Covid-19 FAQs

March 19th updated FAQ

In order to keep everyone as well informed as possible, we are publishing a list of FAQs about the Covid-19 vaccine at the top of our Facebook page and on our website.

Our social media team look through each of your Facebook comments on our posts and when we cannot respond to them individually these questions will be addressed in the FAQs post that are updated at least twice weekly.

Please check them regularly as the answers to many of the questions posed are already included in these FAQs.

In the interests of confidentiality we are not able to answer any questions on Facebook about people’s individual care.

How are the vaccinations being organised?

The vaccinations are currently being administered at a local vaccination centre which has been set up as a partnership between 9 GP practices in Aylesbury Vale.
There are also other Covid-19 vaccination centres run by other organisations that may you send you an invitation by post.

Where is the vaccination centre based?

Our vaccination centre is at the indoor bowls arena in Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 9PP. There will be a team of marshals to help direct you when you arrive.
There is a video outlining what to expect which you can view by visiting https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9XsqUUdoU90&feature=youtu.be

Which 9 GP practices are working together?

These are the surgeries that are working together:

• Berryfields
• Edlesborough
• Haddenham
• Mandeville
• Meadowcroft
• Oakfield
• Poplar Grove
• Westongrove
• Whitehill

Do you have plans to vaccinate people more locally?

We would very much like to have measures in place to administer the vaccine locally, once supplies of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine are available. At present, it is not clear whether we will be able to do this as part of a coordinated NHS vaccination programme locally but we are putting measures in place that would enable that to happen should the opportunity arise.

How many vaccines will I need?

You will require 2 vaccinations for long term immunity. The second will be approximately 10-12 weeks after your initial dose. You will be contacted for the second vaccine in the same way you were contacted for your first vaccination. You will be invited for the same vaccine that you had the first time: subject to vaccine supplies.

How do I book my second vaccine?

Westongrove will start to book in second vaccinations from April. Patients will be invited approximately 11-12 weeks after their first vaccination and will be sent texts as before. We will contact anyone without a mobile via letter or telephone call as before. Please don’t telephone us to chase your second vaccination, we will contact you when it is your turn.

Do I have to have my second vaccine at the same vaccine hub I went to for my first?

NHSE Guidance supported by our CCG, is that patients should go to the same vaccination centre for both first and second vaccines. If they had their first at one of the mass sites, they would already have their second appointment booked, if they had it at the stadium, we will contact them for the second dose as before.

Will I get the same type of vaccine as before? (e.g., Pfizer or AstraZeneca)

Yes, you will get the same vaccine as before.

Do you recommend we get the second vaccine if we were sick with the first one?

Yes, we absolutely recommend that you should have your second vaccine. One dose gives you limited protection, but the second dose gives you much better protection. As you have already had you first vaccine, you may not have the same reaction second time round.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine – NHS Website

Can I go back to normal life after having my second vaccine?

It typically takes about 2 weeks for your body to build up immunity to the virus once you have had the second vaccine. However, you will still need to follow government guidelines after you have had the second vaccine.

How will my appointment be booked?

You will be contacted as soon as your priority group is ready to get vaccinated. Most patients will receive a SMS text that will have a direct link to book your first appointment, but please don’t worry if you do not have a mobile – you will be contacted by phone. If you do not pick up the first time, we will try again and again until we are able to make contact with you. If necessary we will send you a letter.

If you are aged 70 or over please call us to book your first vaccination if you have not already done so.

We will have to invite people quite close to the vaccination date to minimise the risk of having to reschedule thousands of appointments should the vaccine delivery be delayed.

Nobody will miss out on an invitation to book an appointment for the vaccine.

What if I receive a text but my old mobile won’t let me book my appointment directly?

If you receive a text asking you to book an appointment for your Covid vaccination but you are unable to do that on your phone then please call the surgery during opening hours and we will book the appointment for you manually. If you can’t get through straight away, please don’t worry. Try again at another time, until we are able to help you.

Alternatively, you can forward the text to someone that you trust who has a smartphone. They can then book your appointment on-line on your behalf.

What priority group are you vaccinating at present?

We can now confirm that he have invited everyone we have identified as being in priority group 6 to book their first Covid-19 vaccination appointment.

If you believe you are in priority group 6, but have not been contacted. Please email westongrove.flu@nhs.net and we will get back to you.

Further details of the government’s priority groups based on recommendations from vaccination experts can be found on the Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 30 December 2020 page of the GOV.uk website.

