable for when people are called for vaccinations is decided nationally – there is no local flexibility on the timetable.

You will be contacted by the NHS and sent information on how to book an appointment when it is your turn.

I’ve been contacted to book an appointment for vaccination, though I don’t consider myself in one of the current priority groups – what should I do?

It could be that there is something on your health record that has picked you up as being eligible. If you are unsure you should contact your GP.

My employer has told me to contact the NHS about getting the vaccine as I am a front line worker – what can I do?

  • If you are eligible under one of the current priority groups, then you will be invited for a vaccination
  • If not, then please email [email protected] and include:
    • Geographical borough of where the service is delivered
    • Type of organisation
    • Name of organisation
    • Contact name
    • E-mail Contact
    • Number of staff requiring vaccination
    • Location
    • Closest hospital trust

I care for my partner and yet I am not being offered the vaccine – how can I get the vaccine?

Please contact your GP practice to see whether you are eligible as a carer under the current priority groups.

I have elderly parents (or someone else eligible) staying with me and don’t want to take them back home to receive the vaccine in their area – what can I do?

We would recommend speaking with your local GP about registering them temporarily.

Where are the vaccination centres?

The local Harrow NHS, through its primary care networks, has arranged three sites in Harrow:

  • The Hive, Camrose Avenue, London, HA8 6AG
  • Tithe Farm Sports and Social Club, 151 Rayners Lane, Harrow, HA2 0XH
  • Byron Hall, Christchurch Avenue, Harrow, HA3 5BD

There are also centres arranged by the NHS in England. These are:

  • Health Pharmacy, 392-394 Rayners Lane, London, Pinner, HA5 5DY
  • Healthways Pharmacy, 382 Rayners Lane, Pinner, Middlesex, HA5 5DY
  • Grimsdyke Golf Course, Oxhey Lane, Pinner, Middlesex, HA5 4AL

Some people may also be invited to the Wembley Mass Vaccination Centre at 8 Fulton Road, Wembley, HA9 0NU.

A mass vaccination centre at Byron Hall is also planned – this is being arranged by the NHS in England, not by the local Harrow NHS team, and we are awaiting notification of when it is due to open.

Easy-read leaflets and posters

On 20th February, the Government published easy-read guides and posters providing information on coronavirus vaccinations.

This includes guides on ‘what to expect after vaccination’ and ‘women who might get pregnant, who are pregnant or are breastfeeding their baby’ and posters showing the presentation, doses and storage of coronavirus vaccines.

Frequently asked questions and myth busters about the COVID vaccination

Are the vaccines safe?

Yes, the vaccine is safe. The NHS and your GP would not be recommending the vaccine to you unless it was safe. It has been tested and gone through the necessary regulatory procedures to allow people to receive it. The BBC has a useful webpage on vaccine safety.

  • The vaccines have a really good safety record – the NHS wouldn’t be able to give them if they didn’t
  • They were tested on thousands of people of different ages, ethnic backgrounds and with different health conditions before being approved, and have now been given to millions of people in England.
  • Some people do have side effects, but in almost all cases these are really mild and go away within a day or two.
  • Most importantly, they can keep people safe from getting seriously ill if someone gets coronavirus – it’s the best way there is of keeping people safe.
  • There is no evidence at all that the vaccine makes people infertile.

Vaccination ingredients information

  • Neither vaccine has any ingredients from animals or humans.
  • The Oxford/AstraZeneca contains a tiny amount of ethanol, but this is true of lots of things – they don’t contain any more than a banana or slice of bread does – and scholars have been clear that this is permissible.
  • Leaders from all the faiths have said that the vaccines are a good thing and people shouldn’t hesitate to have them.
  • Scholars have been clear that injections don’t invalidate the fast so you don’t need to worry if your second dose is during Ramadan.

When can I have my second dose?

You will have either been booked in for a second dose when you attended for your first dose, or you will be contacted for an appointment for a second dose. In both cases, this will be 11 weeks from the date of your first dose.

People who were vaccinated at The Hive are unlikely to have had a second appointment booked at the time of their first dose – they can be assured that they will be contacted for a second appointment 11 weeks from the date of their first dose.

I have had my first dose, and am due to have treatment that will make me immunosuppressed (eg cancer treatment) – can I have my second dose early?

You should speak to your GP to discuss and arrange this.

How can I book an appointment?

You will be invited either by your GP (a message could come from the practice or Harrow Health) or by the NHS in England, and sent information on how to book an appointment.

This can be by text message, by letter, or by phone, and you will be told how you can book. If you receive a text message, there is normally a link to book online.

When are appointments available?

Appointments are dependent on the delivery of the vaccine to vaccination sites. Each week there is usually a delivery of both the Phizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines to all the Harrow primary care network sites.

Locations, dates, and times when appointments are available will show up when you go online to book.

I can’t seem to book my appointment online – where can I go for support?

If you are booking into one of the Harrow primary care sites, then you can contact your GP or you can contact Harrow Health who are facilitating the booking system on 020 8866 4100 or by email at [email protected]

Can I choose which vaccine I want?

No, you will receive the vaccine available on the day of your appointment (and you will get the same vaccine for your second dose).

If you have received clinical advice to have a particular vaccine, then please contact your GP who can make sure you are booked into the correct vaccination clinic.

I fall under a group that has already started but haven’t been contacted – what should I do?

You should wait to be notified for an appointment as the NHS work through the groups in batches to coincide with deliveries of vaccines. If you don't hear anything after a week - then please contact your GP.