"All our health, social care and Third Sector organisations and staff who are working directly with our communities are already playing an important role in our response to COVID - 19 and by having the vaccine you are now helping to protect our community too.
COVID-19 has been the single greatest public health emergency in the history of the NHS and it is vaccination that will guide us out of lockdown and restrictions, fear and anxiety. It has given me great pride and inspiration to see all the incredible work that you have all done over the past year and will continue to do so in the coming months.
We value our patients, staff and partners and by staff getting their vaccination we will ensure that we can continue to deliver safe and a high-quality service.
Again, thank you to everyone for your incredible work and thank you all for being part of the vaccination roll out."
Michelle Creed, NHS Halton CCG and NHS Warrington CCG, Chief Nurse
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have put patient-facing health and social care staff into a priority group because of their heightened risk of exposure to the virus. Healthcare workers are not the top priority though and with limited vaccine, employers are being asked to offer the vaccine to the most at risk healthcare workers first.
The NHS is experienced in vaccinating hundreds of thousands of staff quickly and safely – we do it every year for the flu vaccine – and all local NHS employers will be responsible for ensuring that 100% of eligible staff have the opportunity to take it up over the coming weeks and months.
The NHS will offer vaccinations using different models. For healthcare workers, most will get vaccinated either at their own work or a local hospital.
If you're a frontline worker working in health and social care, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work. Health care workers and those working in social care (particularly in care homes) are at much higher risk of repeated exposure to the infection.
Catching COVID-19 can be serious and may lead to long term complications.
You can have COVID-19 without any symptoms and pass it on to family, friends and residents, many of whom may be at increased risk from coronavirus. Being healthy doesn't reduce your risk of catching COVID-19 or passing it on.
With high rates of COVID-19, it's more important than ever to help stop the spread of coronavirus, to avoid pressure on the NHS and to keep the health and social care workforce healthy.
We do understand that some people might have concerns and questions about the vaccine, and we are pleased to be able to answer these to assure everyone that the vaccine is safe and we can all work together to stop the spread of coronavirus.
We have a dedicated page to address the concerns we are hearing most, so if you have any more questions, please let us know.
We have also been offering the vaccine to our Third Sector colleagues who are working directly with our communities, so their important work in supporting and helping patients, carer, families and the public can continue safely.
Below are some of our local Third Sector staff, who share their experiences of getting the vaccine, as well as care workers across Cheshire.
https://youtu.be/lq54MTPyisY: Bouraouia - Care home worker promoting her reasons for getting the vaccine
https://youtu.be/k36T8ObVnyE: Amanda - Care Home Manager with the key message around fertility & lack of concerns
https://youtu.be/KgCBSLDmIPg: Sam – Care home worker confirming her belief in the safety of the vaccine
“My vaccine experience was good, very professional, caring and well thought out.”
Pat Gerrard, Halton Haven
“I was very happy to get the vaccine as a charity sector worker with children and families – it means we can start working directly with families sooner and although I had a few side effects after 24 hours, I was completely fine.”
Ellie Harrison, Scheme Manager, Homestart Warrington