With new vaccination sites opening and new cohorts being invited regularly, the information in this section tells you everything you need to know to navigate the systems in place.
Vaccinations are currently taking place at:
- Local vaccination centres (run by local GP practices)
- Widnes Rugby League Stadium for Halton patients
- The Brindley Theatre for Halton patients
- Halliwell Jones Stadium for Warrington patients
- Orford Jubilee Hub for Warrington patients
- Some GP practices
- Local pharmacy-led vaccination sites
- ImaanPharmacy, Bewsey, Warrington
- Pharmacy 2U at The Village Hotel, Warrington
- Appleton Village Pharmacy, Widnes
- Mass vaccination centres. The closest mass vaccination centre to Halton and Warrington is The Totally Wicked St Helens Rugby League Stadium.
If you receive a letter and are invited to book an appointment at one of the mass vaccination centres, you do not have to go there for your vaccine if you do not want to, it is just another option and you can wait and receive your vaccine at your local GP-led service.
Due to the complexity of organising a programme on this scale, a national decision was made that GP practices had to work together in groupings to deliver the programme. The combined resources and expertise means that we are better able to ensure social distancing which has made the process safer for both patients and staff.
All of the vaccination centres have gone through a registration to make sure that they meet the guidance and safety requirements.
All the centres are COVID safe, with social distancing, hand sanitising and face masks at all of the centres.
Please also wear a face covering to your appointment. You should also take the usual steps to minimise your risk as you travel to your appointment.
We understand that people might be anxious, especially those that might not have been out of their houses for a while. But it is so important that when you are invited for your vaccine that you get it, it is one of the best ways to keep everyone safe and let us get back to as close to the life we had before COVID.
When it is the right time, people will be contacted to make their appointments. For most people, they will receive 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 in.
The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first. Everyone will be called by letter, by phone or text when it is their time to be vaccinated.
If you or a loved one is over 70 or housebound and has still not been contacted about a vaccination appointment, please let your practice know and they will make sure that an appointment slot is arranged for you.
If you are over 60, you can also book an appointment via the national booking line at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. The booking system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge.
We understand people are keen to know when they will receive their vaccination and we are asking for their support and patience as we deliver the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has undertaken.
Vaccinations are being delivered according to priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The JCVI state the priority is to minimise COVID-19 deaths as much as possible and to protect our health and social care staff and systems.
The 10 priority groups for the vaccination programme are:
1. Residents and staff in care homes for older adults
2. People 80 and over and frontline health and social care workers
3. People 75 and over
4. People 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16)
5. People 65 and over
6. Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group
7. People 60 and over
8. People 55 and over
9. People 50 and over
10. Rest of the population
Locally, we have been working incredibly hard to roll out the vaccination programme and we offered first doses of the vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups by mid-February.
We are reminding everyone to be patient and play their part by following these steps:
Do not contact your GP practice to seek a vaccine unless you are over 70 or housebound, we will contact you.
When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives by socially distancing, wearing a mask or face covering and washing your hands regularly
The JCVI determines the prioritisation of vaccination. Age is the predominate factor for immunisation and the JCVI has determined that those over 50 years of age, and all those 16 years of age and over, in a risk group, would be eligible for vaccination within the first phase of the programme. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19, including those associated with occupational exposure to infection. As such, JCVI does not advise further prioritisation by occupation during the first phase of the programme.
Occupational prioritisation could form part of a second phase of the programme, which would include healthy individuals from 16 years of age up to 50 years of age, subject to consideration of the latest data on vaccine safety and effectiveness.
If you have diabetes, we strongly encourage you to get the coronavirus vaccine and take whichever vaccine you're offered. This is because people with diabetes are vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus, and vaccines are the most effective way to prevent that from happening.
Visit www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus-vaccines for more information.
These decisions are for the JCVI. Their current prioritisation plan does not include household members of NHS staff or clinically vulnerable people automatically – although in some cases, family members may be eligible in their own right.
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are available.
Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection and have been given regulatory approval by the MHRA.
No. Any vaccines that the NHS will provide will have been approved because they pass the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while.
Yes. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other vaccine, is an important medical appointment and so is within the rules wherever you live. Vaccinations will continue as normal in all areas through the national lockdown and beyond. If you have booked or are offered an appointment, please attend it.
If you have received a letter from the NHS nationally, inviting you to book your vaccine, please don't worry if you are struggling to get through on the phone or have gone online and find that the sites on offer are too far to travel to.
Mass vaccination sites have been set up by NHS England along with a number of pharmacy sites and are running seven days a week, alongside local GP-led vaccinations - with the aim of offering as many options to people as possible to get vaccinated.
If you don’t want to attend one of these sites, you don't have to. You will still be able to have your vaccine from the local GP-led service and will be contacted directly by your GP practice in the coming weeks.
You will have received the letter, because when it was sent your medical records did not show that you have received the vaccine. If you have received the vaccine or if you already have an appointment, there is no need to answer the letter or book another appointment.
No. Vaccinations are only available through the NHS. You will be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you, to receive your vaccine.
Yes. People do not require an NHS number or GP registration to receive a vaccination and should never be denied one on this basis. Local leaders have been asked to take action to ensure this is not the case. If someone does not have an NHS number but is within an eligible group, services have been advised to vaccinate now, record locally via a paper system, and ensure vaccination is formally documented later.
People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered. Please discuss this with your GP but do not book an appointment if you or someone you live with has COVID.
You can have the vaccine 28 days after you had a positive test for COVID-19 or 28 days after your symptoms started, so you may need to wait.
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 Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t, including those who have mild residual symptoms. Where people are suffering significant ongoing complications from Covid they should discuss whether or not to have a vaccine now with a clinician.
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 antibodies, and 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.