loader image

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Introduction

There is now a number of COVID-19 vaccines available and these are being rolled out to care staff working across Hertfordshire. Please note, arrangements are changing so HCPA will provide more information as it becomes available here and in our Vaccination Update mailers.

» Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our newsletters

To view the key Public Health Guidance- COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a

Utilise this webpage for latest guidance, FAQS and recordings from support webinars. 

Myth Busting

ConcernsGuidance:
Speed in developmentAll steps in the usual vaccine development process have been rigorously followed for the COVID-19 vaccineView resource
SafetyThe COVID-19 Vaccine has undergone rigous tests, including clinical trials that are globally recognised as having the highest safety standardsView resource
CulturePeople from all walks of life have been part of the COVID-19 vaccine trials including healthcare professionalsView resource
FertilityThere are no concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines affecting present or future fertility View resource
Effective DefenseVaccination is one of your most effective defences against COVID-19View resource
FertilityCOVID-19 vaccine guide for women of childbearing age or are planning a pregnancyView resource
CultureCovid-19 Vaccine Resources for BAME staffView resource

These sessions were run as  information session for your staff to talk through the vaccine development and implementation and to answer any questions/concerns your staff may have in advance of receiving the vaccine.

Below you will find copy of the slides and recording you can view or share with wider teams.

Click here for Local staff experiences after having the vaccine

Blood Clot Risk Vaccination Myth Busting Webinar for Hertfordshire care staff 19th March

Fertility and Pregnancy webinar 23rd February

Manager Sessions:

Care Managers Vaccination Strategies Session

Care Home Vaccination Update Webinar 11th January 

All Adult Non Care Home Services Vaccination Update Webinar 11th January 

For further support email assistance@hcpa.co.uk 

Timescales and Priorities

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have produced a priority list for rolling out the vaccine, plus a poster:

Where to get a vaccine?

The process for getting vaccinations is regularly changing and HCPA will keep you updated.

Please make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and send us your current membership information so we have the right people to contact.

Please find below summary of current routes:

Care staff booking via the National Booking Portal will need to show their work ID Badge. If your organisation does not have ID badges then please contact assistance@hcpa.co.uk and we will email you a copy of the HCC letter that can be used instead.

Residential and Nursing Homes – residents and staff via PCNs (GP Groups).  Staff who have not had a vaccination can also book on via  the national booking portal.

All other care services and staff can book via the national booking portal.

The current advice for 2nd dose appointments is that if you don’t already have an appointment you will be contacted by the centre that administered the 1st dose. We are waiting for further updates to this information and will let you know if this advice changes.

  • Personal Assistants:

A PA is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in your community.

Personal Assistants can register their interest for the COVID-19 vaccination by emailing ACS.Covid@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Once confirmed ACS.COVID@Hertfordshire.gov.uk (Hertfordshire County Council) will email a letter that will detail how to book a vaccination appointment. They may ask whether the applicant meets the Personal Assistant definition above before sending the letter.

FAQS and Resources

A selection of FAQS and Resources have been updated on this page and broken down to categories.

To find what you are looking for you can search below in the FAQS or select a category from the list on the left hand side of your screen. 

Anything you cannot find the answer for please email assistance@hcpa.co.uk 

QuestionAnswerGovernment Advice
Are there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Where can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Is vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsClick here
What if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf Click here
All residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
How do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Do I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Can you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Will the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
What are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
When will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
If vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Once vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Can I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Do you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Has the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
How many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.Click here
Will you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
Can you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteClick here
Can I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.Click here
Can the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.Click here
Is there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.Click here
Can people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.Click here
Why do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.Click here
Do you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultClick here
Can service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityClick here
I would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
After I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
Does the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggClick here
What do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.Click here
Is the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Can pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
I’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Does the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Should you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Am I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Can you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'Click here
How will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Who will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
If you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
If I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
How soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
I’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
How will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesClick here
Can regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
What identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Are there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.Click here
What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Will staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Has anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
There have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Will there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
What do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
If staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Are there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
Will the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusClick here
Do care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationClick here
If I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
I had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
I had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
I had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
I had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
I had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
I had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
I had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
When will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Should I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
What should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
I booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.Click here
I attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
I attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
I booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342Click here
I did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
I did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
I heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
I am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Should I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
I have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Does the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.Click here
Are there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'Click here
Does the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.Click here