Can a patient’s medical record be updated with a relative’s mobile number to help with the booking of their vaccination?

This is possible subject to confidentiality safeguards. As a practice we cannot change any patient’s contact details in this way until we have written consent from them. This consent needs to include a statement as to whether the number is just for booking Covid-19 vaccinations or for any communication purpose.

We will also need the details of the person whose mobile number is being used with respect to name and relationship to the patient. Please make sure that you have their written consent and provide all these details when emailing us with the requested change.

We can only change them once we have received their consent.

Please be assured that a mobile number is not necessary to guarantee a vaccination, everyone will be contacted regardless.

Should I call the surgery to book my appointment?

Please wait to be contacted unless we inform you otherwise, to leave the phones free for calls for all of our usual services.

At present anyone aged 70 or over should call us to book their first vaccination if they have not already done so.

Everyone is on our list and we have double-checked it! We will let you know as soon as it is your turn to be vaccinated.

Is there a standby list for the Covid-19 vaccinations in case people don’t turn up for their vaccines?

Yes there is; we will not be wasting one single dose of this precious vaccine. We have created a stand-by list from members of our own staff, care home staff, other active frontline healthcare workers and patients in eligible priority groups who have not been vaccinated. This provides an ample supply of people from the priority groups being vaccinated who can attend at short notice. Should the need arise, they will be contacted and asked to attend within a given timescale. We will work our way down the list until all vaccinations have been allocated. If people are not able to attend they will remain on the list until they are vaccinated either by a normal or stand-by invitation.

Please do not contact us to be added to the stand-by list. We will actively refresh it on the basis above from eligible priority groups as the need arises.

When will carers be invited for vaccination?

We have been receiving a lot of phone calls about this issue, so these are the steps you have to take.

To qualify as an unpaid carer you must be in receipt of carer’s allowance. If you meet this criteria you will be invited in priority group 6. If you qualify for a higher priority group for other reasons this will still apply, and you will be invited accordingly.

If you have not already told us that you are an unpaid carer, please email us with proof of the fact that you are in receipt of carer’s allowance

If you are not in receipt of carer’s allowance and are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill then please email us at westongrove.flu@nhs.net with the details of whom you care for.

We will add this information to your medical record and invite you in priority group 6. If you qualify for a higher priority group for other reasons this will still apply, and you will be invited accordingly.

What if I work in Frontline Healthcare in another capacity?

If you are a frontline health or care worker and you are one of our patients, there has been a change to how you access your Covid-19 vaccinations.

Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire CCG are working together to accelerate vaccination appointments for all Health and Social Care staff.

This includes both NHS and private health care workers such as:
NHSE have issued some guidance on additional allied healthcare professionals who are eligible for a COVID vaccination:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Opticians
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists NHS and Private
  • Private hospitals and hospices
  • Domiciliary staff
  • Supported living settings.
  • Art Therapists
  • Drama Therapists
  • Music Therapists
  • Chripodists / Podiatrists
  • Dieticians
  • Occupational Health Therapists
  • Operating Department Practitioners
  • Orthopists
  • Osteopaths
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Radiographers
  • Speech Therapists
  • Prothetists / Orthotists

The 14 allied health professions – NHS England Website

If you have any enquiries from patients within these roles, please code and invite for a vaccination.

If you fall under one of these categories, your organisations should have been contacted for information including lead contact and staff numbers in each priority tier. You will then be invited to book a vaccine appointment in a staggered system that has been implemented through your organisation and not by us, your GP surgery.

If you have any enquiries regarding the vaccine roll out for these cohorts of staff please direct them to your employer or bucksccg.healthstaffvaccines@nhs.net

We have sent out an SMS text to all frontline health and care workers who have already registered this status with us to inform them of this change.

How safe is the vaccination centre?

We recognise that many patients have been shielding for a long time and may be anxious to journey out. The safety of patients and staff at the vaccination hub is paramount so all necessary precautions are in place to make it a safe place to go.
We are receiving very positive feedback from those who have attended the vaccination centre already. There are lots of volunteer marshals at the vaccination centre, in all weathers, to lend support and assistance as needed, including help with wheelchairs. Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered to help.

How do I get to the vaccination centre?

If you do not have your own transport, we hope that you will be able to access transport as you normally would do for medical appointments through friends, family, public transport, or the local community transport systems that are up and running.
Buckinghamshire Council is working with Community Impact Bucks to assist in getting patients to vaccine appointments, when they have no other transport options available to them and, where possible, through registered volunteer transport schemes.

