Q. Why am I being offered the COVID-19 vaccine? Do I have to have it?
The GHA is currently offering COVID-19 vaccines to people most at risk from coronavirus.
We have all felt the impact of the pandemic, and this has been the most challenging year in GHA history. Happily, following extensive trials, safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 are now available to help protect you from the virus.
The vaccines have been through the same regulatory approval process as any medicines to ensure they meet strict safety standards and offer high levels of protection.
The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.
Getting vaccinated only protects you from the virus, so you will still need to follow IPC and testing measures in your workplace, and follow general advice at work, at home and when you are out and wash your hands carefully and frequently
The vaccine is not mandatory, however we strongly encourage you to consider being vaccinated. Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can will protect you and help protect your family and those you care for.
Q. Is the vaccine safe?
Yes. Like all other medicines and devices, all of the COVID-19 vaccinations have been granted regulatory MHRA approval to ensure that they are safe and effective. The MHRA recently released a statement saying “The data we have collected provides further reassurance that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and continue to meet the rigorous regulatory standards required for all vaccines. We remain confident that the benefits of these vaccines outweigh any risks”.
Q. Who is currently eligible to receive a booster vaccine?
Those eligible for an autumn/winter COVID-19 vaccine include:
- residents in a care home
- all adults aged 65 years and over
- persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
- pregnant women
- frontline health and social care workers
- persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression
- persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers (as defined in the Green Book) and staff working in care homes for older adults.
If you develop a new health condition or start treatment that severely weakens your immune system, or means immunity from previous vaccination may be lost, your specialist may advise you that you need a vaccine.
Our hard-working vaccination teams and volunteers are there to make vaccination clinics run as smoothly as possible. Please remember to be kind.
Q. Once I have the vaccine does this mean I can’t catch Covid-19?
Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still catch the virus despite having a vaccination however it should be less severe.
Q. If I am housebound, how do I get a booster vaccine?
People that are over 75 and housebound are now eligible for a 2nd booster (4th dose). We have a number of roving teams that are vaccinating those that eligible. We will be getting in touch to arrange your visit.
Q. Are there any known risks to people who have already had COVID-19 and then get the vaccination?
There is no evidence of this, and the recommendation is that if you have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection there is no immediate urgency to be vaccinated as we know that antibodies after a natural infection last for at least 3 months. However, this is something you can discuss with your GP to assess when is the best time to get your vaccine following illness.
Q. Can I have the flu and COVID-19 vaccines together?
The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization has advised that, for most people, it is fine to have the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. Where possible, we encourage you to get both vaccines in the same appointment to ensure you are protected against both viruses.
Q. How long are the Covid-19 booster clinics open for?
Don’t worry! There will be plenty of appointments for everyone eligible.