General

Poster for Care Providers Post Vaccination Face, Space and Hands reminder – Care Home staff

 

 

 

Poster for Care Providers Post Vaccination Face, Space and Hands reminder – Social Care staff

 

 

 

Pregnancy, planning a pregnancy and Breast Feeding [PDF]

 

 

 

Guide Leaflet for older adults [PDF]

 

 

 

 

Why do I have to wait for the vaccine [PDF]

 

 

 

 

Information for people following the vaccination [PDF]

 

 

 

Information for Care Staff [PDF]

 

 

 

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Learning Disabilities

Learning Disability FAQS Click here

Accessibility and reasonable adjustments for individuals with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges Click here

Adult Care Services Hertfordshire County Council Reasonable Adjustments animation Click here

Making Reasonable Adjustments for People with Learning Disabilities Top Tips for GP Surgeries, Vaccinators, Carers and Family click here

HCC Easy Read information and resources click here

Includes:

  • Covid Vaccine Easy Read (PDF 528KB)
  • The Purple All-Stars have created a series of short videos about Coronavirus for people with learning disabilities, their carers, family and keyworkers. The videos will answer questions about the virus in a way, we hope, is easy to understand.
  • For further Easy Read resources on Covid-19 click here

Government Easy read – A guide to your COVID-19 vaccination for people with a learning disability- Click here

Alternatives

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

BAME

There is scientific evidence and reassurance that COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested on people of all backgrounds, cultures and communities, and are safe for all.

Covid 19 Vaccines Exploring Concerns & Truths in BAME Communities Part1 Click here

Covid 19 Vaccines Exploring Concerns & Truths in BAME Communities Part2 Click here

A group of celebrities have released a video addressing vaccine misinformation in BAME communities. The group, including actors Adil Ray and Meera Syal, as well as cricketeer Moeen Ali and presenter Konnie Huq, appealed to black, Asian and ethnic minority communities in the UK to help address hesitancy around the Covid-19 vaccine.

Coronavirus has disproportionately impacted minority ethnic communities, but these communities have also been subject to misleading information around the vaccine. ‘Unfortunately we are now fighting another pandemic: misinformation,’ Ray, who helped organise the video, explained. ‘We all must do what we can and come together to fight this deadly virus. We hope this video can help dispel some of the myths and offer some encouragement for everyone to take the vaccine’

Click here to view

Further Resources:

  • Vaccination Information in other languages- Click here
  • Covid-19 Vaccine Resources for BAME staff- Click here

 

Clinical & Allergies

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Consent

Consent will be required from individuals prior to being given the vaccine.

» Care Home residents: forms and letters – (For those able to consent, Attorney of a Care Home Resident and for relatives view on consent)

Please note that the COVID-19 Vaccination Relative view form for Care Home residents gives relatives the opportunity to record their views on whether or not a COVID vaccine would be in the best interests of the person concerned. It is not a consent form as without an activated Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare) in place, families cannot give such consent, but it does allow relatives to express a view that might be helpful to the clinician who will make the best interests decision.

Mental capacity is time specific, and the vaccine story is changing so rapidly at the moment that the information that needs to be understood may change. Care Homes can begin to prepare people to make this decision as soon as possible, by encouraging conversations and helping people to think through what they might decide.

Consent webinar resources

Download the resources and slides from the vaccination webinar ran by HCPA and HCC recently.

