We are rolling out the vaccine programme in line with the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunizations (JCVI) instructions.

Yes, whether you’ve had Covid-19 in the past or not, you can still have the vaccine.

National guidance advises people should wait until four weeks after their initial positive test or the start of their symptoms to have the vaccine.

Yes. If you are currently shielding we will be able to keep you safe if you choose to have the vaccine. We would advise booking an early morning or evening appointment when there will be fewer people around.

Yes, allergy to penicillin is not a contraindication to the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Further details can be found online: www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/covid-19-advice/pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-and-allergies

No, it is your personal choice whether you have the Covid-19 vaccine and there are no plans at present for a Covid-19 vaccine to be compulsory across the NHS.

 We will have provision for all staff to be able to get vaccinated if they want to. We are confident that the majority of our staff will choose to protect themselves and their patients by getting the vaccine.

Staff who are not eligible to have the vaccine or who choose not to have the vaccine will continue to be able to work using PPE and following all infection control processes.

We are currently providing the vaccines from one site – the Gail Briers Education Centre at Hollins Park. We appreciate that this may be an inconvenience, but managers will ensure anyone who wants to access the vaccine is supported to attend with appropriate time off and support with transport where necessary.

The vaccination programme began on Monday 4 January and appointments are available between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.  

You must book an appointment for your vaccine and cannot just turn up.

Full booking information and online booking link.

Each appointment time is 10 minutes, but you should allow at least 30 minutes to complete the associated pre-checks, paperwork and aftercare. You will be required to stay in the vaccination centre to be observed for 15 minutes after the vaccine to ensure you have no immediate side effects.

All attempts will be made to keep appointments running on time, but your patience would be appreciated if we experience any delays. On the rare occasion someone has a reaction to the vaccine which requires additional support it may result in your appointment being delayed.

  • Confirmation of your booking, either printed out or on your phone.

  • Your NHS number

  • A surgical face mask to wear for the duration of your time in the vaccination (education) centre.

  • Please wear a short-sleeved top to enable easy access to your upper arm for the injection.

If you have any allergies, anxieties, phobias or require other special support during your vaccine appointment, please make the staff at the booking in desk aware when you arrive and you will be supported appropriately.

If you can’t make your appointment, please cancel it using the unique link at the bottom of your confirmation email. Even if it’s last minute, the real time system will show the appointment as available so it can be booked by someone else.

We all know how frustrating it can be when patients don’t attend their appointments, so please respect the vaccine team and support them to roll out the vaccine to all staff in the most efficient and effective way possible.

The Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines have all been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

So far, we have received both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. We do not always know in advance which vaccine we will be using for the following week’s appointments.  When you book your appointment for the vaccine, you will receive the vaccine that is available to us on that day.

If you have received your first dose of the vaccine, please be assured you will receive the same vaccine for your second dose. This has been factored in to the planning process.

We do not always know in advance which vaccine we will be using for the following week’s appointments. When you attend for your appointment, you will receive the vaccine available to us on that day. Unfortunately, we’re not able to offer people a preference.

We will continue to communicate when we know which vaccine we will be giving each week. If you would prefer to cancel and rebook your appointment another time, that is your choice.

Yes. While we are now offering AstraZeneca, we cannot yet guarantee when we will have this. Therefore, if you’re more suited to or would prefer the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and want it more quickly than waiting for ours, as frontline healthcare staff are a priority group, you should be able to book an appointment at a vaccination site that is close to you. You will need to make these arrangements yourself.

Please note, GPs are currently focusing on priority patient groups so will not be providing vaccines to health and care staff, so please contact your busy GP practice in relation to this.

No there isn’t. Nationally, they would like to vaccinate as many NHS staff as possible, but there isn’t a deadline. However, please do book the slots available as we don’t want them to go to waste.

A second vaccination date will be given to you when you have your first appointment. You can choose to keep that appointment, or if it is more convenient for you to have your second dose with your new employer, please cancel your appointment with us.

The regulatory body for medicines and healthcare products (the MHRA) has reviewed all the evidence and has stated the vaccines are both safe and highly effective. They have therefore been approved for use in the UK.

There are MHRA recommendations for some groups not to have the vaccine – these are precautionary due to a lack of data rather than because there is an expected issue.

We have developed a screening tool so you can determine against your own history if you are eligible to have the vaccine.

Advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women is changing regularly. If you are pregnant, you will need to access the vaccine through your GP following an individual assessment of your own personal risks and the fact that the vaccine is untested on pregnant women. 

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of
Midwives (RCM) have also published a very helpful statement reassuring people about misinformation around the vaccine and fertility. 

The Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) and the British Fertility
Society (BFS) have issued some advice for people having fertility treatment, but this information is also really helpful for anyone with general concerns or questions about the vaccine and fertility. You can read it here.

The Gov.uk website also has lots of useful information and advice for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.


Immune suppressants 

Although the vaccine was not tested on those with very serious immunological conditions, the vaccine has been proven to be very effective and it is unlikely that the vaccine will have no effect at all on these individuals. 

Individuals on anticoagulant therapy, including those on warfarin, who are up-to-date with their scheduled INR testing and whose latest INR was below the upper threshold of their therapeutic range, can receive intramuscular vaccination. (If you have evidence of your INR results, please bring this with you to your appointment). There is a risk of haematoma from the injection and therefore firm pressure after the vaccination will be applied and you will be asked to wait for 30 minutes after your injection.

If in any doubt, consult the clinician responsible for prescribing or monitoring your anticoagulant therapy.