They have informed us that Buckinghamshire Council residents will be able to use their concessionary bus pass to travel to a vaccination appointment at any time of the day (Monday – Friday).

If you are not able to arrange travel by car or public transport then you can call the Community Transport Hub operated by Community Impact Bucks on 0800 085 8480 or 01844 348834. This line is open Monday to Friday 9 am to 12:30pm. They will endeavour to put people in touch with a local volunteer or organisation who can provide transport.

Where there is no voluntary transport scheme in the area you will be signposted to Buckinghamshire Council approved taxi companies.

How do I travel safely in the car with someone who is not in my household to receive a vaccine?

Under current restrictions travel for medical appointments is permitted and everyone invited is encouraged to take up the offer of vaccination. There will be plenty of car parking spaces for your driver to wait for you whilst you receive the vaccine.

Where it is essential to car share, you can reduce the risk of transmission by:

  • sharing the transport with the same people each time
  • minimising the group size at any one time
  • opening windows for ventilation
  • travelling side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • facing away from each other
  • considering seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • cleaning your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • asking the driver and passengers to wear a face covering.

What are the plans for vaccinating care home residents?

Every one of our care homes that is listed with the CCG has now received their first round of Covid-19 vaccinations and will receive their second vaccine in due course.

What are the plans for vaccinating people who are housebound?

For those people who are physically unable to get into a car or have a clinical condition that makes it impossible for them to attend the vaccination centre we will arrange to vaccinate you at home. You will be called by us the day before we are able to vaccinate you so that nobody is taken by surprise. The member of our team giving you your vaccination will have their ID badges so that you know that the vaccination is from us.

We are working our way through our remaining housebound patients. It takes about 15 minutes for a team of two to administer each vaccination and we have to use approved cool bags to transport the vaccines. As a result, we can only have so many staff working at any one time. Thank you for your patience as we work to vaccinate everyone in turn by the end of the day on February 15th.

For everyone who is able to leave their home we urge you to take up the offer of a vaccine at one of the vaccination centres. We are not able to vaccinate other members of the same household unless they too meet the criteria above so please take up any vaccination offer that you receive to protect yourself, family, friends and neighbours as quickly as possible.

Can I book an appointment for a Covid vaccination at one of the new mass vaccination sites?

NHS England has written to some patients offering them the chance to book at an appointment for a COVID vaccination at one of the new mass vaccination sites, if they live within a 30-40 minute drive.

If you received a letter and wish to book your vaccination at one of these sites, please do so. If you would prefer to wait and attend our local vaccination hub that is also fine.

We appreciate that not everyone will wish to travel but utilising these centres does offer many more opportunities to vaccinate our population.

If you have not received a letter please wait until you are contacted with your vaccination invitation.

If you are aged 70 or over you can now book your vaccination appointment using the national booking system at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ or you can call 119 free of change between 7am and 11pm.

How do you know when we have had our vaccination at a different site?

Wherever you have your vaccination the information is automatically uploaded into your GP electronic patient record so that we know you have had it and which vaccination you had.

When it comes to inviting you for your second vaccination we can then make sure that you are invited for the same one you received first time even if it was at a different place; subject to supplies of vaccine.

Why are other places in the country getting the vaccine before us?

We have been informed that the main problem, across the country, is one of vaccine supply. There is insufficient vaccine to vaccinate everyone all at once. The way the system works means that we are totally dependent on a supply of vaccine being available nationally and the vaccine then being allocated to us locally. It is not possible for us to order vaccine supplies.

We completely understand that this is a very complex task for those distributing the available vaccines. There seem to be different supply chains for GP organised vaccination centres and those organised by hospitals (mainly for staff), pharmacists or major vaccination centres. We do not know how this is determined.

As a result of the vaccine supply issues the whole process is a marathon rather than a sprint. We have been informed that the powers to be are aware of the inequity in vaccination to date and that vaccine supplies will be targeted to those areas of greatest need. We have not seen that happen yet but expect action to be taken to enable us all to cross the finishing line of vaccinating the top 4 priority groups by February 15th 2021.

At present we have enough vaccinators to vaccinate all of those who are in these priority groups in time. The problem will be that as we get closer and closer to the deadline we might find that vaccinator capacity becomes a rate limiting factor. Whilst staff are eager to play their part in providing additional capacity to run the vaccination clinics we are also providing all of our usual services as effectively as possible. Ideally we need a consistent flow of vaccines to plan for sustainable delivery. You can’t win a marathon by jogging most of the way round and then sprinting at the end, it requires a much more even pace.

It’s great that there are other vaccination opportunities for our communities to access but we do not know how all of the vaccination activity is being coordinated to enable all priority groups to be vaccinated. Please take up these offers if you receive them.

Where can I find more information about Covid-19 vaccination rates?

Here are some websites showing national and international data on Covid-19 vaccination rates:

Is it true that there are plans for a mass vaccination site based in the car park at Dobbies garden centre, Wendover?

We are aware that there is a huge national drive to increase the sites available for patients to receive a COVID vaccination. At the moment we don’t have any further information about additional sites locally. If we hear anything more we will let you know.

Can I go back to normal activities after my vaccine?

We are all very excited for the future when we can visit people we haven’t seen in months and we are one step closer with the vaccine. Unfortunately, we will need to wait a little longer. We are still in a national lockdown, until the government says otherwise, and having the vaccine does not change the restrictions applied to visiting family and friends

However, you should be able to resume activities that are normal for you as long as you feel well within your home.

  • If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult so be careful.
  • If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.

Will the vaccine fully protect me?

The Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from Covid-19 disease. Rest assured that each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and is shown to be safe.

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and once you have had both doses of the vaccine, this will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.

It will take one to two weeks for your body to build up some protection after your first vaccination. Please continue to shield and isolate for a few weeks as appropriate to you.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but your symptoms should be less severe.

The vaccine is very effective against the predominant strains of Covid-19 in circulation at present. We don’t have full information about its impact on some of the rare strains like the South African strain but it still seems to keep people out of hospital and keep them alive.

What we do know is that the more widespread the infection is the more likely a new variant is to appear so the best way to protect everyone is for everyone to take up their vaccination offer as soon as possible and to continue to practice hands, face and space. Rather like with the flu vaccine the Covid-19 vaccine can be updated quite quickly to take into account any new strains and provide on-going protection with seasonal vaccinations.

Can you give COVID-19 to anyone if you have had the vaccine?

The emerging evidence is that the vaccination does reduce your chance of passing on the virus through the air. It is still possible to pass the virus through touch from one surface to another even after vaccination. So please make sure you follow the government’s guideline to help protect all of your family, friends and neighbours.

To make sure we keep the rates as low as possible in Buckinghamshire and to protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • Follow the government’s guidelines

Will I experience any side effects after having the vaccine?

You may experience some side effects but they are often mild or moderate and will go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol.

Here are some common side effects that may occur but should resolve on their own:
Very common: may affect more than 1 in 10 people

  • Pain at injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

Although we do not fully know the rate of more serious allergic reactions these are thought to be very rare. Each vaccination centre is fully equipped for this very rare eventuality.

Please could you let us know what the arrangements are for vaccinations at the Odeon in Aylesbury?

NHS England has set up a Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Odeon in Aylesbury run by Pharmacy 2U to increase capacity in our area.

If you receive a letter from NHS England inviting you to attend this vaccination centre you can choose to have your vaccination there or wait until you are called by us. Please follow the advice on the letters as we will not be able to assist you with these bookings. You can still wait to be called by us, nobody will be missed.

This additional capacity is resulting in more vaccinations being available locally and should continue to do so as long as we collectively continue to receive sufficient supplies of the vaccine.

How will you keep us updated on news of the vaccination programme?

We will keep you updated every Tuesday and Friday at 3:00 pm on our Facebook page and our website (just click on Hot Covid-19 Vaccine News).

We are working with others to disseminate the information as widely as possible. Because it is changing so frequently any written notices soon go out of date. We really need your help by spreading the news to neighbours without access to these communications, particularly the older more vulnerable members of our community. Information is reassurance and friendship is a lifeline in these isolated times. Please let them know that everyone will be contacted when their vaccine is due and to please wait for that contact. nobody will be missed, whether they have heard all of the news or not. Thank you in advance for your help with this #spreadthenews

How will you be responding to Facebook comments?

The social media team are reviewing the Facebook comments about the vaccine each day and we will include any new information in our regular F.A.Q. posts that will be posted on Facebook at 3:00 pm every Tuesday and Friday and will be posted on our website.

How can I help share this information?

Please share this post with people who live in the area so we can make everyone more aware of the situation, particularly those that may not have access to the internet. #spreadthenews #strongertogether

Any final thoughts?

Please be assured that we will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. If you have changed your contact details recently please let us know by sending us a message to westongrove.flu@nhs.net.

Everyone single one of you in the priority groups has a code attached to your medical records so we know whom to invite when.

As with anything new we will be learning as we go along and striving to get better at what we do so that every single person in the national priority groups is offered Covid-19 vaccination as safely and quickly as possible.

Thank you to all our patients for your ongoing support and patience

Kind regards,
Westongrove Social Media Team

Last updated on the 19th February 2021

In order to keep everyone as well informed as possible, we are publishing a list of FAQs about the Covid-19 vaccine at the top of our Facebook page and on our website.

Our social media team look through each of your Facebook comments on our posts and when we cannot respond to them individually these questions will be addressed in the FAQs post that are updated at least twice weekly.

Please check them regularly as the answers to many of the questions posed are already included in these FAQs.

In the interests of confidentiality we are not able to answer any questions on Facebook about people’s individual care.

How are the vaccinations being organised?

The vaccinations are currently being administered at a local vaccination centre which has been set up as a partnership between 9 GP practices in Aylesbury Vale.

There are also other Covid-19 vaccination centres run by other organisations that may you send you an invitation by post.

Where will the vaccination centre be based?

Our vaccination centre is at the indoor bowls arena in Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 9PP. There will be a team of marshals to help direct you when you arrive.

There is a video outlining what to expect which you can view by visiting www.youtube.com.

Which 9 GP practices are working together?

These are the surgeries that are working together:

  • Berryfields
  • Edlesborough
  • Haddenham
  • Mandeville
  • Meadowcroft
  • Oakfield
  • Poplar Grove
  • Westongrove
  • Whitehill

Do you have plans to vaccinate people more locally?

We would very much like to have measures in place to administer the vaccine locally, once supplies of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine are available. At present, it is not clear whether we will be able to do this as part of a coordinated NHS vaccination programme locally but we are putting measures in place that would enable that to happen should the opportunity arise.

How many vaccines will I need?

You will require 2 vaccinations for long term immunity. The second will be approximately 10-12 weeks after your initial dose. You will be contacted for the second vaccine in the same way you were contacted for your first vaccination. You will be invited for the same vaccine that you had the first time: subject to vaccine supplies.

Updates on the second dose of the Pfizer Vaccine

The present situation regarding the second vaccine is that people should receive the same vaccine that they had the first time. We are assured that work is underway nationally to secure the necessary vaccine supplies to support this happening but as yet we have no detailed information on how this will be done.

How will my appointment be booked?

You will be contacted as soon as your priority group is ready to get vaccinated. Most patients will receive a SMS text that will have a direct link to book your first appointment, but please don’t worry if you do not have a mobile – you will be contacted by phone. If you do not pick up the first time, we will try again and again until we are able to make contact with you. If necessary we will send you a letter.

If you are aged 70 or over please call us to book your first vaccination if you have not already done so.

We will have to invite people quite close to the vaccination date to minimise the risk of having to reschedule thousands of appointments should the vaccine delivery be delayed.

Nobody will miss out on an invitation to book an appointment for the vaccine.

What if I receive a text but my old mobile won’t let me book my appointment directly?

If you receive a text asking you to book an appointment for your Covid vaccination but you are unable to do that on your phone then please call the surgery during opening hours and we will book the appointment for you manually. If you can’t get through straight away, please don’t worry. Try again at another time, until we are able to help you.

Alternatively, you can forward the text to someone that you trust who has a smartphone. They can then book your appointment on-line on your behalf.

What priority group are you vaccinating at present?

We are continuing to invite our 16-64 year olds with underlying health conditions, priority group 6, and are now up to “J” (possibly a little further on as your read this).

Further details of the government’s priority groups based on recommendations from vaccination experts can be found here:

www.gov.uk/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-30-december-2020

We are awaiting further instructions as to when we should start vaccinating the remaining priority groups 5-9. This decision will be taken by the government based on various factors, including vaccine supply and equalling out vaccinations across the country. We have been told to expect news on this from February 14th.

At present we are not able to vaccinate people who are not in priority groups 1-4.

As we receive more news on this we will update this answer.

Can a patient’s medical record be updated with a relative’s mobile number to help with the booking of their vaccination?

This is possible subject to confidentiality safeguards. As a practice we cannot change any patient’s contact details in this way until we have written consent from them. This consent needs to include a statement as to whether the number is just for booking Covid-19 vaccinations or for any communication purpose.

We will also need the details of the person whose mobile number is being used with respect to name and relationship to the patient. Please make sure that you have their written consent and provide all these details when emailing us with the requested change.

We can only change them once we have received their consent.

Please be assured that a mobile number is not necessary to guarantee a vaccination, everyone will be contacted regardless.

Is there a standby list for the COVID-19 vaccinations in case people don’t turn up for their vaccines?

Yes there is; we will not be wasting one single dose of this precious vaccine. We have created a stand-by list from members of our own staff, care home staff, other active frontline healthcare workers and patients in eligible priority groups who have not been vaccinated. This provides an ample supply of people from the priority groups being vaccinated who can attend at short notice. Should the need arise, they will be contacted and asked to attend within a given timescale. We will work our way down the list until all vaccinations have been allocated. If people are not able to attend they will remain on the list until they are vaccinated either by a normal or stand-by invitation.

Please do not contact us to be added to the stand-by list. We will actively refresh it on the basis above from eligible priority groups as the need arises.

When will carers be invited for vaccination?

We have been receiving a lot of phone calls about this issue, so these are the steps you have to take.

To qualify as an unpaid carer you must be in receipt of carer’s allowance. If you meet this criteria you will be invited in priority group 6. If you qualify for a higher priority group for other reasons this will still apply, and you will be invited accordingly.

If you have not already told us that you are an unpaid carer, please email us with proof of the fact that you are in receipt of carer’s allowance

If you are not in receipt of carer’s allowance and are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill then please email us at westongrove.flu@nhs.net with the details of whom you care for.

We will add this information to your medical record and invite you in priority group 6. If you qualify for a higher priority group for other reasons this will still apply, and you will be invited accordingly.

What if I work in Frontline Healthcare in another capacity?

If you are a frontline health or care worker and you are one of our patients, there has been a change to how you access your Covid-19 vaccinations.

Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire CCG are working together to accelerate vaccination appointments for all Health and Social Care staff.

This includes both NHS and private health care workers such as:

NHSE have issued some guidance on additional allied healthcare professionals who are eligible for a COVID vaccination:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Opticians
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists NHS and Private
  • Private hospitals and hospices
  • Domiciliary staff
  • Supported living settings.
  • Art Therapists
  • Drama Therapists
  • Music Therapists
  • Chripodists / Podiatrists
  • Dieticians
  • Occupational Health Therapists
  • Operating Department Practitioners
  • Orthopists
  • Osteopaths
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Radiographers
  • Speech Therapists
  • Prothetists / Orthotists

https://www.england.nhs.uk/ahp/role/

If you have any enquiries from patients within these roles, please code and invite for a vaccination.

If you fall under one of these categories, your organisations should have been contacted for information including lead contact and staff numbers in each priority tier. You will then be invited to book a vaccine appointment in a staggered system that has been implemented through your organisation and not by us, your GP surgery.

If you have any enquiries regarding the vaccine roll out for these cohorts of staff please direct them to your employer or bucksccg.healthstaffvaccines@nhs.net

We have sent out an SMS text to all frontline health and care workers who have already registered this status with us to inform them of this change.

How safe is the vaccination centre?

We recognise that many patients have been shielding for a long time and may be anxious to journey out. The safety of patients and staff at the vaccination hub is paramount so all necessary precautions are in place to make it a safe place to go.

We are receiving very positive feedback from those who have attended the vaccination centre already. There are lots of volunteer marshals at the vaccination centre, in all weathers, to lend support and assistance as needed, including help with wheelchairs. Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered to help.

How do I get to the vaccination centre?

If you do not have your own transport, we hope that you will be able to access transport as you normally would do for medical appointments through friends, family, public transport, or the local community transport systems that are up and running.

Buckinghamshire Council is working with Community Impact Bucks to assist in getting patients to vaccine appointments, when they have no other transport options available to them and, where possible, through registered volunteer transport schemes.

They have informed us that Buckinghamshire Council residents will be able to use their concessionary bus pass to travel to a vaccination appointment at any time of the day (Monday – Friday).

If you are not able to arrange travel by car or public transport then you can call the Community Transport Hub operated by Community Impact Bucks on 0800 085 8480 or 01844 348834

This line is open Monday to Friday 9 am to 12:30pm

They will endeavour to put people in touch with a local volunteer or organisation who can provide transport.

