These FAQs should help to answer queries around the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination programme at the Trust. Please also remember that you can always ask questions during your vaccination appointment.
If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work.
Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can, should protect you and may help to protect your family and those you may care for. The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.
The government has confirmed that no Covishield vaccines have been administered in the UK. All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria. The European Medicines Agency has authorised this brand of the vaccine and it is therefore recognised by the European Union.
The confusion arose because the AstraZeneca vaccine is manufactured under different commercial names and licences. Although this is the same vaccine, each licence has to be approved separately by the relevant authority in each country. The Covishield licence has not yet been authorised by the UK regulator, the MHRA, or the European Medicines Agency so this is why it is not used in the UK or accepted for travel to the EU.
Some batch numbers of the Vaxiveria vaccines were mistakenly listed as being Covishield by the Maltese authorities, which led to some people being refused entry to Malta. The government has confirmed that Malta has now amended their travel advice and that the NHS Covid Pass will be accepted as valid evidence for entry. This is set out on the Maltese government’s website at (https://foreignandeu.gov.mt/en/Pages/Travel-Advice.aspx).
Information on how to get an online or paper version of the NHS COVID Pass is available on the NHS website.
Evidence shows that the second dose not only increases your protection against Covid but gives you longer-lasting protection so it is very important that you have both doses. Covid-19 can make you very seriously ill and have long-term effects on your health so getting the maximum protection possible will give you the best chance of avoiding this. For example, having two doses has been shown to be over 90%
effective in preventing hospitalisation.
The JCVI advice is that second doses should be given 8 to 12 weeks after the first dose. This takes into account the latest evidence, which indicates that a gap of 8 to 12 weeks is likely to provide better, longer-term protection than a shorter interval.
In response to the rising number of cases of the Delta variant, second doses are now being brought forward to 8 weeks for all adults. This is to ensure everyone has the strongest possible protection from the Delta variant of the virus at the earliest opportunity possible and builds on the earlier JCVI recommendation that second doses for people at greatest risk from Covid-19 should be brought forward to 8 weeks.
Anyone who has an appointment booked for their second dose before 19 July should attend as planned. People who have appointments after this, and which are more than 9 weeks after their first dose, will be able to bring them forward. If you received your first vaccination through your GP practice, they will contact you to arrange your second dose, while those who used the NHS National Booking Service will be able to make an earlier appointment using the ‘manage my booking’ option at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccine.