When will I get my vaccination?

We are currently receiving approximately 24 – 48 hours notice of vaccines being delivered – we cannot therefore confirm or estimate vaccination dates for patients.  Patients have been prioritised for vaccination in accordance with the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) with the aim of minimising deaths and protecting the NHS and wider care system.  Patients will be vaccinated in this order:

1.       all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

2.       all those 75 years of age and over

3.       all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals[footnote 1]

4.       all those 65 years of age and over

5.       all individuals aged 16 years[footnote 2] to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality[footnote 3]

6.       all those 60 years of age and over

7.       all those 55 years of age and over

8.       all those 50 years of age and over

With both the Pfizer Biotech and Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine you will need two doses. The second Pfizer/Biotech dose will be administered between 3 and 12 weeks after the first dose. The second Oxford / Astra Zeneca dose will be administered between 4 and 12 weeks after the first dose. We will contact patients to book this second dose once we are certain of vaccine delivery dates.

Why are second doses being postponed?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection. This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives. Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for their second vaccination at the right time.

Why do we need to travel to Morland House Surgery in Wheatey to receive our vaccines?

The Pfizer Biotech vaccine has to be stored at ultra-low temperatures (-70oC). Batches of 975 vaccines (5 per vial) are delivered defrosted and practices have 3 days to use them. Only a small number of sites have been approved as vaccination centres in Oxfordshire and our nearest site is Morland House Surgery in Wheatley. When you attend for your vaccination it will be staff of The Rycote practice that administer it to you. We expect to receive our first Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccines shortly and we hope that in due course it will be possible to offer these in Thame.

Where is Morland House Surgery in Wheatley?

Morland House surgery is located in Morland Close off the Old London Road in Wheatley. The post code to use for Sat Navs is OX33 1DP and a map can be found clicking here

Will I get side effects?

The vaccine is not a ‘live’ vaccine; you cannot contract Covid-19 from it. However, it is very common to have mild side effects from all vaccines and this is no exception. Some people will not be affected but you may experience any of the following for up to 7 days:

  • A sore arm around 80% of people
  • Tiredness around 60% of people
  • Slight headache around 50% of people
  • Muscle aches around 30% of people
  • Temperature around 10% of people

We will ask you some brief questions when we book your appointment to help ensure that you are safe to receive the vaccine.

What do I need to do when I come for my appointment?

When we book you appointment we will tell you everything you need to know. We will also ask you a few questions to ensure that it is safe for your to receive the vaccine. On the day we will need to:

  • Ensure that you do not attend if you have Covid-like symptoms such as a fever, shortness of breath, persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell.
  • Arrive as near to your appointment time as possible to assist with social distancing and car parking pressures
  • Arrange for a friend, family member or neighbour to give you a lift – ideally you should not drive yourself in case you have an adverse reaction
  • Wear a face mask or covering at all times during your appointment
  • Sanitise your hands and check your temperature when you arrive
  • Dress appropriately, short sleeves under your coat if possible, so that we can easily access your arm for the vaccination
  • Wait for 15 minutes after your vaccination so that we can observe you

You will need a second dose between 3 and 12 weeks after your first dose – we will contact you to book this in due course.

Do I need my NHS Number

We are aware that some large vaccination centres are requesting NHS Numbers. If you are having your vaccination with us and are registered with The Rycote Practice we will already know your NHS Number.

If I am in a wheelchair can a Carer come in with me?

Yes, they can help you. They will need to wear a mask for face covering.

I don’t drive, can I get hospital transport?

Unfortunately we are unable to book transport to take you to get your vaccine. You will need to make your own arrangements with family members or friends to get yourself to and from the centre.  Thame Community Car has also been able to help some patients. It is advised that you do not drive yourself if possible.

I am taking my friend / family member to their appointment. Can I have my vaccine at the same time?

Not normally at this initial stage, unless otherwise specified. If you and your family member do fall into the same age group, it may be possible to arrange this for you at a later date. For now, it is just those invited by their Surgery.

My relative has dementia and does not understand social distancing or wearing a face mask, what do I do?

Try and request an appointment at the end of the clinic time when there are less people around to reduce the stress for your relative. Speak with the Receptionist at the clinic when you arrive and he/she will help you.

I am housebound, what do I do?

Plans are underway for the provision of a home vaccinating service to administer the vaccine at home to those who are genuinely housebound or for whom it would be extremely difficult due to their medical condition(s) to attend the clinic. If you are genuinely housebound please let us know when you are contacted so you can be added to the housebound list.

Which vaccine should I have?

The JCVI does not advise a preference for a specific vaccine in specific individuals. To some extent this is personal choice. At the moment we can only offer the vaccines that we have available. The first batches of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine will be prioritised for Care Home and housebound patients. This vaccine is easier to transport than the Pfizer one. However, it still remains more complicated to deliver than the flu vaccination.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?  

The vaccines currently approved for use in the UK have been developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca. They have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety. Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective. 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. No long-term complications have been reported

Are there any people who shouldn’t have the vaccine?

People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated. The MHRA has updated its guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. Similarly, advice for women planning a pregnancy has also been updated and there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after having the vaccination. People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered. The guidance says this should be at least four weeks after the start of symptoms or from the date of a positive Covid-19 test.

Will the vaccines work with the new strain?

There is no evidence currently that the new strain will be resistant to the vaccines we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal. Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.

Do the vaccines contain eggs or other animal products?

There is no material of foetal or animal origin in either vaccine. All ingredients are published in the healthcare information on the MHRA’s website.

For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-pfizer-biontechvaccine-for-covid-19

For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-covid-19-vaccineastrazeneca

The British Islamic Medical Association has produced a helpful guide for the Muslim community which can be found at https://britishima.org/pfizer-biontech-covid19-vaccine/

Can I get a vaccine privately?

No. Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS to eligible groups for the moment. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112.