The vaccination programme is likely to be going on all year so someone who is pregnant now will still be able to vaccinated after the birth, whether that is through work or your GP practice depending on the timing.

These are important details which the MHRA always considers when assessing vaccines for use.

For both vaccines, like lots of others, it has identified that some people might feel slightly unwell, but it reports no significant side effects have been observed in more than 43,000 people involved in trials.

Everyone receiving the vaccine will be provided with information about the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the MHRA.

More information about possible side effects can be found at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine

Two individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine in the first couple of days of the national programme and who had a severe reaction were known to have had previous severe reactions to food and carried epi-pens. Following this, the guidance is being continually amended in relation to allergies.

The latest information is online for both vaccines: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs8iCkv2T7gIVjgwGAB1Iogd3EAAYASAAEgIIy_D_BwE

You must leave seven days between the flu and Covid-19 vaccine. If you wish to still receive your flu vaccine so that you are protected against both viruses, please contact Occupational Health.

In order to protect staff, a number of measures have been put in place:

  • All staff in the vaccination team have undergone relevant training.

  • All staff in the vaccination team are participating in twice-weekly lateral flow asymptomatic home testing and were the first people to receive the vaccine to protect themselves and others.

  • All appropriate PPE is being worn by all staff upon entering the vaccination centre. Please note the staff do not undertake aerosol generating procedures and therefore a are only required to wear a surgical mask (not an FFP3 Mask) in line with national guidance.

  • Staff sanitise their hands with gel after every vaccination and wash them after every five.

  • All equipment, including chairs, pens and clipboards, is wiped down after every use.

  • Windows in the vaccination centre are left open to help with ventilation.

  • Staggered start and appointment times are in place to manage flow throughout the 12 hours the centre is open.

  • For those wishing for additional safeguards (such as those who have been shielding), an early morning appointment is advisable where there will be fewer people around.

You need to have two doses of either of the vaccines Pfizer or AstraZeneca. The first dose will be given at your appointment then the second dose will be given 10-12 weeks later, in line with national guidance. This has changed from the original guidance which suggested the second vaccine should be given 21 days after the first vaccination. This is as a result of guidance from the four chief medical officers of the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Full protection is expected around a week or two after the second dose.

Whichever vaccine you have, you will need to have two doses. The second dose will be given 10-12 weeks after your first dose in line with national guidance. This has changed from the original guidance which suggested the second vaccine should be given after 21 days from the first vaccination.

This is as a result of guidance from the four chief medical officers of the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and aims to focus on giving as many people as possible their first dose and some immunity as soon a possible. You can read the government statement online.

Please don’t book your second appointment online. The date and time of your second appointment will be arranged at your first appointment.

The vaccine works by making a protein from the virus that is important for creating protection.

The protein works in the same way they do for other vaccines by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies and cells to fight the infection. 

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. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains, but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.

It is expected these vaccines will work for at least a year, if not longer. This will be constantly monitored as the vaccines are new so evidence is not yet available. 

There is no material of foetal or animal origin in the Pfizer vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare products Agency (MHRA) confirm that the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin. All ingredients are published in these links.

The British Islamic Medical Association has produced helpful guides for the Muslim community on both AstraZeneca and Pfizer.


Yes. The vaccine provides a degree of protection but you can still catch Covid-19 and pass it on so we need to keep all safety measures in place, which includes wearing surgical masks, social distancing, hand hygiene and appropriate PPE.

The level of protection the vaccine will give you is still unknown. Ideally, we want to see the local rates change significantly before thinking about anyone who is shielding returning to work. While the levels of Covid are at the levels they are at, it’s not advisable to put yourself at extra risk.

As we don’t yet know the level of protection the vaccine provides, we will continue to ask those who can work from home to continue to do so until further notice.

Yes, any patient-facing staff participating in twice-weekly lateral flow testing should continue with home testing. We are offering the first dose of vaccination, but you won’t have your second dose for another 10-12 weeks, and then it takes a few days to a few weeks for immunity.

There is a national system in place for reporting on those who have had vaccinations and part of this system includes notification to your GP. However, due to the level of activity currently being undertaken, it would be sensible to notify your GP that you have had your vaccine at your next appointment.

Yes. We needed to wait to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as an alternative to Pfizer to enable us to vaccinate our inpatients, who are all considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

Community patients in high risk groups should receive the vaccine through their GP or Primary Care Network (PCN).

Yes. You can book people you know in the priority groups. 

The priority groups have been set nationally by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Our Trust must adhere to this and we are unable to vaccinate anyone who does not fit within these categories.

To check the priority groups and details of how to book please visit the booking page.

Please do not book an appointment for or share the booking link with anyone who is not eligible.

If anyone does not fit the criteria and they turn up for a vaccination they will be turned away.

At the moment, we are being asked to prioritise health and social care staff so will be unable to offer appointments to other contractors we work with, for example Mitie.

New easy read resources on Covid vaccine are now available for people with a learning disability, their carers, families and professionals.

The latest resources on the Covid vaccine are:

  • A leaflet about the vaccination in an easy read format.

Covid vaccine video from NHS England and NHS Improvement

  • This is a short film which talks about coronavirus and the coronavirus vaccine. It describes how important it is to have the vaccine and what you should do after you’ve had the vaccine.
  • This is a short film which describes what is a vaccine is, how vaccines are made, why you should get a vaccine, whether a vaccine make you ill and how to decide whether to have a vaccine.

Anyone eligble for a vaccine will be contacted by their GP.