» Click here to download the slides
» Click here to watch the webinar

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Direct Employers

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Doses & Evidence

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Frequency

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Ingredients

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Prioritisation & Access

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

MRNA

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info
GeneralDo you have to wait for vacination if staff are recovering from covid?*Yes - a gap of 28 days is required following the positive test resultMore info
GeneralCan service and maintenance people who are working within the homes be sent for vaccinations and how can we organise this?*The two priority groups are older people care home staff and frontline health and social care staff. All other groups, will need to follow the Government priority framework, which can be found here: link to priorityMore info
GeneralI would like to know when over 80's housebound patients will be offered vaccination*Plans are underway to deliver vaccinations to those who are unable to leave their home. HCPA will update care providers via the regular vaccine updates and on the website.
GeneralAfter I’ve had the vaccine will I still need to follow all of the infection prevention and control advice?*Yes. No vaccine is completely effective, and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. While the approved vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. All staff will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes. To continue to protect yourself, your residents, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance
IngredientsDoes the vaccine contain eggs or animal products?*The Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or eggMore info
IngredientsWhat do the vaccines actually contain?*The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the UK do not contain the live virus which causes COVID-19. There is no latex or preservatives in the vaccine. Having the vaccine will not cause you to test positive using the approved viral testing methods. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. • A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.More info
IngredientsIs the vaccine suitable to vegetarians?*The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin, including pork, gelatine and eggs.
MRNAWill the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?*No, this is not possible. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) from a COVID-19 vaccine can be described as instructions for how to make a protein, and cannot alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). mRNA never enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept, which means that it does not affect or interact with our DNA.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingCan pregnant women have a Covid-19 vaccine?*There is no known risk with giving inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnant women, so it has been advised that until more information is available, pregnant women should not routinely have these vaccines. As a matter of caution, COVID-19 vaccine is therefore not routinely advised in pregnancy but there are some circumstances in which the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for pregnant women. This may include women who are at very high risk of catching the infection or those with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19 infection. In such circumstances, a woman may choose to have COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy following a discussion with her doctor or nurse. If a COVID-19 vaccine is given to a pregnant woman, she should be reassured that the vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection in her or in her baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or her baby. If you find out that you are pregnant after you have had the vaccine, don’t worry. The vaccines do not contain organisms that multiply in the body, so they cannot cause COVID-19 infection in your unborn baby. As they have done for other vaccines, PHE is establishing a monitoring system to follow up women who are vaccinated in pregnancy to help reassure women as time goes on. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingI’m trying to conceive, should I still have the vaccine?*The current guidance is that the vaccination is safe for women of childbearing age. Here are the key points you should consider: • if you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over • if you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk) • If you are pregnant but think you are at high risk, you should discuss having or completing vaccination with your doctor or nurse. Although the vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, you may decide that the known risks from COVID-19 are so clear that you wish to go ahead with vaccination. There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccine-will-affect-fertility-say-unions-21-01-2021/
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingDoes the vaccine cause infertility?*There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It contains a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. After a person is vaccinated, their body produces copies of the spike protein, which does not cause disease, and triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Contrary to false reports on social media, this protein is not the same as any involved in formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast FeedingShould you have a Covid-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding?*There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant. Despite this, COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breast-feeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations in the USA and from the World Health Organisation. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancyhub/blogs-stories/covid-19-vaccine-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding
