Dear Preston Park Community PCN Patients,
We have put together a list of COVID-19 vaccine FAQs with our PCN practices. We hope you find this useful, but if you should you have any further questions, please feel free to email us at:
For additional reading, please also see the FAQs regarding second doses recently published by NHS England.
Visit this link for a full breakdown of the COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups.
Q. Which group am I in and why haven't I been contacted yet?
A. Please refer to the COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups, we are working our way through these groups in order and as soon as it is your turn, you will be contacted. Please wait to be contacted, do not call your GP. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine.
Q. What are the common side effects?
A. Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.
You may get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery 1 or 2 days after having your vaccination. But if you have a high temperature that lasts longer than 2 days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste you may have coronavirus. Stay at home and get a test. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.
Contact your GP surgery if you have a headache for more than 4 days after your vaccination or get bruising somewhere other than where you had your vaccination.
Q. Can cancer patients be moved up the list?
A. If there is a reason that your vaccine should be expedited, please ask your specialist to contact your surgery or email/ write to your surgery to explain the situation. Please avoid calling the reception team.
Q. When will I be called for my second dose and how?
A. If you don't already have your date for your second dose, please be patient. Unless you have already booked both doses through the national booking service, you must have your second dose at the same place that you received your first. You will be contacted to arrange your appointment, but this may not happen until around ten to eleven weeks after your first appointment.
Q. Can I choose which vaccine I have?
A. We are unable to offer a choice of vaccine. Our vaccine programme is offering vaccines in line with the supply of vaccines available to us by the NHS vaccination service. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has not advised a preference between the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in any specific population, stating that "both give very high protection against severe disease... and both vaccines have good safety profiles". In certain circumstances we may advise that you have a specific vaccine.
Q. What are the risks of an allergic reaction to the vaccine?
A. Allergic reactions to the vaccines have been very rare. If you have concerns please discuss with the clinician who is giving your vaccine and they will be able to take a full history and understand if you have any risk.
People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated. Links to the ingredients in the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines can be read here:
Q. Is the vaccine safe if I am pregnant?
A. It is advised that vaccination in pregnancy should be considered where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is high and cannot be avoided (such as in front line NHS staff), or where the woman has underlying conditions that put them at very high risk of serious complications of COVID-19.
Q. How do I obtain a referral to the new allergy clinic?
A. If there are any concerns re risk of serious allergic reaction you will be referred to the vaccine allergy clinic.
Q. Why have I been invited for a vaccine by a Mass Vaccination Site, but not by my Local Vaccination Site?
A. You have the option to book in to a Mass Vaccination Site using the national booking service, or if you prefer, you can wait to receive your invitation to Brighton Racecourse.
Q. How can I cancel or change a vaccination booking?
A. Call the Here booking helpline (0300 303 8060) to cancel or change your vaccination appointment at Brighton Racecourse. Or go to the NHS portal if you have booked through the national booking service for an appointment at a Mass Vaccination Site here
Q. I have COVID-19 or have had it in the past, should I still get the vaccine?
A. Yes, you should get vaccinated. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You can have the vaccine 28 days after you had a positive test for COVID-19 or 28 days after your symptoms started, so you may need to wait.
Q. Why do I have to wait 12 weeks for my second dose?
A. The new medical advice is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose and should be given towards the end of this 12 week period.