The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

FAQs

Getting your vaccine

Which vaccine is available at which site - I have allergies/medical conditions and want to check it is ok for me?

Currently the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine is being offered at Elland Road and the Pfizer vaccine is being offered at Thackray Medical Museum but this is subject to change. There is very little difference between the two vaccines and no evidence that either vaccine causes more side effects. 

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information 
Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information
British Islamic Medical Associationguide for the Muslim community  
Use of human and animal products in vaccines 

How do I use the appointment booking system?

You can download instructions for the vaccine appointment booking system.

What do I do if there is no option on the system to book my second dose?

If there is no time to book the second dose during your session on the system, click off and back on as sometimes it is slow to load. if there is nothing after two attempts then that timeslot is taken and another date or time will need to be chosen

Should I be waiting for a confirmation email?

You need to enrol to the system via the link sent to you. When it is your turn to book, you receive a further email from no-reply@inhealthcare with a section that says ‘book my session’ It is this link that you need to use to book and not the original link. This is when you need to check your junk mail.

If I am still struggling to get my confirmation, what shall I do?

If the details do not match, you need to speak to your GP and ensure your details are correct with them and also updated on the national Spine system. This may take a few hours to pull through to be able to book. Please do keep trying, the system should work.

I am completely confused and I don’t have much spare time and I would just like to speak to someone, what can I do?

The general email leedscovidstaffvaccine@nhs.net is operational but as you can imagine is exceptionally busy with enquiries and incoming emails. Additional workforce has now been recruited to attend to the inbox and the backlog should be cleared within this week. Please do bear with the team trying to manage this.

I have booked my appointment but not received a confirmation email - what do I do?

Your mobile telephone number registered at your GP needs to be the same as the number you register with on the booking system. This is where your confirmation code is sent. If these do not correlate, then the system can not  verify the booking. Please check your spam box in your email and if you are certain the booking has logged and confirmed, you can email leedscovidstaffvaccine@nhs.net where we will aim to get to your email as quickly as possible.

I have not received a confirmation code - what should I do?

Your mobile telephone number registered at your GP needs to be the same as the number you register with on the booking system. This is where your confirmation code is sent. If these do not correlate, then the system can not  verify the booking.

I've been trying to book but I can't get through - what do I do?

In times of high demand you may need to keep trying - there are plenty of available slots for frontline health and social care staff. 

How do I cancel an appointment?

Yes, you can cancel your appointment on the booking system. Go into your healthcare account where there is an option to cancel. You may not be able to rebook straight away and should retry in 24 hours. 

Can I cancel my appointment at Thackray and book one at Elland Road instead?

Yes but you may need to leave a little bit of time between cancelling and rebooking to make sure the system has time to update. 

I had my first dose of the vaccine before 4 January, when will my second appointment be booked in?

Everyone who had their first dose before 4 January but hasn't yet had their second will receive information in the next week. Please do not book via the online booking system.

I had my first dose after 4 January, what happens now?

If you had your first dose after 4 January, you should have been asked to book your second dose at the same time. If you need to query this please contact leedscovidstaffvaccine@nhs.net

Can I book in for my second vaccine?

If you are awaiting a date for your second dose further information will be sent by the end of the week. Please ignore any reminders you may receive from the booking system and do not book online.

Do I have to take annual leave to have my vaccine?

You do not need to take annual leave to have your vaccine. All staff can attend a vaccine appointment during normal working hours when they are unable to attend outside working hours. Please ensure you inform your line manager of your appointment so that they can arrange any necessary cover. If you work at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and have any further HR related questions please email: leedsth-tr.hrcovid19only@nhs.net

Can I bring family members?

Please do not bring children or other family members to your appointment. We are unable to allow children into the centres for safety reasons and we cannot vaccinate more than one person per appointment. If you have family members who need the vaccine, they will be invited when it is their turn to have the jab.

Which vaccine has the most side effects?

There is no evidence whatsoever that any of the vaccines have more side effects than their counterparts. You may hear some people say that their side effects were worse with a particular vaccine but everybody is different.

What are the side effects?

Not everyone will have side effects but some people have reported having a mild headache or feeling a little under the weather the next day. These side effects don’t usually last too long and could be managed with over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol.