Prioritisation & AccessAm I right in saying that staff will not be given the vaccination in the care home unless there is any leftover so they must go to a site where they can. If they do get a vaccination in the care home then does the second dose have to be offered in the care home again?*The 2nd dose of vaccine must be given at the same place as the first. Care home staff can go to a different site to get the vaccination if there is not sufficient vaccine left as part of the home vaccination programme.
Prioritisation & AccessCan you confirm the vaccine will be available to care staff working in building based and rural day opportunity services?*The vaccination is being offered in line with Government prioritisation. All front line social care staff will be offered the vaccine, the full list can be found in the Green book here on page 11 after clicking 'More Info'More info
Prioritisation & AccessHow will I get my staff vaccinated?*You will be contacted by the relevant organisation. Please take the opportunity as soon as it is offered if at all possible.
Prioritisation & AccessWho will be contacting us to get details of staff for vaccination and when?*A representative from one of the Acute Sites will be contacting the Manager of the service. The Manager will be asked to prepare a list of staff requiring the vaccination. Do not provide details of anyone who does not want to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated Lists of non-residential care providers have been sent to the Acute Sites. They will be contacting providers in the next two weeks.
Prioritisation & AccessIf you have a disability/long term health condition and are not classed as clinically vulnerable or in the priority age group is disability/long term health condition a factor on when you will be offered a vaccination?*You will have access to the vaccine inline with the national priority list which can be found in the green book here- Any concerns please speak to your health professional at the time of being offered the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessIf I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine. You may not have developed enough of an immune response to protect you against a subsequent COVID-19 infection. It is also unknown how long any immunity may last. A recent study demonstrated that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infections provides some immunity, but this immunity is a lower level and for a shorter time than if they have been vaccinated.
Prioritisation & AccessHow soon after being Covid-19 positive or having symptoms should you have a vaccine?*If you have a confirmed case of COVID -19 you should wait at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, and until you have recovered from your COVID -19 infection, before having the vaccine.
Prioritisation & AccessI’ve had the virus – why do I need the vaccine? I’m not in an ‘at risk’ group – why do I need the vaccine?*Even if you did have COVID before, it is a good idea to get the vaccine as we do not know how long your immunity will last for and having COVID once does not mean you will not get it again. We know the immunity from the vaccine lasts up to a year. Even though you are not at risk, it is still good to get the vaccine because even if you are not at risk at severe infection yourself but 1 in 3 people are carrying it asympamatically with no symptoms at all and at the moment we don't have a lot of data whether it stops the spread. We hope that we create enough immunity in the population to stop that spread occuring.
Prioritisation & AccessHow will new starters get vaccinated?*The process is not yet confirmed, please continue to follow HCPA Vaccination updates via email and webpagesMore info
Prioritisation & AccessCan regular volunteers within a care setting be added to our lists of staff for vaccinations?*Yes providing they are front line care staff
ProofWhat identification do staff need to take with them?*You will be made aware of what ID to take when you book your appointment
Side effectsAre there any side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?*Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. If someone experiences any of these symptoms they should get tested. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals are concerned about their health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.More info
Side effectsWhat are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?*Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms. However, these symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity. These symptoms normally last less than a week. Further details can be found here.
Side effectsWill staff who have had the jab still need to isolate if they show symptoms (although this could be from the jab).
Side effectsHas anyone died in the UK from taking the vaccine, out of the 3M people that have taken the vaccine?*Nobody has died following having the vaccine in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Side effectsThere have been about 5m vaccines given so far. How many adverse reactions have there been. What sort of reactions were they and what are the implications to those individuals?*Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Myalgia, arthralgia and chills were also common with fever in 10-20%, mainly after the second dose. Most were classified as mild or moderate. Lymphadenopathy was reported in less than 1%. (Polack et al, 2020). Four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in vaccine recipients in the trial. Although within the expected background rate, this will be monitored closely post-implementation.
