COVID-19 (coronavirus)  - vaccinations

Updated 11th January

 

Frome Medical Practice has been selected to take part in the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme and the first patients from Frome have received their vaccines. 

GP practices across the country have been asked to prioritise vaccinating patients who are over 80 years old and an initial group of patients have been booked in for their vaccinations appointments. We continue to invite our patients who are over 80 in for their vaccinations and expect to complete these calls during the week ending 15th January. 

We know that some of our patients in the over 80s category have received letters in the last few days inviting them to attend vaccination appointments at the Mass Vaccination Centre at Ashton Gate, Bristol. We expect many of you would prefer to have your vaccination closer to home and, if we haven't already spoken to you, we will be contacting you this week (written 11th January) to arrange this. Thanks for your patience waiting for us to get in touch. 

Patients are asked not to contact the practice regarding when they will receive their vaccine and we want to reassure you that we will be in touch with all eligible patients as soon as vaccines are available for us to administer. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who is currently eligible for the vaccine (as of December 2020)?

The first patient group to receive the COVID-19 vaccination are patients over 80 years of age on at 31st March 2020     

 
When will I be vaccinated?

We have made appointments for our first cohort of eligible patients. As soon as we have more vaccine we will be in touch with more eligible patients to book them in for their vaccines. 

 
Where will I be vaccinated?

You will be vaccinated by a fully trained Medical Professional at Frome Medical Practice

 
How do I book an appointment?
Please do not call the practice regarding your vaccination - we will contact you when you are eligible and we have the vaccine available for you. 

The practice have a dedicated team who will call you to make your appointments if you are eligible for the vaccine. We will also send text messages for those who are able to receive information in this way inviting you to call the practice.

When we contact you we will book your first appointment. The second appointment will be a maximum of 12 weeks later. 

(Please note, if you received your first dose on Friday 18th or Saturday 19th December, your second dose will still be given 21 days later - ie Friday 8th and Saturday 9th January. Please continue to attend the appointments made for you on these dates.) 

 
What if I cannot attend my second vaccine appointment?

In order to achieve maximum immunity, it is imperative that you attend your 2nd appointment

 
What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

Do not attend your appointment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms (temperature above normal, a new continuous cough, a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell). If you are able, cancel by calling 01373 301301. When you have recovered and completed the required isolation period, please rebook your appointment. It is vital that you cancel your appointment in order to prevent vaccine wastage. 

 
Do I have a choice?

We hope our patients will want to be vaccinated but you can choose whether you are vaccinated or not. 

 
How do I prepare for my appointment?
  1. Come alone if possible.
  2. Do not arrive more than 10 mins before your allotted time
  3. If you are able, please wear a face mask or face covering.
  4. It will help us if you wear clothing that gives easy access to your shoulder
  5. We are trying to limit use of our toilets, so if possible, go before you leave home.
  6. Do not bring unnecessary bags or belongings into the building.
 
How will you keep me safe while at my appointment?

During the vaccination delivery we will maintain the range of measures we have in place to keep our staff and patients safe from COVID-19. Staff giving the vaccine will be wearing personal protective equipment.

 
Will I be able to park at the practice?

We expect that the car park will be busy. If you have no mobility issues we ask that you consider being driven/picked up by family member or anyone in your COVID-19 “bubble, walking or parking nearby.  This will leave parking spaces for patients with mobility issues.

You may also be able to get support from Community Cars.  They can be contacted on 07596 591391

 
Immediately after receiving your vaccination

The vaccine guidance specifies that patients will need to observed for 15 minutes after the vaccine has been administered.   This observation area will be in the practice in Area 3, and you will leave the practice from an exit in this area.

 
How long will I wait?

We will be working as quickly as we possibly can, being mindful of social distancing and vaccine requirements.  We hope to keep queues to a minimum but please do come prepared for inclement weather.

To avoid long queues, you should aim to arrive at the building entrance no more than ten minutes before your appointment time. When in the queue please maintain social distancing.

Whilst we aim to keep to our appointment schedule, we may give priority to those with a disability and invite them in on arrival (subject to capacity). This may mean a slight delay for some.

We would expect your total time in the practice to be less than 30 minutes.

 
Will I be safe?

We are following all government advice to keep our patients and ourselves safe. We will be operating a one-way system through the building, with staff on hand to provide guidance and assistance.

 
I have a carer - can they have the vaccine?

