New guidance has been issued for the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
This follows further reviews by the independent regulator, the MHRA, and the Commission for Human Medicines, of a very small number of people in the UK who have developed a rare blood-clotting condition since having the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The MHRA and Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations have emphasised that the risk of this condition is extremely small and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people. They have recommended that:
- Everyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine should still have a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, irrespective of age, unless they suffered any serious side effects after their first vaccination.
- People aged 30 and over or who have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease should still be offered the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The benefits in protecting them against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.
- People aged 18-29 who do not have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease will be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine where available. (This has been recommended as a precaution as people under 30 are at less risk from Covid-19 and not because they are considered to be at particular risk of developing the rare blood clot.)
- People under 30 can still choose to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if this will mean they can be protected more quickly and they have been made aware of the guidance
Please see the leaflet below that has been produced by Public Health England and the NHS to answer any questions you may have
The NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway in Wakefield.
Delivering vaccinations to our population will take time, so please be patient.
If any of the following criteria apply to you, you can now book to receive your COVID-19 vaccine:
- you are aged 56 or over
- you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
- you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- you have a learning disability
- you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
If you are not eligible yet
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.
Frontline health and care workers can now use national system to book COVID-19 vaccination
If you are a frontline health and care worker and haven't yet received your first COVID-19 vaccination, you can now book in for a time and place that suits you via the national booking system.
You can do this for an initial period of two weeks
online via this link or, if you don't have internet access, by ringing 119.
People are defined as a frontline health and care worker if they have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings.
This includes doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff, pharmacists, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and radiographers. It also includes those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services.
When you attend your appointment, you should provide proof of employment as a health and care worker, such as one of the following:
- A recent letter from your employer
- A staff ID badge
- A recent (within the last three months) payslip which shows your employer.
Please only book if you meet the JCVI criteria for frontline health and care workers and have ID to prove this. Otherwise we will unfortunately not be able to offer you a vaccine.
We are asking carers to register with
Wakefield Carers in order to receive their vaccine as part of Priority Group 6. If you, or someone you know, cares for someone due to illness or disability, you can register with
Carers Wakefield and District or by calling 01924 305545, or emailing:
Over 65s vaccination bookings
People who are over 65 and haven't had their first vaccination can now contact the NHS National Booking Service for an appointment:
This will allow you to choose a time slot and location that suits you. If you are not able to book online you can call 119 free of charge, between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. (Please be aware that phone lines can get very busy so you may prefer to call later in the day when it is can be less busy.)
This is only available for first vaccination appointments and if you are aged 65 or over.
Everyone else will still need to wait to be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn for a vaccination or for an appointment for their second vaccination if they don't already have one.
You still need an appointment to get a vaccination so please do not go to any of the centres unless you have one booked. This is important because booking slots are carefully managed to allow for social distancing and the number of appointments is based on the supply available that day.
GP practices are contacting all patients who are registered as clinically extremely vulnerable and have been asked to shield to ensure they have been offered a vaccination, as well as people in the eligible cohorts who are housebound. If you haven't been contacted yet, you should hear from your practice this week.
Why you have to wait for your COVID-19 vaccine
Register with a GP
You also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can register with a GP if you do not have one.
Finding your NHS number
You can still book an appointment if you don't have your NHS number, provided you are registered with a GP practice. However, it will be quicker if you have your number: this will be on any letter or document you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, or you can find it online at
How you will be contacted
You will be contacted by the NHS and invited to your appointment when the time is right.
This will either be by letter from your GP or the national booking system and in some cases by phone or text.
COVID-19 vaccines are only available on 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. At no point will you be asked to pay.
- 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 licence, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.
Once you have been contacted
When we do contact you, please act immediately and make sure you attend your appointments.
How to get your COVID-19 vaccination
If you haven't been contacted
If you are aged 70 or over and haven't been contacted, you can book an appointment online.
Book a coronavirus vaccination
Getting the vaccine
Vaccines are still being provided during national lockdown. You are permitted to leave your home to get your vaccine.
- You should attend your appointment when you are given one.
- If you have had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated when you are invited to your appointment.
- As people have to complete a course of two vaccinations and the programme will be delivered in a phased approach to ensure those most at risk are vaccinated first, it is not possible to choose one vaccine over another.
- The vaccination centre your appointment takes place in will keep you safe from COVID-19 through a range of measures, including cleaning and disinfecting and having social distancing in waiting areas.
- Please wear a face covering to your appointment and also take the usual steps to minimise your risk as you travel to it.
Travelling to vaccine appointments
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has announced measures to assist local people in getting to community vaccination centres by public transport.
Rules around concessionary travel have been relaxed as holders of free bus passes issued to older and disabled people will be able to travel free on public transport before 9.30am if they are going to or from a coronavirus vaccination appointment.
Pass holders will be asked to show their appointment letters, texts or emails to the bus driver. Otherwise, Concessionary Travel Passes can be used after 9.30am weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays.
The route of the Wakefield Free City Bus has been altered to serve Spectrum Community Healthcare CIC providing links every 10 minutes from Wakefield Westgate and Kirkgate rail stations and Wakefield Bus Station.
To find out more, visit:
We strongly recommend that all frontline social care works who can recieve a vaccine choose to take it
Frontline workers are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with COVID-19 and of transmitting that infection to susceptible and vulnerable patients in health and social care settings.
- There is greater COVID-19 mortality and morbidity in men and women working in social care than in non-social care staff of the same age and sex.
- For every 20 vaccines delivered to care home staff and residents it is estimated that you will have helped to save one life.
- Although fewer than 1 in 100 people who are infected will die from COVID-19, in those over 75 years of age this rises to 1 in 10.
