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Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Vaccine

Further information about the COVID-19 vaccine is available on the NHS website here. Regional Frequently Asked Questions are available here.

GP-led vaccination services are up-and-running in the locations listed below.

Please do not attend any vaccination site seeking a vaccination without an appointment and do not contact your local hospital, GP practice or council to seek a COVID-19 vaccine appointment – appointments cannot be made in this way.

Cheshire West:

  • Dene Drive Primary Care Centre, Dene Drive, Winsford, CW7 1AT
  • Frodsham Leisure Centre, Princeway, Frodsham, WA6 6RX
  • Helsby Community Centre, Lower Robin Hood Lane, Helsby, WA6 0BA
  • City Walls Medical Centre, St Martins Way, Chester, CH1 2NR
  • Neston Medical Centre, Liverpool Road, Neston, CH64 3RA
  • Cheshire View, Plough Lane, Christleton, Chester, CH3 7PT
  • Kingsmead Medical Centre, 2 Kingsmead Square, Regency Way, Northwich, CW9 8UW
  • Ellesmere Port Civic Hall, Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0AZ
  • St Columba's Roman Catholic Church, Plas Newton Lane, Chester, CH2 1SA

Cheshire East

  • Waters Green Medical Centre, Sunderland Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6JL
  • Dental Suite in Eagle Bridge Health & Wellbeing Centre, Dunwoody Way, Crewe, CW1 3AW
  • Apollo Buckingham Health Sciences Campus Ltd, Library Building Crewe Campus
  • Nantwich Civic Hall, 4 Market Street, Nantwich
  • The 13 Club, Cedars Avenue, Alsager,  Stoke on Trent, ST7 2PH
  • Wilmslow Health Centre, Chapel Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5HX
  • Congleton Town Hall, 7 High St, Congleton, CW12 1BN
  • Knutsford District and Community Hospital, Bexton Road, Knutsford, WA16 0BT
  • Victoria Hall, Civic Way, Middlewich, CW10 9AS
  • Civic Centre, Park Ln, Poynton, Stockport, SK12 1RB
  • Senior Citizens Hall, Duke Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6UR

Regional vaccination centres like the Etihad Tennis Club in Manchester and St Helens Rugby Club launched at Chester Racecourse and Alderley Park Conference Centre in mid-February 2021.

People who are eligible will receive letters from the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service, telling them how they can book an appointment.

If it is not convenient, you can instead wait to be vaccinated at your local GP-led vaccination centre.

Hospital vaccination hubs are also in place at the Countess of Chester Hospital, Leighton Hospital and Macclesfield Hospital.

Pharmacy-led vaccination centres are in place at Andrew's Pharmacy in Macclesfield, Hollowood Pharmacy in Crewe, Alsager Pharmacy in Alsager, Pharmacy 2u at Morrisons in Winsford and Boots in Foregate Street, Chester.

Very. All vaccination centres have been through a rigorous registration process to ensure that they meet all guidance and safety requirements. Safe distancing, hand sanitising and the use of face masks is standard at all of the centres.

The four UK Chief Medical Officers agree that, at this stage of the pandemic response, prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time.

This, in turn, will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and help protect the NHS and equivalent health and care services.

The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine should provide good protection from coronavirus. But you need to have two doses to give you longer-lasting protection.

In line with national guidance, all those who have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will receive a second dose 12 weeks later. For most people this will be scheduled in the 12th week after their first dose.

If you have had your first jab already through a hospital or GP service, the local NHS will contact you about getting your second.

Carers whether paid or unpaid can now be prioritised to access a Covid 19 Vaccine.
Carers are described as those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

Those clinically vulnerable to COVID include:

• Children with severe neuro-disabilities;
• Those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV);
• Adults who have underlying health conditions (as defined in table 3 of the Green Book); and
• Those who need care because of advanced age

If you are a carer and are registered with your GP.
Adult carers who are flagged within GP systems will be offered a vaccination at their local GP-led service. Please wait to be contacted.

If you are a paid carer in receipt of a carers allowance.
Your information will be shared with the NHS National Booking System who will contact you by letter with advice about how to book a vaccine. In the meantime, please do not contact your GP, local authority or local NHS services.

If you are registered with your Local Authority or local Carer’s Support Agencies
Your Local Authority has been asked to provide information to the NHS National Booking system. The NHS national booking service will contact you by letter with advice about how to book a vaccine. In the meantime, please do not contact your GP, local authority or local NHS services.

