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COVID-19 Vaccine


Covid Vaccine Boosters

NHS Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has started to deliver the Covid vaccine boosters. This is to help top up the protection for those most at risk as we approach winter. In line with the recommendations of the JCVI, these will be offered to the following people who are at greatest risk:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and adult carers
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

If you are eligible for a booster, you will be contacted by the NHS when it is your turn, either by your GP practice or the NHS National Booking Service. There must be a six month gap between your second Covid vaccine and the booster jab which means some people will not be contacted until the New Year. 

Please help us ease pressure on our healthcare services by not contacting your surgery asking about availability. You will hear from your GP or the National Booking Service when it’s time to book your appointment. More information is below. A leaflet is also available on the Gov.uk website

Vaccines approved to date for use in the UK:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech (Germany) vaccine: approved 2 December 2020
  • Oxford University and AstraZeneca (UK) vaccine: approved 30 December 2020
  • Moderna vaccine (US): approved 8 January 2021 
  • Janssen (US): approved 28 May 2021 

Use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

Recently there have been reports of an extremely rare condition involving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots. 

As a precautionary measure while this is being carefully reviewed, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has now advised that it is preferable for adults aged aged 39 and under, who don’t have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative vaccine when it is their turn to be vaccinated.

For those in this age group who have had already their first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and had no adverse reactions, they should still come forward for their second dose when invited.

This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.

An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines but is being carefully monitored.

For people in older age groups, the JCVI has stated that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh the risks.

For further information go to GOV.UK website.

Reasons to get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated is your best defence against the virus and will help protect you, your family and those you care for.

It’s not just about protecting you. Many people have conditions preventing them from developing an effective immune response to vaccination, which makes them highly vulnerable to COVID-19.

We do not know the extent to which the COVID-19 vaccines will prevent individuals from being able to transmit the virus. However, since they protect individuals from disease, we can be reasonably sure they reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.

The COVID-19 vaccine is helping to reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives, it will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.

Vaccine safety

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

Any vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety. Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

Millions of people have now been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported. The vaccine cannot give you coronavirus.

Covid-19 vaccination FAQs are available here.

Information about vaccines: For people with a learning disability and autistic people
NHS England and NHS Improvement has published this film about vaccinations for people with a learning disability and autistic people. This was produced following feedback from stakeholders that there was confusion about vaccines amongst people with a learning disability and/or autism. 

Visit the Gov.UK or NHS website for the most up to date information.