We will only invite patients when we know we have vaccine available. Please do not contact your GP Practice or the Suffolk GP Federation to chase or enquire about a vaccination appointment.
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 have had a blood clot or have an existing risk of thrombosis (blood clotting).
- 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:
Commonly asked Questions and Answers
I have already been vaccinated (e.g. at the hospital) do I need another?
No. Please follow the online booking instructions and decline the invitation from us.
Will the vaccine protect me?
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.
I have already had Covid. Do I need the vaccine?
Even if you have already had coronavirus, you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of another infection and the seriousness of your symptoms if you do get it again.
I have recently had Covid – what should I do?
If you have recently tested positive for coronavirus – even if you have no symptoms – you should wait until 4 weeks after the date you were tested before getting the vaccine. After four weeks use your unique booking code to book online.
I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?
The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week.
Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?
You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.
Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?
The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus
Questions about booking an appointment
Why is my GP practice not vaccinating as they do the flu?
The Pfizer vaccine comes in units of 975 doses, has to be used within three and a half days and there is a strict priority list starting with over 80s. This means most GP practices are working collaboratively, with the Suffolk GP Federation, to vaccinate patients from different practices at the same time. It also means we have to have a smaller number of venues.
What if I want to wait a few more weeks and have your vaccination later?
That is fine. Please book online when you are ready.
Can my carer be vaccinated at the same time?
Only if they also have received an invitation and have a unique booking code
What are your opening hours?
8am to 8pm
What if I do not have a mobile or email?
We may ask for a mobile number or email to confirm your appointment time and location. If you do not have a mobile or email please make sure you write down the details of your appointment.
Can I be vaccinated at the same time as my partner/friend/family member who has not received an invitation?
If you receive an invitation and want to be vaccinated with a partner/friend/family member etc, you will need to wait until they also receive an invitation. You will then be able to book appointments at the same time.
I do not have transport
Please try to arrange transport with family, friends, neighbours or local community groups – this is allowed under Covid lockdown regulations. Suffolk On Board may be able to help but have very limited availability. You can access this via https://communities.suffolkonboard.com/my-area/
Can I bring a friend or relative with me?
You can be transported to the vaccination site by a member of your household or by someone within your support bubble. You can only be accompanied inside the vaccination centre by one person.
At your vaccination appointment
How long will the appointment take?
We anticipate no more than 45 minutes
If I feel unwell on the day of my appointment
Do not attend if you feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus.
If you have a minor illness without a fever please still attend.
If you feel very unwell do not attend until you have fully recovered.
Preparing for the vaccination
On the day of your vaccine, wear practical clothing so it’s easy to access your upper arm. Bear in mind you may need to spend some time queuing outside.
Remember to use the lavatory before attending.
What time shall I plan to arrive?
Please arrive at your appointment time.
If you have a fear of needles or feel anxious, try to stay calm and let the person giving you your vaccine know. They will be understanding and can support you.
The vaccine will be given as an injection in the upper arm.
You will have been given an appointment for the second dose. Please attend as the second dose completes the course. It's important to get both doses to protect yourself.
What symptoms may I experience?
Some patients have reported a sore heavy arm for a day or two and a slight headache. These symptoms are perfectly normal. Many people experience no after effects.
Can I go back to normal activities after having your vaccine?
You should be able to resume activities that are normal for you 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.