Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

We are pleased to announce that the practices at Waters Green Medical Centre started their Covid-19 vaccination programme on Friday 8th January. To date, we have vaccinated over 18,000 of our patients, including those resident in care homes and our housebound patients. We are currently planning our second-dose clinics, so if you are waiting for your second vaccine you should expect contact from your practice in due course.

The practices are continuing with their normal workload alongside delivering the vaccine to their patients. This has been, and continues to be, a challenge for us as we need to be ready to deploy staff at short notice to support the vaccination clinics. Thank you for your understanding and support during this period.

If you have any questions about the vaccine programme, our handy FAQ guide below should help.

Please click here to access Public Health England’s: Covid-19 Vaccination Guide for Adults.

General Information

Who is on the priority list for the Vaccine?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

The priority list is:

  1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. All those 80 years of age and over Frontline health and social care workers
  3. All those 75 years of age and over
  4. All those 70 years of age and over clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. All those 65 years of age and over
  6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. All those 60 years of age and over
  8. All those 55 years of age and over
  9. All those 50 years of age and over

When will I receive my vaccine?

We know that patients are anxious about when they can expect to receive their vaccine, and we want to reassure all our patients that you will not be missed.

People most at risk from the complications of COVID-19 are being offered the vaccine first. Unfortunately, we do not have any control over when our vaccine deliveries will take place, and therefore it is not possible at the moment to advise when we can expect to vaccinate each priority group. As soon as we can offer you an appointment, we will be in contact.

What about Health and Care Workers?

NHS Cheshire CCG is working to co-ordinate capacity across hospital, pharmacy and GP-led services so that we can ensure that frontline health or care workers receive their vaccination as soon as possible.

Please contact them on cheshireccg.covid19staffresponses@nhs.net if you feel that you are a frontline health or care worker and they will add your details to their list.

More information about the COVID Vaccination Programme is available at the CCG’s website.

I am an unpaid carer, how can I register to get my vaccine?

If you are an unpaid Adult Carer in Cheshire East and are not already registered with Cheshire East Carers’ Hub, please visit www.cheshireeastcarershub.co.uk for further information and how to get in touch or fill in the online enquiry form to be contacted.

Once you are registered with the Carers Hub, you should then receive an invitation for your vaccine directly from the national booking system.

What vaccine will I get?

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available. Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the MHRA. The Moderna vaccine has also been approved by the MHRA but is not expected to be delivered to the NHS until Spring.

The vaccine you are offered will be dependent on the supply available at the time, it will not be possible to request a specific vaccine.

How safe is the vaccine?

The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.

The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said that these vaccines have good safety profiles and offer a high level of protection, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.

Why has the second dose been postponed?

A longer timeframe has been agreed between doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly. Evidence shows that this first dose will offer a high level of protection two weeks following vaccination. This decision means that more people can receive their first dose in the shortest possible time and will help to save lives.

Getting both doses remains important, and you will be invited to return for your second dose at the right time.

Is there anyone who should not have the vaccine?

People with a history of severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated.

The MHRA have updated their guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. Click here to view the latest guide for women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding.

Is the vaccine vegan / vegetarian friendly?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines do not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.

I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the Covid-19 vaccine as well?

The flu vaccine does not protect you from Covid-19, if you eligible for both, you should have them both. However, the two vaccines (Flu and Covid-19) should be separated by at least 7 days.

I have already had Covid-19, should I still have the vaccine?

Yes, there is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of Covid-19 infection, or with detectable Covid-19 antibodies, so people who have had Covid-19 (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the Covid-19 vaccine when it is their time to do so.

On the day of your Appointment

What happens on the day?

For vaccines taking place at Waters Green Medical Centre:

  • Your practice will contact you prior to the day to book a time for your Covid vaccine. It is important that you do not arrive more than 5 minutes before this allocated time.
  • Initially your vaccination will be given by your own practice. In order to maintain safe social distancing your practice may look slightly different and you may be asked to enter and exit the practice in a different way to the way you would normally. There will be a number of helpful marshals that will be on hand to point you in the right direction.
  • Once you are in your practice you will be called to have your vaccine. You will be asked a few questions to check your details and also to make sure it is safe for you to have the vaccine.
  • Once you have had the vaccine you will be directed to a seating area and advised to wait for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, you are free to leave the building and carry on with your day.
  • Please wear a mask throughout the process.

For vaccines taking place at Macclesfield Community Centre:

  • On arrival, you will be directed to register at the check-in desk. Please do not arrive more than five minutes outside of your allocated time. 
  • From here, you will be directed to a free vaccination station to receive your vaccine. You will be asked a few questions to check your details and also to make sure it is safe for you to have the vaccine.
  • Following your vaccination, you should not drive for 15 minutes, but you do not need to wait inside the hall.
  • Please wear a mask when attending for your appointment. 

How is the vaccine given?

The vaccine is given by injection into the upper arm. It is given in 2 doses, spaced 12 weeks apart.

Are there any known or anticipated side effects?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose.

Very common side effects include:

  • Having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1 to 2 days after the vaccine
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache
  • General aches, or mild flu like symptoms

Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2 to 3 days following the vaccination, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection.

An uncommon side effect is swelling of the glands. You can rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better.

These symptoms normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111. If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination and show them your vaccination card so that they can assess you properly.

I'm currently ill with Covid-19, can I get the vaccine?

If you are currently unwell and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, you should not get the Covid-19 vaccine until you are recovered.

If you need to cancel your vaccination appointment, please contact your surgery.

What protection will the vaccine give me?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines have been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from Covid-19. Each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and shown to be safe.

It takes a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get Covid-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

Can I give Covid-19 to anyone after I have had the vaccine?

The vaccine cannot give you a Covid-19 infection, and a full course will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk.

It is therefore still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • Follow the current guidance

What happens if I cannot attend?

What happens if I am unable to attend the medical centre for my vaccination?

Currently the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can not be transported away from a medical setting. We are currrently working on plans to vaccinate housebound patients using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. However, we would strongly encourage patients to attend the medical centre if they are able to do so.

What happens if I don't want the vaccine yet?

It is completely your choice if you decide not to have the vaccine. It is not compulsory for people to have a Covid-19 vaccination.

However, if you do decide at a later point that you would like to have the vaccine, we may not be able to offer this straight away.

What should I do I am not well when it is my next appointment?

If you are unwell, it is better to wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine, but you should try to have it as soon as possible. You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a Covid-19 test or are unsure if you are fit and well.

Can I pay for a vaccine privately or at a pharmacy?

The Covid-19 Vaccination is offered free of charge and is only available through the NHS to eligible groups.

Please take care to avoid scams and remember the following:

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents.