Shropshire Council

Vaccination FAQs

Updated: 01/04/21

In addition to the FAQs below you'll find some accompanying information from the NHS attached to this page under 'Related documents'.

How soon will I be vaccinated?

Vaccines are being given to the most vulnerable first, as set out in a list of nine high-priority groups, covering around 30 million people.

  1. Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers
  2. 80-year-olds and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. 75-year-olds and over
  4. 70-year-olds and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. 65-year-olds and over
  6. 16- to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions
  7. 60-year-olds and over
  8. 55-year-olds and over
  9. 50-year-olds and over

The aim In Shropshire is to have given the first vaccination to:

  • Every care home resident by the end of January
  • Everyone over 80 by the end of January
  • Everyone over 70, anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and health and social care workers by mid-February
  • The rest of the priority groups after that, possibly by Easter.

The second phase of vaccination programme will focus on the rest of the population, mainly the under-50s, who are much less likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19.

Teachers, transport workers, the military and other frontline staff could be prioritised at that point, but more data on how well the vaccines are working will be needed before that decision is made. This will be a national, independent decision by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JVCI).

In the county we are working as hard as we can to access the maximum supplies of available vaccine. Our aim is to not waste any vaccine, and so far we have been really successful in using every dose that has been delivered to us. 

How can I get a vaccine?

You can now book a vaccination if you are:

  • Over 70 (without an invitation letter)
  • You have received a letter from the NHS to tell you that you are at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)

Otherwise, the NHS will contact you and invite you to book an appointment when it’s your turn. You may receive a phone call from your family doctor’s practice (GP) or local NHS service, but you may also be contacted by letter. If your contact details have changed lately, now is a good time to make sure your GP practice has the most up to date information. 

What do I need to do?

If you are over 70 or have a letter from the NHS to say you are at high risk, you will be now able to book a vaccination either online or by calling the NHS on 119. Otherwise, the NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine.

You may receive invitations to multiple sites, in which case you can choose where to get your vaccine. If you receive a letter from the NHS to book online or over the phone, and the only available locations are too far away or not possible to get to, then you can keep trying to book as more options and appointments are being added. You can also wait to be contacted by your local family doctor or NHS service.

You are able to book an appointment on behalf of someone else, but you’ll need their NHS number to do this: this will be included on letters received from the NHS.

Don’t worry if you haven’t been contacted yet, different areas are moving at different speeds, and with more vaccination sites in Shropshire opening, more people will be contacted to book their appointment. As long as you’re registered with a doctor and have up to date contact details you should receive an invitation in due course.

The number of vaccination sites is increasing all the time to help vaccinate as many people as possible.

I’m worried about vaccine scams, what should I look out for?

There have been some reports of scams related to the coronavirus vaccine. 

The coronavirus vaccine in England will only be available via NHS England. You may be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy to receive your vaccine; this may be over the phone, via letter, email or text message. 

The vaccine is free on the NHS, and no NHS organisation will ask for financial details including bank account or card details and PIN or passwords relating to your finance and banking.

Here are some more tips to help keep you safe:

  • You will never be asked for payment or bank details, asked to press a button on your keypad when you phone or ask you to send a text confirming the booking.
  • 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 such as your passport, driving licence, bills or payslips.
  • If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up.
  • Forward any suspicious emails to report@phising.gov.uk, where links to malicious content are analysed and blocked.
  • Suspicious text messages can be forwarded free of charge to 7726.
  • If you believe you’re the victim of fraud, please report to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.policy.uk.

Where can I get vaccinated in Shropshire?

You will be invited to attend a vaccination appointment at a local doctor’s service, a local hospital service or at a larger regional or local vaccination centres. This means when it is your turn to be vaccinated, this may not be at your GP practice. You will be told where to go for your appointment and how to book.

Vaccination started in the county in mid-December 2020 and a list of COVID-19 vaccination centres are detailed below, and are also available to view on NHS England’s website:

Hospital Hubs:

  • Hospital Hub at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, run in partnership with Shrewsbury Primary Care Network
  • Hospital Hub at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, run in partnership with North Shropshire Primary Care Network
  • Hospital Hub at Princess Royal Hospital run by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) (for frontline health and care staff only)

Local vaccination centres

  • Telford International Centre
  • Shrewsbury Indoor Bowls Club, Shrewsbury Sports Village, Sundorne Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 4RQ from early February
  • Ludlow Racecourse, Bromfield, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 2BT from early February

Local GP Services:

  • Local Vaccination Centre at Bridgnorth Medical Centre being delivered by GPs from the South East Shropshire Primary Care Network (group of local GP practices)
  • Local Vaccination Centre at the Mayfair Centre in Church Stretton being delivered by GPs from the South West Shropshire Primary Care Network (group of local GP practices)
  • Local Vaccination Centre at Prees Medical Practice
  • Local Vaccination Centre at Severn Fields Medical Practice, Sundorne Road, Shrewsbury

Local Pharmacy Service:

  • These are being confirmed by the central NHS and we will have more details shortly, but we expect to have a service in Shropshire in the coming weeks.

