The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.  It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then. Thank you.

Vaccination

We are delighted that three vaccines – Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca and Moderna – have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK.

The approval of vaccines is a significant milestone in our response to COVID-19. It follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccines meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

Local vaccination sites

Vaccination sites across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are currently inviting people aged 80 and over, frontline health and social care staff, and care home staff and residents to be vaccinated.

These sites include hospital hubs located at Southmead Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General Hospital, a super vaccination centre at Ashton Gate Stadium and 16 vaccination sites run by GPs. They have been working closely with local authorities, community services and care home providers.

Vaccination sites run by GPs are located at:

  • Kingswood Health Centre, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire
  • Riverbank Medical Centre, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset
  • The Greenway, Greenway Community Centre, Southmead, Bristol
  • Pudding Pie Lane Surgery, Langford, North Somerset
  • Healthwest, Clifton College Preparatory School Hall, Bristol
  • Bridge View Medical Marksbury Road Branch, Bedminster, Bristol
  • Horfield Health Centre, Horfield, Bristol
  • Brockway Medical Centre, Nailsea, North Somerset
  • West Walk Surgery, Yate, South Gloucestershire
  • East Trees Health Centre, Fishponds, Bristol
  • Christchurch Family Medical Centre, Downend, South Gloucestershire
  • Shirehampton Group Practice, Shirehampton, Bristol
  • Portishead Medical Centre, North Somerset
  • Severnview Family Practice, Thornbury, Bristol
  • Stockwood Medical Centre, Bristol
  • Concord Medical Centre, Little Stoke, Bristol

GP Practices have been working together in groups called ‘Primary Care Networks’ to provide the vaccine. Read more about Primary Care Networks and their locations.

Ashton Gate Stadium NHS Vaccination Centre

Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol is our local super vaccination centre which is vaccinating people from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week.

Wait to be contacted

The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s important not to contact your GP surgery for a vaccination before then.

Staff are working tirelessly to ensure the necessary measures are in place for those most at risk to get their vaccine first. We ask for your patience and understanding – we are doing everything we can to stick to our timelines, however we may need to cancel or amend appointments depending on delivery of the vaccine.

Please be assured that no one will be left behind, this is the start of the vaccination programme and there will be enough for everyone.

In the meantime, please stay alert to the threat of the virus and follow Government guidance.

Commonly asked questions

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers.  This question list was updated on 14 January 2021.

Getting vaccinated

What is the priority order for getting the vaccine?

The priority list following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on 30 December 2020 is as follows:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19.

More information about priority groups

Can I ring the NHS to get a vaccine?

You should wait to be contacted.  The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.  It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

Who can get vaccinated at the Ashton Gate Stadium ‘super-vaccination centre’?

Currently, in line with national prioritisation guidance, people over the age of 80 and frontline health and care staff are being invited to the vaccination centre at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol.  You will receive a letter from the NHS with a unique barcode. You can then book a slot at Ashton Gate Stadium, or alternatively wait for your local GP surgery to make contact, if Ashton Gate Stadium is not convenient. We want to vaccinate the greatest number of people quickly and give people the best range of options.  In all cases, you should wait to be contacted by the NHS and not arrive without an appointment.

Can I get a vaccination sooner, if I have a clinical procedure / treatment booked?

There is no flexibility for the order in which vaccinations are taking place, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on priority groups. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. Priority order is detailed elsewhere in this question list.

Read more about priority groups

Why are care home workers amongst the first groups to receive the vaccine?

The JCVI have put patient-facing health and social care staff into a priority group because of their heightened risk of exposure to the virus, and the risk of passing it on to vulnerable groups.

Why are you postponing second doses?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly. Evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection after two weeks – 89% for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 74% for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.

It’s important to get both doses, so we urge you to return for it when you are invited.

What is being done to encourage vaccine uptake in black, Asian, minority ethnic and other disproportionately affected communities/groups?

We understand that some communities have specific concerns and may be more hesitant in taking the vaccine than others. The NHS is working collaboratively with partners to ensure vaccine messages reach as diverse an audience as possible and are tailored to meet your needs.

This includes engagement with community and faith-led groups, charities and other voluntary organisations.

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Eligibility

In what circumstances am I NOT eligible to receive the vaccine?

If any of these apply to you:

  • unwell with a fever
  • a history of immediate onset anaphylaxis
  • taking part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial or any other investigation of a medicinal product (please contact your trial centre for further information)
  • received the flu vaccine in the last 7 days

What if I’m of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding?

There’s no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. But more evidence is needed before you can be routinely offered the vaccine. The JCVI has updated its advice to recommend you may be able to have the vaccine if you’re:

  • pregnant and at high risk of serious complications of coronavirus
  • if you’re breastfeeding

Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccine with you.

You do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

Read more on COVID-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant or breastfeeding

I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?

Yes. The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. You should normally have them separated by at least a week.

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If you have had COVID-19

Do people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?

Yes, they should get vaccinated. There is no evidence 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.

How long should I wait to be vaccinated after testing positive for COVID-19?

If you’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19 – even if you have no symptoms – you should wait four weeks (28 days) after the date you were tested before getting the vaccine.

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Vaccine safety

How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccines approved for use in the UK were developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca and Moderna. They all meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety. Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

So far, thousands of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine have side effects?

Most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to. If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.

What about allergic reactions?

Tell staff before you are vaccinated if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). You should not have the vaccine if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction to medicines, vaccines or food. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine ingredients?

The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or egg.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. It’s given as 2 doses, at least 3 weeks apart.

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Effectiveness of the vaccine

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The MHRA have said this vaccine is highly effective. The first dose of the vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus, but you need to have the second dose to give you full protection which is longer lasting.

After having both doses of the vaccine most people will be protected against coronavirus. There is a small chance you might still get coronavirus even if you have the vaccine. This means it is important to:

  • continue to follow social distancing guidance
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people.

How long does the vaccine take to become effective?

The first dose of the vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus, but to get full protection you need to have the second dose – this is really important.

Full protection kicks in around a week or two after that second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you get yourself booked in as soon as possible.

How long will the vaccine be effective for?

We don’t yet know how long people who are vaccinated will be protected from Covid-19.

Will the vaccine work with the new strain?

There is no evidence currently that the new strain will be resistant to the vaccine we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal. Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccine. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.

Were the trial participants reflective of a multi-ethnic population?

The Public Assessment Reports contain all the scientific information about the trials and information on trial participants.

For the Pfizer trial, participants included 9.6% black/African, 26.1% Hispanic/Latino and 3.4% Asian.

For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine 10.1% of trial recipients were Black and 3.5% Asian.

There is no evidence either of the vaccines will work differently in different ethnic groups.

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The different types of vaccine

What vaccine for COVID-19 is currently available?

The Government has in principle secured access to seven different vaccine candidates, across four different vaccine types, totalling over 357 million doses. This includes:

  • 40 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
  • 100m doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
  • 7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has been approved by the MHRA but is not expected to be delivered to the NHS until Spring.

It will likely take until at least Spring 2021 until all high risk groups have been offered a Covid vaccine.

Do I get to choose which vaccine I would prefer?

This won’t be possible. Any vaccine that the NHS provides will have been approved by the MHRA following tests on safety and efficacy, so everyone should be assured that whatever vaccine you are offered, it is worth your while having it.

Can I get one privately? 

No. Vaccinations are only available through the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer or a GP surgery local to you to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge.

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving license, bills or pay slips.

Can the vaccine alter your genetic material?

There is no evidence to suggest that individual genetic material will alter after receiving the vaccine.

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