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COVID-19 Vaccination Programme – What You Need to Know

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 well underway in Cheshire.

Nationally, an independent group of experts 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.

If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, but yet to book an appointment, do this now by contacting the national booking service via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119.

By contacting the national booking service you will gain access to flexible appointments at other local vaccination services 7 days per week from 9am – 11pm. Alternatively, you can wait to be contacted by your GP practice.

Carers whether paid or unpaid can now be prioritised to access a COVID-19 vaccine. For more information visit our FAQ page.

This guidance explains why we all have to wait our turn.

How will I get my vaccine?

This poster outlines the three ways in which you might be contacted to receive a vaccination.

For the smoothest experience, and to help keep waiting to a minimum, please arrive at the time of your appointment.

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 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. In Cheshire East, support is also available for those where all other avenues have been explored via the People Helping People initiative.

Progress to date

Since Mona Thomas, 92, became the first person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Cheshire on December 8th 2020, Cheshire’s vaccination services have successfully vaccinated hundreds of thousands of residents.

NHS staff continue to work incredibly hard to deliver the largest vaccination drive in our history, at the same time as providing routine and emergency care for everyone who needs it.

Everyone in the top nine priority groups is now eligible to book their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination – this means everyone aged 50+, all frontline health and care workers, unpaid carers and anyone aged 16-64 with an underlying health condition which places them at higher risk.

To maximise uptake the National Booking Service has recently introduced a text message service for COVID-19 vaccination invitations, sending messages to eligible people – including those from earlier groups who have not yet had a vaccination recorded.

Our focus remains on ensuring that everyone who is eligible is offered a first vaccine, and that those who are due a second vaccine receive it within 12 weeks of their first dose.

Despite media coverage outlining a national supply issue in April 2021, Cheshire remains on track to meet the national commitment in phase 1 of offering a vaccine to everyone aged 50+ by April 15th 2021.

Looking ahead

NHS staff continue to work incredibly hard to deliver the largest vaccination drive in our history, at the same time as providing routine and emergency care for everyone who needs it.

The COVID Vaccination Programme will move into its second phase when people aged 18-49 will be offered their first dose.

During Phase 2 there may be some changes to the locations of vaccination services and the way that the vaccine is delivered.

Cheshire health and care partners are working closely to ensure that responsive and accessible local services are in place in Phase 2 to vaccinate our residents.

Health and social care staff

If you are a frontline health and social care worker and have not yet been offered or received your first vaccine please book an appointment by contacting the national booking service via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119.

By contacting the national booking service you will gain access to flexible appointments at other local vaccination services 7 days per week from 9am – 11pm. Alternatively, you can wait to be contacted by your GP practice.

The definition of "frontline" is available here.

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/

Avoiding fraud

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.

What's happening in neighbouring areas

  • Click here for information about the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in Wirral
  • Click here for information about the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in Warrington and Halton