Covid-19 vaccinations for Herefordshire residents
There are five primary care hubs in Herefordshire providing Covid-19 vaccinations. To receive the vaccine you will need to be registered with a GP surgery. The NHS will invite you to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact your GP for a vaccination before then.
As the Covid-19 vaccination programme progresses, more and more people are becoming eligible for their injection. Please check the NHS Covid-19 vaccination booking page regularly to find out if you have become eligible to book a vaccination appointment online or call 119.
It is important that you have the Covid-19 vaccine when you are invited to. Vaccines won't stop people getting Covid-19 or transmitting the virus but they will reduce the risk of those vaccinated becoming seriously ill. All Covid-19 vaccines in England are free of charge.
The NHS is currently offering the Covid-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
The vaccine will be offered more widely as soon as possible. The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
When it's time for your vaccine
You may receive a text from 'NHSvaccine' inviting you to book your vaccination appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy.
You will also get a letter a few days after.
If you receive a text from 'NHSvaccine' inviting you to book and you're not sure if it is genuine, you can wait to receive your letter.
Texts from 'NHSvaccine' are separate to any invites you may get from local NHS services such as a GP surgery or hospital.
If you're invited to book a vaccination at a local NHS service, you'll usually get a text or a phone call. You may sometimes get a letter.
You can choose to book your vaccination appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service. More places are opening all the time.
Some people in Herefordshire living close to the Welsh border may be offered a vaccination at a hub in Wales.
When you've had the first injection, you will be told where and when to go for your second injection. You should have a record card with your next appointment written on it for an appointment in three to 12 weeks' time.
It will take some weeks before the vaccination takes effect, so you should continue to maintain social distancing and other measures to limit social interaction which might expose you to the risk of catching the virus.
Keep your card safe and make sure you go to your second appointment to get your second injection.
What to do if you are not well when it is your appointment
If you are not feeling well, wait to have your vaccine when you feel better. You should try to have it as soon as possible. You can call the same number that you used to make your first appointment.
You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a coronavirus test or unsure if you are fit and well.
What to do when you have had the vaccine
Is the Covid-19 vaccine safe?
Covid-19 vaccine side effects
Millions of people in England have already been given a Covid-19 vaccination and no long-term complications have been reported.
Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should last no longer than a week. They can include:
- A sore arm where the needle went in
- Feeling tired
- A headache
- Feeling achy
- Feeling or being sick
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.
You cannot catch coronavirus from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught coronavirus and not realise it until after your vaccination appointment. If you are feeling unwell or you're worried you might have coronavirus, call 111 or visit the NHS 111 website. Make sure you tell 111 that you have just had your coronavirus vaccine.
Tell healthcare staff before you are vaccinated if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
You should not have the vaccine if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction to:
- A previous vaccine
- A previous dose of the same Covid-19 vaccine
- A component of the vaccine
- Some medicines, household products or cosmetics
Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
If you think you have a serious side effect from the vaccine you can report it on the Coronavirus Yellow Card System website.
How long the vaccine takes to work
It can take a few weeks for the vaccine to protect you.
Effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine
The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine should give you good protection from the virus but you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection. There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine. This means you still have to:
- Continue to follow social distancing guidance
- Continue to wear a face mask in places where it's hard to stay away from other people
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- Follow the current government guidance
How vaccines control and eradicate disease
Immunisation saves millions of lives every year and remains the safest, most cost-effective protection against disease.
Vaccines work by training and preparing the body's natural defences - the immune system - to recognise and fight off the viruses and bacteria they target. If the body is exposed to those disease-causing germs later, the body is immediately ready to destroy them and prevent illness. For more information on how vaccines work visit the World Health Organisation website.
If you are pregnant or think you may be
Please see the Covid-19 vaccinations information on the NHS website and/or speak to your GP.
If you have problems with your immune system
The vaccine is safe if you have problems with your immune system (this is when your body finds it hard to fight infections).
The Covid-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine
It's important to have the flu vaccine and the coronavirus vaccine. You should wait one week after you've had your flu vaccine before you get the coronavirus vaccine.
Herefordshire's Covid-19 vaccine roll out
Dr Simon Lennane, PCN Clinical Director and GP, Ross-on-Wye - and member of Herefordshire's Outbreak Control Group, has said
"Widespread roll out of vaccines is the best way to move forward out of this pandemic, so the NHS strongly encourages vaccination of all people in at-risk groups.
"Herefordshire got off to an excellent start with the Covid-19 vaccination programme, with the majority of groups 1 and 2 vaccinated already. We are using both the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines, and there is very little difference between them, so it is best to take whichever one you are offered first. Both vaccines have been extensively tested and have been shown to be safe and effective.
"Covid-19 vaccines significantly reduce the chance of contracting serious illness, but it is still possible to catch and transmit the virus even after vaccination, so it remains important to continue using face coverings, maintaining social distance, washing hands regularly and ensuring good ventilation, while we still have people who have not been vaccinated."