Side effectsWill there be proper monitoring of people such as in the point above when they have the vaccine to ensure they are not reacting?*So you are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. If you do have any reactions to the vaccination after the 15 minutes, you can contact a health Professional to dicsuss that. It is the same with any other vaccine, if you had any side affects, you can contact the NHS, 111. Any vaccination centre should have resuscitatiion equipment and the equipment to deal with severe allergic reactions
Staff RefusalWhat do we do if a staff member does not wish to have the vaccination?*Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice. There will be webinars for all social care staff to join that will provide more detail about the vaccinations and their safety and effectiveness
Staff RefusalIf staff refuse can they choose again and have vaccine at a later date? If so when would that be?*We encourage all those working in the frontline of care to have the vaccine when offered as there is no guarantee of the timescale before the indivudal will be offered again, as the vaccination sites will move on to the next priority groups.
Staff RefusalAre there any consequences to staff working within the care sector who do not wish to have the vaccine?*At present there are not any definitive consequences to care staff who do not have the vaccines, however this is something that is being reviewed nationally by the legal and HR sectors. Some providers may already or will state in their contracts that staff need to be vaccinated. Please find article from Riddouts Legal discussing this area.
TestingWill the PCR test result be modified by the vaccine and give us error positive results?*No, none of the vaccines will interact in anyway with testing for CoronavirusMore info
TestingDo care homes still have to do lateral test twice a week for residents and staff?*Yes, the current testing arrangments for staff and residents must continue following vaccinationMore info
Second DoseIf I had the Pfizer vaccine when I had the first dose do I have to have this for my second?*You MUST have the same vaccine for both doses, so if you had Astra-Zeneca for your first dose you must have Astra-Zeneca for your second dose. If you had Pfizer for your first dose, you must have Pfizer for your second.
Second DoseI had my first dose through my GP practice, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through your GP practice you must return to the same location for your second dose. The GP practice will be in touch with you.
Second DoseI had my first dose through a Local Vaccination Site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through a Local Vaccination Site (also known as a GP Hub) you will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose through the care home where I work, how should I book my second dose?*If you were vaccinated at the care home setting you work at, your care home will be contacted with the date for the second dose visit.
Second DoseI had my first dose at a mass vaccination site, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose at a mass vaccination site then book your appointment using the National Booking System. You can select any location on the booking system, but this MUST be the same vaccine as your first dose. You should be able to see on the National Booking System which vaccine each location is using.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Lister Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Lister Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Lister Hospital will send you a text reminder about your second dose appointment. If you need to cancel you can do so by text, and then phone 0333 332 4065 to rebook.
Second DoseI had my first dose through Watford Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Watford Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Watford Hospital will be in touch with you. If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose and are not able to attend your second appointment, you should contact westherts.covidvaccinations@nhs.net
Second DoseI had my first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital, how should I book my second dose?*If you had your first dose through Princess Alexandra Hospital you must return to the same location for your second dose. Princess Aexandra Hospital will be in touch with you.
Second DoseWhen will I have my second dose?*Your second dose should be 11-12 weeks after your first dose.
Second DoseShould I still have my second dose if I am unwell?*If you are unwell, when you are due to have your second dose then it is better to wait until you have recovered; but get it as soon as possible.
Second DoseWhat should I do if I tested positive for Covid after my first dose?*If you tested positive for Covid after your first dose, and due to your 28-day period you are struggling to get an appointment within 12 weeks of your first dose, you should contact the place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital via CovidTrack, what should I do now?*You should attend your second dose appointment as planned. You can check your appointment time or reschedule if necessary, by 'More Info'.More info
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and did not receive an invitation to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*You will need to book an appointment before receiving your second dose. You may book an appointment by contacting the West Herts COVID-19 Hub on 01923 217342.
Second DoseI attended my first dose as a walk-in at Watford Hospital and I did receive an invitation from CovidTrack to book my second appointment, what should I do now?*Your email invitation will allow you to book your second dose within 12 weeks of your first, via CovidTrack. Please follow the instructions on the invitation email to book your appointment.
Second DoseI booked both my first and second dose appointments at Watford Hospital on CovidTrack, but attended my first dose on a different date, as a walk-in, what should I do now?*If your second dose appointment is within 12 weeks of the date you had your first dose, attend as planned. If your second dose appointment exceeds 12 weeks from the date you had your first dose, you can either manage your own booking by clicking'More Info', or contact our COVID-19 staff hub on 01923 217342More info
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, I had it elsewhere (e.g. GP surgery, mass vaccination centre etc), what should I do now?*You should have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose.
Second DoseI did not have my first dose at Watford Hospital, as I have a serious allergy, so I had my first dose at the allergy clinic, what should I do now?*Please book/reschedule your appointment so that you can attend our allergy clinic on Wednesday mornings between 9am and midday.
GeneralI heard there will be a shortage of supply of the vaccine in April. What is happening?*There will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the week commencing 29 March for an expected four-week period. Between now and 29 March, GP-led, pharmacy-led and large vaccination sites will all continue to vaccinate those in the top priority cohorts. Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place between 29 March and the end of April will go ahead. Please note, between 29 March and the end of April, new first dose vaccination appointments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.Everyone aged 50 and over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups who have not yet had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, should now book a vaccination either online, through the National Booking System, or by calling 119. People should take up this offer as soon as possible and start to get the protection they need against COVID-19 before 29 March.Whilst vaccine supplies will not be at the increased level we had initially been hoping for during April, we will still be receiving considerable volumes of vaccine.
GeneralI am due to have my second dose of the vaccine in April, will I still be able to get the vaccine?*Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between the 29 of March and the end of April will receive their second dose.
Second DoseShould I book my 2nd dose appointment at the same place as my first?*People using the National Booking Service (booking into a vaccination centre or designated community pharmacy) are given their closest available appointment locations. Whilst we expect most people will book both appointments at the same location, there is an option for the second dose appointment to be booked at a different location. This applies to the COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine only. People who had their first dose through a GP service should be invited for their second dose through the same GP service. People who had their first dose at a Hospital Hub site should be invited or be able to book their second dose at the same location. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
Second DoseI have a person who uses my service who is not able to travel to the place where they had their first vaccination what shoudl they do?*Second dose appointments should be carried out at the same place as the first vaccination. There are other circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a patient to receive their second dose in a different location to their first does, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on roation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.
SafetyDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info
Side effectsAre there side effects?*Blood clotsThe MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. You can read more about the risk of blood clots on the Gov.uk website - by clicking 'more info.'More info
Side effectsDoes the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots?*The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with many millions of people vaccinated and thousands of lives already saved.The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a thorough scientific review of all the available data surrounding reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.The MHRA states the risk is extremely low – around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.The advice from the MHRA and the government's vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, is that people should continue to come forward for their vaccine when invited to do so. The benefits of vaccination in protecting people against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. People should also complete their course with the same vaccine they had for their first dose, unless they suffered serious side effects after their first dose.As younger people tend to be at lower risk from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the JCVI is currently advising that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.The MHRA is continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety and review any concerns reported to them. You can read the latest guidance from the Government leaflet - by clicking 'more info'.More info