Where there is no voluntary transport scheme in the area you will be signposted to Buckinghamshire Council approved taxi companies.

How do I travel safely in the car with someone who is not in my household to receive a vaccine?

Under current restrictions travel for medical appointments is permitted and everyone invited is encouraged to take up the offer of vaccination. There will be plenty of car parking spaces for your driver to wait for you whilst you receive the vaccine.

Where it is essential to car share, you can reduce the risk of transmission by:

  • sharing the transport with the same people each time
  • minimising the group size at any one time
  • opening windows for ventilation
  • travelling side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • facing away from each other
  • considering seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • cleaning your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • asking the driver and passengers to wear a face covering.

What are the plans for vaccinating care home residents?

Every one of our care homes that is listed with the CCG has now received their first round of Covid-19 vaccinations and will receive their second vaccine in due course.

What are the plans for vaccinating people who are housebound?

For those people who are physically unable to get into a car or have a clinical condition that makes it impossible for them to attend the vaccination centre we will arrange to vaccinate you at home. You will be called by us the day before we are able to vaccinate you so that nobody is taken by surprise. The member of our team giving you your vaccination will have their ID badges so that you know that the vaccination is from us.

We are working our way through our remaining housebound patients. It takes about 15 minutes for a team of two to administer each vaccination and we have to use approved cool bags to transport the vaccines. As a result, we can only have so many staff working at any one time. Thank you for your patience as we work to vaccinate everyone in turn by the end of the day on February 15th.

For everyone who is able to leave their home we urge you to take up the offer of a vaccine at one of the vaccination centres. We are not able to vaccinate other members of the same household unless they too meet the criteria above so please take up any vaccination offer that you receive to protect yourself, family, friends and neighbours as quickly as possible.

Can I book an appointment for a Covid vaccination at one of the new mass vaccination sites?

NHS England has written to some patients offering them the chance to book at an appointment for a COVID vaccination at one of the new mass vaccination sites, if they live within a 30-40 minute drive.

If you received a letter and wish to book your vaccination at one of these sites, please do so. If you would prefer to wait and attend our local vaccination hub that is also fine.

We appreciate that not everyone will wish to travel but utilising these centres does offer many more opportunities to vaccinate our population.

If you have not received a letter please wait until you are contacted with your vaccination invitation.

If you are aged 70 or over you can now book your vaccination appointment using the national booking system at  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ or you can call 119 free of change between 7am and 11pm.

How do you know when we have had our vaccination at a different site?

Wherever you have your vaccination the information is automatically uploaded into your GP electronic patient record so that we know you have had it and which vaccination you had.

When it comes to inviting you for your second vaccination we can then make sure that you are invited for the same one you received first time even if it was at a different place; subject to supplies of vaccine.

Why are other places in the country getting the vaccine before us?

We have been informed that the main problem, across the country, is one of vaccine supply. There is insufficient vaccine to vaccinate everyone all at once. The way the system works means that we are totally dependent on a supply of vaccine being available nationally and the vaccine then being allocated to us locally. It is not possible for us to order vaccine supplies.

We completely understand that this is a very complex task for those distributing the available vaccines. There seem to be different supply chains for GP organised vaccination centres and those organised by hospitals (mainly for staff), pharmacists or major vaccination centres. We do not know how this is determined.

As a result of the vaccine supply issues the whole process is a marathon rather than a sprint. We have been informed that the powers to be are aware of the inequity in vaccination to date and that vaccine supplies will be targeted to those areas of greatest need. We have not seen that happen yet but expect action to be taken to enable us all to cross the finishing line of vaccinating the top 4 priority groups by February 15th 2021.

At present we have enough vaccinators to vaccinate all of those who are in these priority groups in time. The problem will be that as we get closer and closer to the deadline we might find that vaccinator capacity becomes a rate limiting factor. Whilst staff are eager to play their part in providing additional capacity to run the vaccination clinics we are also providing all of our usual services as effectively as possible. Ideally we need a consistent flow of vaccines to plan for sustainable delivery. You can’t win a marathon by jogging most of the way round and then sprinting at the end, it requires a much more even pace.

It’s great that there are other vaccination opportunities for our communities to access but we do not know how all of the vaccination activity is being coordinated to enable all priority groups to be vaccinated. Please take up these offers if you receive them.

Where can I find more information about COVID-19 vaccination rates?