Unfortunately not. Carers will be recalled at a later date.

 
I have a partner who is nearly 80.  Can they be done at the same?

Unfortunately not. They will be recalled at a later date.

 
Does the vaccine have any side effects?

Like all medicines, vaccines 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.  Although you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus. 

Very common side effects include:

  • Having a painful 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

Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2-3 days, 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 a normal dose of paracetamol (follow advice on the packaging) to help make you feel better.  These symptoms usually 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 so they can assess you properly. 

You can also report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the yellow card scheme.  

We've included a link here to the Patient Information Leaflet for the AstraZeneca COCID-19 Vaccine for any patients wanting further information: 

PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET - ASTRAZENECA COVID19 VACCINE

 

Patient Information Regarding the COVID-19 vaccination

A number of patient information leaflets have been produced regarding COVID-19 vaccination. You can access the leaflets online by clicking the following links: 

COVID-19 vaccination - a guide for adults

COVID-19 vaccination - a guide for women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant, plannng a pregnancy or breastfeeding

COVID-19 vaccination - why do I have to wait for my vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination - easy read leaflet produced by MENCAP

COVID-19 vaccination - what to expect after your vaccination

 

More information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine

The following video from the Department of Health and Social Care provides further information about the vaccine. 

 

Specific information regarding the Pfizer Vaccination, COVID-19 mRNA

This medicine does not have a UK marketing authorisation but has been given authorisation

for temporary supply by the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the Medicines &

Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for active immunization to prevent COVID-19

disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus in individuals aged 16 years of age and over.

 
Reporting of side effects

As with any new medicine in the UK this product will be closely monitored to allow quick identification of new safety information. You can help by reporting any side effects you may get. Read all of this information carefully before you receive this vaccine because it contains important

information for you
  • Keep this information (provided to patients receiving the vaccine in written format). You may need to read it again.
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
  • If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible
  • side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

1. What COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine is and what it is used for

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine is given to adults and adolescents from 16 years. The vaccine triggers the body’s natural production of antibodies and stimulates immune cells to protect against COVID-19 disease.

2. What you need to know before you receive COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine should not be given if you are allergic to the active substance or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6). Signs of an allergic reaction may include itchy skin rash, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have an allergic reaction. It can be life-threatening.

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before you are given the vaccine if you have:

  • had any problems following previous administration of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine such as allergic reaction or breathing problems
  • a severe illness with high fever. However, a mild fever or upper airway infection, like a cold, are not reasons to delay vaccination.
  • a weakened immune system, such as due to HIV infection, or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • a bleeding problem, bruise easily or use a medicine to inhibit blood clotting

As with any vaccine, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 may not fully protect all those who receive it. No data are currently available in individuals with a weakened immune system or who are taking chronic treatment that suppresses or prevents immune responses.

Children and adolescents

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine is not recommended for children under 16 years.

Other medicines and COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using, have recently used or might use any other medicines or have recently received any other vaccine.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

There is currently limited data available on the use of this vaccine in pregnant women. If you are

pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before you receive this vaccine. As a precaution, you should avoid becoming pregnant until at least 2 months after the vaccine.

Driving and using machines

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines. However, some of the effects mentioned under section 4 ‘Possible side effects’ may temporarily affect the ability to drive or use machines. Do not drive or operate machinery until you are sure that you are not affected.

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine contains sodium and potassium

This vaccine contains potassium, less than 1 mmol (39 mg) per dose, i.e. essentially ‘potassium-free’.

This vaccine contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, that is to say essentially  sodiumfree’.

3. How COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine is given

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine is given after dilution as an injection of 0.3 mL into a muscle of your upper arm. You will receive 2 injections, given 21 days apart. If you receive one dose of the vaccine, you should receive a second dose of the same vaccine 21 days later to complete the vaccination series. Protection against COVID-19 disease may not be effective until at least 7 days after the second dose. If you have any further questions on the use of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

4. Possible side effects

Like all vaccines, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. Side effects may occur with following frequencies:

Very common: may affect more than 1 in 10 people

  • pain at injection site
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever

Common: may affect up to 1 in 10 people

  • injection site swelling
  • redness at injection site
  • nausea

Uncommon: may affect up to 1 in 100 people

  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • feeling unwell

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, call 111 for advice. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Coronavirus Yellow Card reporting site.

By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this vaccine