Pregnancy, Fertility & Breast Feeding

Fertility

The fact that the virus is not at the time of writing routinely given to pregnant women has partly helped misinformation that the vaccine makes you infertile to spread
This is simply not true
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Midwives have produced a joint statement here

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Because the vaccine was not studied on pregnant women, it is not routinely offered to pregnant women. We expect this will change as we know more but, as with many vaccines, it is not offered routinely purely as a precaution.
This has allowed misinformation to spread that the vaccine disrupts pregnancy or makes you infertile. Some pregnant women are given the vaccine if their underlying health or job risk warrants it.

  • The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have an information sheet for pregnant women here
  • Tommy’s Charity guide to covid vaccine, pregnancy and breastfeeding is here
  • British Fertility Society Click here

Government Guidance  – The safety of COVID-19 vaccines when given in pregnancy – Click here

QuestionGovernment Advice
AlternativesAre there any alternatives to the vaccine, for example a tablet or a nasal spray?*Potentially at some point, yes. However I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the problem with anti-viral drugs, with the exception of HIV, is Anti-viral drugs are not as good as the vaccine. The evidence we have from the past is that anti-viral drugs haven't been as effective as vaccines.
Clinical & AllergiesWhere can we find out what allergies effect you having the vaccine?*Having allergic reactions should not deter you from having the vaccine, especially if they are seasonal allergies. However, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that people who receive the vaccine are being monitored before leaving their appointment and can access medical care should they experience reactions. Please find excerpt from Green book below: Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine. All recipients of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should kept for observation and monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has advised that: ● individuals with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as an alternative (if not otherwise contraindicated) ● individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital) ● individuals with non-allergic reactions (vasovagal episodes, non-urticarial skin reaction or non-specific symptoms) to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive the second dose of vaccine in any vaccination setting
Clinical & AllergiesIs vaccine recommended to people with the following clinical conditions and are there higher risks? kidney problems, asthma, taking thyroid medication, overweight, taking hormone medication following breast cancer, upcoming surgery and lung cancer (after operation)*Other than the details in question above regarding allergies and the section on Pregnancy there are no other conditions or treatments that should stop you having the vaccine. Please make sure your vaccinator is aware of your medical history to make the best individual decisions for you.
Clinical & AllergiesIs there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccine?*Please refer to full Information for UK recipientsMore info
ConsentWhat if a resident/member of staff does not wish to be vaccinated?*Consent must be given prior to any administration of the vaccine. Each individual must make their own decision about whether to receive the vaccine. We must not assume blanket consent. Provider staff have an important role to play in supporting residents to make an informed decision. Guidance documents and forms on consent can be found at the link below. HCC guidance around mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions is available here : https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-guidance.pdf More info
ConsentAll residents with dementia or cognitive impairment have a mental capacity and best interests signed by Home manager or Deputy Manager along with their GP’s signature - Would this be sufficient?*Unless the existing capacity assessment and best interests decision is specifically about the decision to have a covid vaccination, this would not be sufficient. • Mental capacity assessments are decision specific so any existing assessment or best interests decision won’t be relevant to this decision which is whether or not to have a covid vaccination. • Presence of dementia and/or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have capacity to make this particular decision even if they haven’t been able to make other decisions. • The law says we presume capacity but where there is reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make this particular decision (about whether or not to have the covid vaccination), staff should do all they can to help the person to understand and hold onto the relevant information long enough to make the decision. • If the person is assessed as not having capacity to make this particular decision, a best interests decision will be made by the relevant clinician (health colleague doing the vaccinating). This will be based upon the known views of the person and will assume the least restrictive approach.
Direct Payment/ PA'sHow do Direct Employers and Personal Assistants get access to the vaccine?*Personal Assistants are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of our frontline care workforce. A Personal Assistant is someone that gets paid to support an adult with care and support needs and can be either employed (by a person who receives a direct payment from HCC) or self-employed. This support may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in the community. It is important that all health and social care staff have the vaccine to protect themselves from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and to help reduce the risk of spreading infection to their families and the people they support. Personal Assistants should email ACS.COVID@hertfordshire.gov.uk, then HCC will send a letter which explains how to book.
Doses & EvidenceDo I need two doses?*It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you maximum protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Doses & EvidenceCan you please explain the reason for the change in gap between the doses for the different vaccines?*The short answer is we know from forty years experience of vaccine research that it will be safe. It won't cause problems. So the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. In terms of that, the medicines regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - data analysis showed that, both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, and the evidence suggests that persists over sixteen weeks. So all the data reviewed by MHRA suggests that people will still have protection over the delay. If they didn't feel it was safe they would be able to prohibit licensing for that use. Some of this is also down to the aggressive marketing techniques of some of the manufacturers. It is in their commercial interest for the second dose not to be delayed. We need to recognise that this twelve week delay is an unusual step, taken because we are in such extreme situations with covid. BUT - all the evidence says it is safe, it works, and will be effective.
