COVID-19 Vaccination Programme – What You Need to Know
25 January 2021
Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. An effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Following extensive trials, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in the UK and the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway in Cheshire.
Nationally, an independent group of experts (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has recommended that the NHS first offers a vaccine to those at highest risk of catching the disease and of suffering serious complications or dying from COVID-19.
The NHS is planning to vaccinate everyone in the top four priority groups by mid-February 2021 – including older care home residents and staff, everyone aged over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. This guidance explains why we all have to wait our turn.
How will I get my vaccine?
Cheshire’s GP practices are working together to vaccinate people, so you might not be contacted by your usual practice and you might need to go to a different location for your vaccination – you will be told where to attend when you are invited in.
For the smoothest experience, and to help keep waiting to a minimum, please look to arrive at the time of your appointment.
A number of regional vaccination centres are also in place. If you receive a letter inviting you for a vaccination at sites such as the Etihad Campus in Manchester or St Helens Rugby Club, you can either take up this offer or wait to be invited for a vaccination locally.
When it is your turn to book a vaccination you will need to provide:
- Your name and date of birth
- Your NHS number (which will be provided in your invitation letter)
More information about how to find your NHS number is available here
If you've had your first vaccine dose already, the NHS will contact you when it's time for your second dose. For most people this will be scheduled in the 12th week after their first dose.
If you are unable to leave the house to travel for an appointment - and cannot arrange for someone to help you - your local NHS services will be in contact with you.
Please don’t be worried if you or a family member are eligible but haven’t heard anything yet. You might know others who have been invited for their vaccination already, but that does not mean that you or your relative are a lower priority.
GPs and other practice staff are working hard to vaccinate as many people in this group as quickly as possible and, during January and February 2021, many more people will be invited in. This is only the start of the vaccination programme and it will take some time to work through everyone.
Health and social care staff
NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group is working to co-ordinate capacity across hospital, pharmacy and GP-led services to ensure that frontline health or care workers receive their vaccination as soon as possible.
Please be assured that all eligible frontline health and care staff (as set out in Chapter 14a of the Green Book) will be contacted and offered a first vaccine in the coming weeks.
We have already reached out to a number of organisations across Cheshire including dental practices, pharmacies, optometrists, funeral directors, care homes, hospices and the Priory.
If you are part of one of these groups & have not had contact please firstly check with your manager that they have not received anything, and only contact us if you have been missed.
We are currently working with physiotherapists, podiatrists, HCPC registered workers, domiciliary care workers and personal assistants in order to facilitate a coordinated approach - please bear with us.
If you're eligible as a frontline health & social are worker and your practice or organisation has not received communication from us, please appoint a single person to contact us as we do not have capacity to deal with numerous individual requests: firstname.lastname@example.org This email address is for health and social care staff only.
I'd like to volunteer to help Cheshire residents - where can I find out more?
NHS Volunteer Responders have been supporting residents throughout the COVID-19 response. To find out more, go online at: https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/
To protect yourself and your family members from fraud, please remember the following points:
- The NHS will never ask for bank details, PIN numbers or passwords when contacting you about a vaccination. You will never be charged for the vaccine.
- Any communication which claims to be from the NHS but asks for payment, or bank details, is fraudulent and can be ignored. If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up.
- If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
- Where a victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police either online or by calling 101.
Who can I contact to find out more?
The NHS is currently being inundated with wide-ranging enquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine. While we understand that people are anxious to ensure that they and their loved ones are protected as quickly as possible, the number of enquiries currently being received is in danger of taking valuable resource away from delivery of the programme.
For more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, please visit the NHS website.
* Please note - We are extremely grateful for the number of vaccination venue offers we continue to receive, however, with 18 GP-led sites across Cheshire, three hospital hubs and a number of pharmacy-led sites, we do not currently require any further vaccination venues. Thank you.
Vaccine-related media coverage
- BBC Radio Merseyside
- BBC Radio Stoke
- Cheshire Independent
- Cheshire Live
- Chester Standard
- Crewe Nub News
- Dee Radio
- Knutsford Guardian
- Nantwich News
- Northwich Guardian
- Silk FM
- The Cat FM
- Winsford Guardian