COVID-19 vaccination update

COVID-19 vaccinations available for people aged 50+

If you’re aged 50+ you can book an appointment via the National Booking System or by calling 119 free of charge, between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week. It is important that everyone eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to book their first dose appointment before the 29 March. The NHS website has a full list of people currently eligible for the vaccination.

Vaccine safety

Some of you may have become concerned by reports that the roll-out of the AstraZeneca vaccine was temporarily paused in some countries while a potential link between the vaccine and the risk of blood clots was investigated.

Following a rigorous scientific review of all the available data, the UK regulator has said the available evidence does not suggest that blood clots in veins are caused by the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca. This follows a detailed review of report cases as well as data from hospital admissions and GP records. This has been confirmed by the Government’s independent advisory group, the Commission on Human Medicines, whose expert scientists and clinicians have also reviewed the available data.

Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that we would normally expect to see amongst the groups of the population who have been vaccinated. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so. You can read a statement on this issue from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Availability of vaccine doses in April

Supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be constrained from the 29 March, for what is expected to be a four-week period. Between now and 29 March, all of our vaccination sites will continue to vaccinate people in the top priority cohorts.

The good news is that second dose appointments that are due will all still go ahead, as will any first dose vaccinations that have already been booked. Please encourage friends or family members who are eligible for the vaccination to book an appointment for their first dose before the 29 March, if they have not done so already. If they do not take up this offer now, they may not be able to attend their first dose appointment until May.

You can book your appointment through the National Booking System and find a vaccination centre convenient for you. On the day you must take your staff photo ID badge and your NHS number. Find your NHS number on the NHS website.

If you are anxious or have queries about getting the vaccine, you can ask the Communications team in confidence and they will put you in touch with a colleague to discuss any concerns you might have.

There is a Q&A on COVID vaccinations on our ICS website which answers lots of frequently asked questions and explains when people will be invited.

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