Doses & EvidenceWill the vaccines be the same type for both doses?*Yes, this is currently the guidance
Doses & EvidenceWhat are the differences between the different vaccines, i.e. Astra Zeneca, pfizer, Moderna? Which vaccine is best?*• The first vaccine to be judged safe for use in the UK was the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This needs to be transported in dry ice and must be stored at around -70 °C. Once delivered it can then be kept in a fridge for 5 days. The Government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine. • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was first administered in the UK on 4th January 2021. This vaccine needs to be stored at between 2-8°C and protected from light. The Government has bought 100 million doses of this vaccine. • The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 8th January 2021. It lasts for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperate for up to 12 hours, and can be stored in most household freezers for up to six months. The Government has bought 17 million doses of this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine should become available in the UK in Spring 2021. All three of the available vaccines are very effective. Comparisons between the vaccine efficacies are unhelpful due to the different methodologies used, meaning it’s not as simple as saying one vaccine is better than the other. An effective vaccine will save lives and reduce hospitalisations. Comparing vaccines on a simple percentage of effectiveness is a mistake. A vaccine with slightly lower headline efficacy than another may prove to be the one that offers more durable protection or a greater effect on transmission. Vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from getting seriously ill from COVID 19.
Doses & EvidenceWhen will the vaccine start to make some effect in preventing or minimising the symptoms of covid?*The vaccine starts to become effective about 14 days after having it
Doses & EvidenceIf vaccinated can you still be a carrier and transmit?*At present you could still transmit Covid-19 even if you have had the vaccine, please continue to follow all national guidance and restrictions.
Doses & EvidenceOnce vaccinated, is the individual protected from all strains / mutations of the virus, and is the level of protection the same?*The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Doses & EvidenceCan I choose Pfizer and not Oxford-AstraZeneca?*Not currently. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while. The important point for any vaccine is whether the MHRA approves it for use – if it does then that means it’s a worthwhile vaccine to have and people should have it if they are eligible. All three vaccines that are being used in the UK have the MHRA’s approval. The NHS has no say over which vaccine they are given to administer.
Doses & EvidenceDo you have any resources we can share with BAME Communites?*London Colney Islamic Centre - In this video, key misconceptions are addressed regarding Covid 19 and the vaccines. 3 points from an Islamic perspective are also covered- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbYr2Zc8N2I&feature=youtu.beVaccine Q&A in five South Asian Languages- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55279549BME Healthforum- Covid Explained by GPs in different asian languages- https://www.bmehf.org.uk/index.php/news-events/news/covid-19-explained-gps-different-asian-languages/
Doses & EvidenceHas the vaccine been tested on animals?*This vaccine has been tested on humans.
Doses & EvidenceHow many doses of the vaccine do I need?*Two doses. It is important to have both doses of the same vaccine to give you the best protection. Plan to attend your second appointment which will be at the same place as you were given the first dose. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it, for an appointment which will be between 3 and 12 weeks time. Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.More info
FrequencyWill you need to have a Covid-19 vaccine every year?*At present this is unknown
GeneralCan you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?*The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. However, it is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 and not realise (the incubation from first exposure to developing the infection can be up to 14 days) until after your vaccination appointment. Please continue to have the regular screening tests that your employer arranges. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Further information on symptoms is available on NHS websiteMore info
GeneralCan I go back to work after having the vaccine?*You should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.More info
GeneralCan the vaccine be given to someone who has had the flu vaccine and are there any timescales?*It is recommended that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine should ideally be separated by an interval of at least 7 days after the flu vaccine. So it is important to get your flu jab now so that you will be protected adequately against both viruses. However if you do have the Covid 19 vaccine now book to have your flu jab 7 days after the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.More info
GeneralIs there a period between someone testing positive for Covid and having the vaccine?*People currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not receive Covid-19 vaccine until they have recovered and are at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine. As deterioration in some people with Covid-19 can occur up to two weeks after infection, ideally vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive specimen in those who are asymptomatic.More info
GeneralCan people who have tested positive in the past still have the vaccine?*There is no evidence from clinical trials of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it is not known how long antibodies made in response to natural infection persist and whether immunisation could offer more protection. If antibodies have already been made to the disease following natural infection, receiving COVID-19 vaccine would be expected to boost any pre-existing antibodies.More info
GeneralWhy do we need to be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination?*If you receive the Pfizer vaccination you will need to wait for 15 minutes. This is because a small number of people may develop a rare allergic reaction called anaphylaxis and the staff are trained to deal with this and have equipment to hand. If you receive the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine you will only have to wait for 15 minutes if you are either going to be driving or operating machinery following the vaccination.More info