Here are some websites showing national and international data on Covid-19 vaccination rates:

Is it true that there are plans for a mass vaccination site based in the car park at Dobbies garden centre, Wendover?

We are aware that there is a huge national drive to increase the sites available for patients to receive a COVID vaccination. At the moment we don’t have any further information about additional sites locally. If we hear anything more we will let you know.

Can I go back to normal activities after my vaccine?

We are all very excited for the future when we can visit people we haven’t seen in months and we are one step closer with the vaccine. Unfortunately, we will need to wait a little longer. We are still in a national lockdown, until the government says otherwise, and having the vaccine does not change the restrictions applied to visiting family and friends.

However, you should be able to resume activities that are normal for you as long as you feel well within your home.

  • If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult so be careful.
  • If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.

Will the vaccine fully protect me?

The Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from Covid-19 disease. Rest assured that each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and is shown to be safe.

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and once you have had both doses of the vaccine, this will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.

It will take one to two weeks for your body to build up some protection after your first vaccination. Please continue to shield and isolate for a few weeks as appropriate to you.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but your symptoms should be less severe.

The vaccine is very effective against the predominant strains of Covid-19 in circulation at present. We don’t have full information about its impact on some of the rare strains like the South African strain but it still seems to keep people out of hospital and keep them alive.

What we do know is that the more widespread the infection is the more likely a new variant is to appear so the best way to protect everyone is for everyone to take up their vaccination offer as soon as possible and to continue to practice hands, face and space. Rather like with the flu vaccine the Covid-19 vaccine can be updated quite quickly to take into account any new strains and provide on-going protection with seasonal vaccinations.

Can you give COVID-19 to anyone if you have had the vaccine?

The emerging evidence is that the vaccination does reduce your chance of passing on the virus through the air. It is still possible to pass the virus through touch from one surface to another even after vaccination. So please make sure you follow the government’s guideline to help protect all of your family, friends and neighbours.

To make sure we keep the rates as low as possible in Buckinghamshire and to protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • Follow the government’s guidelines

Will I experience any side effects after having the vaccine?

You may experience some side effects but they are often mild or moderate and will go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol.

Here are some common side effects that may occur but should resolve on their own:

Very common: may affect more than 1 in 10 people

  • Pain at injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

Although we do not fully know the rate of more serious allergic reactions these are thought to be very rare. Each vaccination centre is fully equipped for this very rare eventuality.

Please could you let us know what the arrangements are for vaccinations at the Odeon in Aylesbury?

NHS England has set up a Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Odeon in Aylesbury run by Pharmacy 2U to increase capacity in our area.

If you receive a letter from NHS England inviting you to attend this vaccination centre you can choose to have your vaccination there or wait until you are called by us. Please follow the advice on the letters as we will not be able to assist you with these bookings. You can still wait to be called by us, nobody will be missed.

This additional capacity is resulting in more vaccinations being available locally and should continue to do so as long as we collectively continue to receive sufficient supplies of the vaccine.

How will you keep us updated on news of the vaccination programme?

We will keep you updated every Tuesday and Friday at 3:00 pm on our Facebook page and our website (just click on Hot Covid-19 Vaccine News).

We are working with others to disseminate the information as widely as possible. Because it is changing so frequently any written notices soon go out of date. We really need your help by spreading the news to neighbours without access to these communications, particularly the older more vulnerable members of our community. Information is reassurance and friendship is a lifeline in these isolated times. Please let them know that EVERYONE will be contacted when their vaccine is due and to please wait for that contact. NOBODY will be missed, whether they have heard all of the news or not. Thank you in advance for your help with this #spreadthenews

How will you be responding to Facebook comments?

The social media team are reviewing the Facebook comments about the vaccine each day and we will include any new information in our regular F.A.Q. posts that will be posted on Facebook at 3:00 pm every Tuesday and Friday and will be posted on our website.

How can I help share this information?

Please share this post with people who live in the area so we can make everyone more aware of the situation, particularly those that may not have access to the internet. #spreadthenews #strongertogether

Any final thoughts?

Please be assured that we will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. If you have changed your contact details recently please let us know by sending us a message to westongrove.flu@nhs.net.

Everyone single one of you in the priority groups has a code attached to your medical records so we know whom to invite when.

As with anything new we will be learning as we go along and striving to get better at what we do so that every single person in the national priority groups is offered Covid-19 vaccination as safely and quickly as possible.

Thank you to all our patients for your ongoing support and patience

Kind regards,
Westongrove Social Media Team