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COVID vaccination information

Vaccines are by appointment only. Please book an appointment for a first or second dose using one of the links below. Please do not come to the surgery without an appointment. It is advised that your second dose should be 8 weeks after your first. It must be at least 21 days after your first dose. We are only offering Pfizer vaccines here – if you need AstraZeneca, you can book this via the National Booking Service (see link further down).

Request an appointment for the vaccine at Harborne Medical via accubook

3rd Doses of Vaccine

3rd doses of vaccine are now available for people with impaired immunity, who are less likely to have had a full immune response to two doses of vaccine. Please check below to see if you are eligible, and sign up using the link above if so:

1. Individuals with primary or acquired immunodeficiency states at the time of vaccination due to conditions including:

  • acute and chronic leukaemias, and clinically aggressive lymphomas (including Hodgkin’s lymphoma) who were under treatment or within 12 months of achieving cure
  • individuals under follow up for chronic lymphoproliferative disorders including haematological malignancies such as indolent lymphoma, chronic lymphoid leukaemia, myeloma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and other plasma cell dyscrasias (note: this list is not exhaustive)
  • immunosuppression due to HIV/AIDS with a current CD4 count of <200 cells/µl for adults or children
  • primary or acquired cellular and combined immune deficiencies – those with lymphopaenia (<1,000 lymphocytes/ul) or with a functional lymphocyte disorder
  • those who had received an allogeneic (cells from a donor) or an autologous (using their own cells) stem cell transplant in the previous 24 months
  • those who had received a stem cell transplant more than 24 months ago but had ongoing immunosuppression or graft versus host disease (GVHD)
  • persistent agammaglobulinaemia (IgG < 3g/L) due to primary immunodeficiency (for example, common variable immunodeficiency) or secondary to disease/therapy

2. Individuals on immunosuppressive or immunomodulating therapy at the time of vaccination including:

  • those who were receiving or had received immunosuppressive therapy for a solid organ transplant in the previous 6 months
  • those who were receiving or had received in the previous 3 months targeted therapy for autoimmune disease, such as JAK inhibitors or biologic immune modulators including B-cell targeted therapies (including rituximab but in this case the recipient would be considered immunosuppressed for a 6-month period), T-cell co-stimulation modulators, monoclonal tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi), soluble TNF receptors, interleukin (IL)-6 receptor inhibitors, IL-17 inhibitors, IL 12/23 inhibitors, IL 23 inhibitors (note: this list is not exhaustive)
  • those who were receiving or had received in the previous 6 months immunosuppressive chemotherapy or radiotherapy for any indication

3. Individuals with chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disease who were receiving or had received immunosuppressive therapy prior to vaccination including:

  • high-dose corticosteroids (equivalent to ≥ 20mg prednisolone per day) for more than 10 days in the previous month
  • long-term moderate dose corticosteroids (equivalent to ≥10mg prednisolone per day for more than 4 weeks) in the previous 3 months
  • non-biological oral immune modulating drugs, such as methotrexate >20mg per week (oral and subcutaneous), azathioprine >3.0mg/kg/day, 6-mercaptopurine >1.5mg/kg/day, mycophenolate >1g/day in the previous 3 months
  • certain combination therapies at individual doses lower than above, including those on ≥7.5mg prednisolone per day in combination with other immunosuppressants (other than hydroxychloroquine or sulfasalazine) and those receiving methotrexate (any dose) with leflunomide in the previous 3 months

4. Individuals who had received high-dose steroids (equivalent to >40mg prednisolone per day for more than a week) for any reason in the month before vaccination.

Boosters

Boosters are for people who are likely to have had a good immune response to their first two doses. There must be at least 6 months between your last dose of vaccine and your booster. These will be available for the following groups:

  • care home residents
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book)
  • adult carers
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
  • all adults aged 50 years or over

Request an appointment via the National Booking Service

(vaccination venue may not be Harborne Medical)

You do not need to be an NHS patient to get the vaccine.

Pre-vaccination questionnaire

What you need to do

  • Download, print and fill in the pre-vaccination questionnaire above if you can.
  • Remember to eat and drink before your appointment.
  • Come to the white tent on the car park at the time of your appointment.
  • Wear clothing that easily allows you to expose the very top of your arm (near your shoulder).
  • On arrival, you will be asked to fill in a brief pre-vaccination questionnaire if you haven’t done this already. Bring a pen and your NHS number if you can, to fill in the form.
  • Please queue in a socially distanced manner for your vaccination.
  • Chairs will be provided for those who need to sit.
  • Give your questionnaire to your vaccinator.
  • After your vaccination, you will need to stay in the building for 15 minutes after the Pfizer vaccine (in case of a reaction to the vaccination – which is very, very rare. If this happens, please alert a member of staff). Once you have waited 15 minutes you can leave without needing to tell anyone.
  • If you have been given the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, you can leave the building immediately, but you should not drive for 15 minutes after your vaccination (in case of a reaction to the vaccination – which is very, very rare).
  • This is due to different manufacturers’ instructions, not due to different risks.
Please read the following information:

https://www.birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/what-you-need-to-know/

Proof of Vaccination

You will be given a card when you receive your vaccine. You can also get proof of your vaccination history via the BSOL App or the NHS App. (This is not to be confused with the NHS Covid-19 App). See the government website for more information.

The NHS COVID Pass is the digital version of proof of Covid-19 vaccine status which has been available for international travel since May. This can be accessed via the existing NHS App, the downloadable version accessed through NHS.net or a letter can be requested by calling 119.

Queries about AstraZeneca vaccine for travel

We have had several queries relating to the recent stories in the media about AstraZeneca vaccines not being accepted for travel. The government reponse is:

“We can confirm that the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India is exactly the same as the batches manufactured in Europe. There is no difference in efficacy or safety. As with other medicines, the MHRA ensures that all manufacturers of vaccines, as well as all batches produced, meet the same high standards of quality, safety and efficacy before they can be used in the U.K.

No-one in the UK has been given Covishield which is not available in the UK. In our supply chain we have more than one manufacturer, one of them happens to be the Serum Institute in India. They make Vaxzeveria (brand name for Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca)  and Covishield. Our vaccines have all been authorised under a single UK authorisation and are identical.

The issues reported in the media are speculation and do not relate to the safety or efficacy of the vaccines received in the UK. The government is leading on mechanisms which will support international travel and all batches of AZ vaccine will be included in the NHS Covid pass. We do not recommend re-vaccinating with a third dose prior to any recommended boosters as this is clinically not indicated and will lead to an increase in adverse effects.”


What is the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate?

This is currently for EU citizens only, or third country nationals legally staying or resident in the EU.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued advice to the UK government on the use of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 40:

The JCVI has advised a preference for adults aged 30 to 39 without underlying health conditions to receive an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – where available and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and have been shown to substantially reduce the risk of death, severe disease and transmission of infection.

Over 34 million people have received a first dose so far. The vaccine programme is estimated to have prevented over 10,000 deaths by the end of March.

Adverse events following the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine are extremely rare and, for the vast majority of people, the benefits of preventing serious illness and death far outweigh any risks.

Up to 28 April 2021, the MHRA had received 242 reports of blood clotting cases in people who also had low levels of platelets in the UK, following the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. These numbers are very small compared to the millions of people who have received the vaccine. The overall incidence of case reports of thromboembolic events with low platelets after first or unknown doses was 10.5 per million doses.

The majority of these extremely rare events occurred after the first dose.

Everybody who has already had a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same jab, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.

Getting the second vaccine dose is very important because it further increases the level of protection against COVID-19.

As a precautionary measure, anyone who has the following symptoms from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination is advised to seek prompt medical advice:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that is unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

Please read this guide for more details:

How the vaccine is given

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. It is given as two doses.

When the second dose will be given

The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine provides protection for most people for up to 3 months.

The second dose will be given 12 weeks after the first dose.

This is to make sure as many people can have the vaccine as possible.

COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

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

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.

There have been very rare reports of myocarditis and pericarditis occurring after vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, often in younger men and shortly after the second dose of the vaccine. These are typically mild cases and individuals tend to recover within a short time following standard treatment and rest.

Healthcare professionals should be alert to the signs and symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis. Vaccinated individuals should also seek immediate medical attention should they experience new onset of chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations or arrhythmias.

The COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective in protecting people from COVID-19 and have already saved thousands of lives. These events are extremely rare and tend to be mild when they do occur. Our advice remains that the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risks in the majority of people. It is still vitally important that people come forward for their first and second vaccination when invited to do so, unless advised otherwise.

How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have been developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca.

They have met 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.

Read about the approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK

Read about the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will give you some protection from coronavirus. But you need to have the 2 doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection.

There is a chance you might still get or spread 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

Information:

Read more about why vaccines are safe and important, including how they work and what they contain.

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 any ingredients in the vaccine.

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.

Read the latest COVID-19 vaccine advice if you have a history of allergies by MHRA on GOV.UK

You can report any suspected side effect using the Yellow Card safety scheme.

Visit Yellow Card for further information

COVID-19 vaccine ingredients

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

The ingredients of the Pfizer vaccine are:

  • polyethylene glycol/macrogol (PEG) as part of ALC-0159.
  • ALC-0315 = (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
  • ALC-0159 = 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
  • 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
  • Cholesterol
  • Potassium chloride
  • Potassium dihydrogen phosphate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate
  • Sucrose
  • Water for injections

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

There’s no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

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

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

Read the latest COVID-19 vaccine advice if you’re pregnant, may get pregnant or are breastfeeding on GOV.UK

COVID vaccinations – suggestions for Improvements

We are learning as we go along with the huge task of administering covid vaccinations, so please report any problems by using this form, and let us know your ideas for ways to improve our service.

A massive THANK YOU to our amazing team of dedicated volunteers and staff for making this possible.