If you live within 45 minutes’ drive  of a large vaccination centre (such as Millennium Point in Birmingham), and haven’t already been vaccinated, may receive a letter asking to book an appointment online or you can call the freephone number contained in the letter.

If you can’t travel to a vaccination centre, or there is another reason you can’t book an appointment at the nearest vaccination centre, you can choose to wait until your local GP services contact you if they haven’t already. If this is your preferred option, you don’t need to do anything now – wait for your GP service to make contact. Or, wait until a more local vaccination centre becomes available in the coming weeks.

I have received a letter from the NHS asking me to book my vaccine appointment online but no local option is available for me. What should I do?

Many residents have been sent a letter from the NHS nationally offering them the option to book at larger scale sites across the West Midlands. This gives the option of an appointment possibly a little sooner, but often not in Shropshire.

Residents are free to choose that option, but if they would rather attend their GP-led service, they will be offered an appointment in the near future. An increased vaccine supply is expected over the next couple of weeks.

Please be assured that you will be offered a GP appointment locally very soon should you prefer that.

I am struggling to get to my appointment. Can I get help?

If you are unable to arrange transport to your vaccination appointment either through walking, family, friends or local transport, we may be able to help signpost you to a possible solution. Where someone who is vulnerable has no transport solution at all, we may be able to arrange transport subject to availability, between 10am and 2pm and after 5pm Mondays to Fridays and any time vaccination centres are open at weekends. We are currently prioritising transport for those getting their 2nd dose of the vaccination that we have previously provided transport for. If you don’t fall into that group and you qualify, we can take your details and see if we have any availability. Residents can call the our COVID-19 helpline on 0345 678 9028 (option 0) for advice.

What will happen at my vaccine appointment?

When you attend your appointment, you’ll be asked:

  • How you’re feeling and if you have any symptoms that would stop you from being able to have the vaccine.
  • About your medical history.
  • If you have any questions.
  • To consent to having the vaccine.

You’ll need to bring:

  • A face covering unless you are exempt
  • Your booking reference number if your appointment is at a large vaccination centre
  • Proof of your occupation if you’re a health or care worker.

What to expect:

  • All places offering vaccines will have social distancing and other measures in place to keep you safe.
  • Depending on which vaccine you receive, you may be asked to wait for 15 minutes after having the vaccination.
  • You’ll be given a leaflet about what to expect after your vaccination to take home with you.
  • You’ll be given a record card.
  • Your next appointment will be in the period up to 12 weeks after your first vaccination and in the same place as your first one.

After receiving your first and second doses of the vaccine you must continue to follow Government COVID-19 rules and guidance. It’s important to return for your second dose as this maximises long term immunity.

The NHS has provided some information about what to expect at your appointment, including what to bring to it.

Once I’ve had the vaccine do I still need to follow the restrictions and Government guidance?

Yes. While the vaccines are a positive step in allowing current restrictions to be eased and we’re all looking forward to be able to see our friends and family again, we’re not yet sure whether having the vaccine prevents you from passing coronavirus onto others, and so it’s very important that once you have either dose of the vaccine that you continue to follow social distancing rules and any Government guidance on restrictions.

This includes:

  • Self-isolating if you are required to do so (for more information take a look at the Gov.UK website)
  • Maintaining social distancing measures from those not in your household or support bubble.
  • Booking a test and self-isolating if you have symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Wearing a face covering if you are able and where it is required to do so.
  • Following Government guidance on meeting with others in your area.

I provide care for someone – when and how will I get the vaccine?

People who provide significant care or support for an older or disabled person in the home may be classed as carers. 

This means that, unless you fall into a higher priority group due to age or because you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you’ll become eligible for the coronavirus vaccine when the vaccination programme opens to priority group 6.

Priority group 6 is everyone aged 16-64 with an underlying health condition which puts them at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell, and unpaid carers.

Carers will be identified through receipt of carers allowance and by their GP. If you’re a carer but you don’t receive carers allowance, ensure that your GP surgery is aware that you’re a carer to make sure you’re invited to book a vaccination appointment at the correct time. 

Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly?

The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.

If, and when, further vaccines are approved we will publish information about known allergens or ingredients that are important for certain faiths, cultures and beliefs.

Who cannot have the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

People who are suffering from a fever-type illness should also postpone having the vaccine until they have recovered.

I’m currently ill with COVID-19, can I get the vaccine?

People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (cough, high temperature, loss of sense of smell or taste) should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered.

Do people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?

Yes, they should get vaccinated. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is their time to do so.

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. 

Very common side effects include:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

My relative who lives in another area of England is 80 and had her second dose yesterday – why are other areas getting vaccinations sooner than ours?

We have a large older population in Shropshire. Other areas may have received a different quantity of vaccines and have a different demographic breakdown so comparing areas is just not possible. We will be vaccinating everyone in order of age/clinical risk as soon as we are able and receive supplies.

Most people will have received only a first dose, but a small number of the most elderly and vulnerable residents may have received a second dose if they had an appointment booked before the change in national guidance to move to second dose receipt at approximately 11-12 weeks.