Getting vaccinated will help protect you and the people you care for from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
If you have any questions or need to contact the local authority team about the vaccination programme, please do so via the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To make an informed decision about having your vaccine visit COVID-19 vaccination programme guidance documents
Vaccine consent form download
After you have been vaccinated
Until you get notification of your vaccine appointment, and even when you have had your vaccine, you must still follow COVID-19 prevention and help advice to continue to protect yourself, family and community and to play your part in helping to stop the spread.
You must continue to practise regular hand washing, wearing a face covering (unless exempt) in indoor settings and follow social distancing.
If you are a frontline worker, continue to follow guidance on wearing PPE, handwashing using soap and water or hand sanitizer, as well as other protective measures.
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms after your vaccination
It is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.
Main symptoms of COVID-19
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms:
- A high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous, dry cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
- If you get these symptoms, self-isolate immediately and arrange to have a test.
About the vaccine
- The Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available.
- The Covid-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg. The vaccines are halal and kosher.
- There is no material of foetal origin in the Pfzier BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.
- They do not contain living organisms, so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system.
- They do not contain live coronavirus so you cannot catch COVID-19 from them.
What's in the Covid-19 vaccines?
COVID-19 vaccines are safe
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
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.
- Most side-effects are mild and short-term.
- Common side effects include a painful arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches and mild flu-like symptoms.
- These symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity.
- They normally last less than a week.
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility
The vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnancy. Until more information is available pregnant women should not be routinely vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding
We are asking providers of community-based social care services to help us to identify eligible employees who have direct contact with service users (face to face) within their organisation by completing this survey:
Once we have details of the number of eligible frontline workers in your organisation we will work with NHS vaccination services to identify and arrange appointments.
When appointments become available we will contact you to request individual employee details to enable the booking process. An example of the information required is available in the attached spreadsheet. You can start to prepare this information in readiness for appointment dates and times being released, but
please do not return it until we request it.
It may not be possible to vaccinate all your staff at once so please prioritise your staff on the basis of a local risk assessment which will consider factors such as, underlying health conditions and whether people are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, all of which are proven risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness and death.
We will book and provide details of individual appointments, along with information on where employees will need to go and what they will need to take with them.
Delivering the vaccination programme is a national priority. Although specific timescales cannot be provided for individual organisations, we hope to be able to offer vaccination booking appointments to all eligible frontline workers by the middle of February.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation with the activity required to progress the vaccination programme. The following steps will help the process to run smoothly:
- Respond to the survey, and any subsequent communications, as quickly as possible.
- Ensure your employees are aware of the vaccination programme and their eligibility for it.
- Ensure employees are provided with all relevant information about the vaccination programme and appointment requirements as it becomes available.
- Consider the logistics of releasing staff to receive their vaccination, the appointments for which may be provided or cancelled at short notice due to the availability of the vaccine.
- Consider how to maximise the take-up of the vaccine by your frontline employees.
- Maintain a record of vaccinated staff.
If you have any questions or need to contact the local authority team about the vaccination programme, please do so via the following email address:
Information in other languages
Why you have to wait for your COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for social care staff
What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination
A guide to women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding
A guide for healthcare workers – Information for frontline healthcare workers on COVID-19 vaccination
COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults
How to take Vitamin D safely
National Guidance and safer travel guide
Find out more about the vaccine
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines and fertility
Do you provide care and support to someone due to an illness or disability?
Vaccine Information Key Facts
COVID-19 vaccination programme guidance document
Who gets the vaccine first?
Decisions on who gets the vaccine first are made using criteria set nationally which is based on risk. For those working in social care, the first priority group to receive the vaccine was those working in care homes for older people.
On 7 January we received notification that the vaccination programme was extending to those in the Priority Two category with includes:
All frontline social care workers directly working with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 who need care and support irrespective of where they work (for example in people's own homes, day centres, care homes for working-age adults or supported housing); whether they care for clinically vulnerable adults or children or who they are employed by (for example local government, NHS private sector or third sector employees).
Delivering the priority 2 requirement
There are tens of thousands of people who work in the health and social care industry in Wakefield alone. Many will meet the above requirement but many will not and it is the responsibility of Wakefield Council to ensure that all employers of frontline social care workers in their area are identified and provided with the necessary information and support to make arrangements for the vaccination of staff.
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been published to provide guidance on how this is to be delivered.
Over the coming weeks, employers of social care workers who meet the criteria for access to a vaccine under this stage of the programme will be contacted by the Council regarding accessing the vaccine for their eligible staff.
We are asking providers of community-based social care services to help us to identify eligible employees within their organisation by completing this survey:
This is a big logistical operation so please be patient if not contacted immediately.
My organisation provides social care but is not contracted to the local authority – are we still included?
Yes, this priority includes all eligible social care workers and does not require a contract with the local authority.
How long will it take?
Delivering the vaccination programme is a national priority and although specific timescales can't be provided, we hope to be able to offer vaccination booking appointments to all eligible staff by the middle of February.
Where will I need to go?
When you are invited for your vaccine, you will be advised where to go as part of your booking arrangements. Please do not turn up without an appointment.
Introduction to the vaccination programme (Jo Fitzpatrick, CCG Lead Officer for Vaccination Programme)
History of vaccination (Emma Smith, Head of Heath Protection, Public Health)
How do vaccines work? (Colin Speers, Wakefield Clinical Lead for COVID Vaccine Programme)
How effective is vaccination and does it make a difference? (Emma Smith, Head of Heath Protection, Public Health)
Vaccination delivery model (Jo Fitzpatrick, CCG Lead Officer for Vaccination Programme)
Vaccine information (Dr Colin Speers, Wakefield Clinical Lead for COVID-19 Vaccine Programme
Questions and Answers (Kerry Murphy, Communities and Public Health)
The Mayor of Featherstone talks about vaccines