If you believe you meet the criteria but you do not fall into the groups above
Nationally, the NHS is working on a solution that will enable people to be identified and registered for a vaccine. This work is underway and more information will be made available in the coming weeks. In the meantime please do not contact your GP, local authority or local NHS services.

The JCVI defines clinically vulnerable people as those with:

  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma
  • chronic heart disease (and vascular disease) 
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
  • Down's syndrome
  • severe and profound learning disability
  • diabetes
  • solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
  • asplenia and splenic dysfunction
  • morbid obesity
  • severe mental illness

The NHS is inviting eligible people in a phased way as supplies of the vaccine allow. It is important to wait to be contacted by the NHS.

If you have received a letter and live with someone who is also eligible but has not received a letter, it is likely that theirs will follow shortly. If you like you can wait and book at the same time.

A vaccination programme of this size and scale will still take some time to roll out in full. Please be assured that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it.

Yes. Alternatively, if you receive a national letter after receiving a vaccination locally - please ignore the letter. There is nothing further to do.

People who are housebound will be contacted by their GP services about alternative ways to get vaccinated. If preferred, people can also wait until more locations closer to where they live become available.

The NHS will follow up with people that haven’t booked their appointment, as a reminder.

No. Both the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved for use in the UK following extensive trials. The NHS only ever uses vaccines that are proven to be both safe and effective.

A Moderna vaccine - also approved for use in the UK - is likely to become available in the Spring of 2021.

A detailed review of the vaccines and their ingredients have been provided by the
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA):

For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information is available here

For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information is available here

The British Islamic Medical Association have produced a helpful guide for the Muslim
community which can be found here

The COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

Government guidelines recommend that vaccination in pregnancy should only be considered where the risk of exposure is high and cannot be avoided, or if you have underlying conditions that put you at very high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 which may prevent you from receiving your vaccination until after your pregnancy is delivered.

In these circumstances, clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with you and tell you about the absence of safety data for the vaccine in pregnancy.

Click here for further information

Dr Edward Morris, President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), has said: "We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of COVID-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.

"There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women's fertility. Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.

"For women in the age group where they may be considering pregnancy, the vaccination is only currently being offered to two groups - health and social care workers (including carers for older adults in residential care homes) who are at higher risk of catching Covid-19 and those with serious medical conditions who have a greater risk of severe illness from Covid-19. Pregnant and breastfeeding women who are eligible will also be offered the vaccine."

Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Chief Executive Gill Walton said: "If you are eligible for and have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine, the decision whether to have the vaccination is your choice. You can either have the vaccine or wait for more information about the vaccine. Women who are eligible for the vaccination should consider discussing any concerns they have with their midwife or healthcare professional.

"The RCOG and RCM would also like to emphasise to all women in this group (and all others) the importance of practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and regular handwashing."

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) does not advise routine pregnancy testing before receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine and they state that those who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination.

It is expected that access to the vaccine will allow vulnerable patient groups to be able to access fertility treatment that may have been paused during the pandemic.

The use of any pharmaceutical product in women who are trying to conceive should be subject to a balance between the expected benefit and potential harms.

Women who would benefit from the vaccine should be able to receive it without compromising their planned fertility treatment. Women should be made aware that although there is no safety data for COVID-19 vaccinations in pregnancy, there is no known risk from other non-live vaccines in pregnant women.

In line with the JCVI guidance, appropriately informed patients who choose to accept COVID-19 vaccination do not need to avoid fertility treatment/pregnancy after vaccination.

The Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) and British Fertility Society (BFS) have released a statement regarding the COVID-19 vaccination for those planning fertility treatment.

Please see their full statement here:

Ensuring the right amount of COVID-19 vaccine is delivered to each vaccination site is part of the national programme.

Vaccination sites receive vaccine doses in batches to enable sites to plan clinics in advance, including how many patients to book in.

Vaccinations are then administered via defined clinics on certain days.

We are working with local hospital-led vaccination hubs to ensure that patients identified by their GP as having significant and / or multiple allergies are invited to receive their vaccinations at a hospital site.

Patients don’t need to do anything, they will be contacted and invited to attend a vaccination appointment.

Penicillin allergy should not be a barrier to receiving either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. However, as a precaution, people with a history of immediate onset-anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs or an unexplained anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in case they have an undiagnosed polyethylene glycol (PEG) allergy.

If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine, please continue to follow social distancing and other national guidance to help protect others while we work to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

This will be a marathon, not a sprint, and we cannot let down our guard. Please continue to follow the rules to help stop the spread of COVID-19.