I’m scared of needles, is it painful?

The needle used to vaccinate is just an average one, no bigger than when you’ve had your other jabs in the past. It doesn’t hurt, it is just like a scratch or small sting that only lasts a few seconds. If you are scared, tell the vaccinator and they will be able to talk you through it.

I am pregnant/breastfeeding - can I have the vaccine?

If you are or may be pregnant, or you are breastfeeding please ensure you have read the available information and consulted your doctor, nurse or maternity team where appropriate, and made an informed decision to have the vaccine before attending. Government guidance on breastfeeding

Who will get a vaccine?
People will be offered vaccinations in line with recommendations from the independent JCVI. Across the country, care home staff, those aged 80 years of age and over, as well as NHS staff considered to be a risk will be offered vaccination in line with JCVI
recommendations, and we are now rolling out vaccines in care homes.

How will patients be invited for a vaccination?
The NHS will contact people when it is their turn. For most people this will be in the form of a letter either from their GP or the national booking system; this will include all the information they need, including their NHS number. Some services are currently also
phoning and texting patients to invite them for an appointment.

We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we are asking people not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they are contacted. The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first and people will not be able to make an appointment until they have received their invitation.

How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?
Both vaccines require two doses to give the maximum protection. The latest advice is that the second dose should be given up to 12 weeks after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why are second doses being postponed?
The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection. This decision will allow us to get
the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives. Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for their second vaccination at the right time.

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines? And how long do they take to work?
The MHRA has said both vaccines are highly effective, but to get full protection people need to come back for the second dose – this is really important. To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advises that the second dose of both the OxfordAstraZeneca and the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine should be scheduled up to 12 weeks apart.

Protection starts around seven days after your first dose. Full protection kicks in around a week or two after the second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you act on that and get yourself booked in as soon as possible. Even those who
have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance.

Can I get a vaccine privately?
No. Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS for the moment. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112.

How do the vaccines work?
The vaccines work by making a protein from the virus that is important for creating protection. The protein works in the same way they do for other vaccines by stimulating the immune system to make antibodies and cells to fight the infection.

Do the vaccines include any parts from foetal or animal origin?
There is no material of foetal or animal origin in either vaccine. All ingredients are published in the healthcare information on the MHRA’s website. 

Can the vaccine alter your genetic material?
There is no evidence to suggest that individual genetic material will undergo an alteration after receiving the vaccine.

Will the vaccines work with the new strain?
There is no evidence so far that the new strain will be resistant to the vaccines we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal. Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu
virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.

How long will my vaccine be effective for?
We expect these vaccines to work for at least a year – if not longer. This will be constantly monitored.

Are the vaccines safe?
Yes. 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, has said both vaccines are safe and highly effective, 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.

What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for BAME communities?
The trials demonstrated that the vaccines are consistently safe and effective across different ethnic groups. Full details are available in the Public Assessment Reports.

For the Pfizer trial, participants included 9.6% black/African, 26.1% Hispanic/Latino and 3.4% Asian.
For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine 10.1% of trail recipients were Black and 3.5% Asian.

Are there any known or anticipated side effects?
These are important details, which the MHRA always considers when assessing vaccines. For these vaccines, like lots of others, they have identified that some people might feel slightly unwell, but they report that no significant side effects have been observed in the tens of thousands of people involved in trials.
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 1-2 days after the vaccine
• Feeling tired
• Headache
• General aches, or mild flu like symptoms

Information on possible side effects 

Are there any people who shouldn’t have the vaccine?
People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated. The MHRA has updated its 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. Similarly, advice for women planning a pregnancy
has also been updated and there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after having the vaccination.

I’m currently ill with COVID-19, can I get the vaccine?
People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered. The guidance says this should be at least four weeks after the start of symptoms or from the date of a positive Covid-19 test.

Should people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?
Yes, if they are in a priority group identified by JCVI. The MHRA have looked at this and decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid19 as it is for those who haven’t.

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 so as you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both. It is not essential to leave time between the flu and Covid vaccines but it is recommended that there should be a gap of a week.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu?
No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family and patients from flu this winter.

Information correct at 20/01/21 (source: Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group