Salford’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is now underway.
People who are most at risk from the complications of COVID-19 are currently being offered the COVID-19 vaccination. Following detailed review of large studies of safety and effectiveness, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now approved several different types of COVID-19 vaccines for use in the UK.
The Salford NHS Vaccination Service began delivering jabs within the community on 12 December 2020 using both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines (both of which provide good protection against all variants currently identified). The vaccination is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting people against COVID-19 before they come into actual contact with the virus.
An independent group of experts has recommended that the NHS offers these vaccines to those at risk of catching the infection and suffering serious complications. Those currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine are:
- 50 years +
- A carer (both paid and unpaid. If you are an unpaid/informal carer, you can register for your vaccine via www.salfordcvs.co.uk/covid-19-vaccinations-unpaid-carers)
- On the shielding list
- Invited to an annual review with a GP for your long term condition
- Most people invited by the NHS for an annual flu jab
If you are in any of the criteria above, you are now eligible for the first dose of your COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit www.salford.nhsvaccinations.co.uk or call 0800 953 0116 to book an appointment. Please do not contact your GP.
Attendance for the COVID-19 vaccine is considered as essential travel and is exempt from lockdown restrictions. Visit the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) journey planning homepage for information on journey planning, the latest service changes and timetable information. Alternatively, you can call 0871 200 2233. If you are unable to travel independently or have difficulties paying for public transport, there are a number of options available to you. For further information visit www.salford.gov.uk/travel-help or call the Spirit of Salford helpline on 0800 952 1000.
If you fall into one of the eligible groups listed above, but are unable to get to our vaccination site, please contact 0800 953 0116 and we will look into the possibility of someone calling to your home to offer you your vaccination there.
Please remember it is very important to attend for your second dose when invited. The second dose will further boost your immune system response and offer you a longer period of protection against COVID-19.
You will be notified directly of your appointment details by either text or letter. This will be around 10 weeks after your first dose, with your appointment scheduled at around 11 weeks. You cannot use the Salford booking website to arrange your second appointment.
If you do not hear from us by the end of Week 11, please contact the call centre on 0800 953 0116 to book an appointment. Please do not contact your GP.
AstraZeneca and blood clotting
Recently there have been reports of an extremely rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination with AstraZeneca. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear. Because of the high risk of complications and death from COVID-19, the MHRA, the World Health Organisation and the European Medicines Agency have concluded that the balance is very much in favour of vaccination.
Booking an appointment
If you are registered with a GP in Salford, you will be contacted either by letter, text or call when you become eligible. The invitation will contain a web link to make a booking online, or – if you’d prefer - a number to contact the telephone booking centre.
If you live in Salford but are registered with a practice outside the borough, you will be contacted by representatives from that local authority area.
Identifying a scam caller
We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination. To protect yourself and your family members from fraud and criminals, remember the following points.
- The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a crime.
- If you are contacted by telephone, staff from the booking centre will identify themselves by saying that they are calling on behalf of the NHS in Salford and they are getting in touch about booking an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. The caller will then offer locations, dates and times for you to attend a clinic locally.
- All texts we send will to click to the booking link which is www.salford.nhsvaccinations.co.uk
- The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details.
- If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.
After you have been vaccinated
Once you have received the vaccination you must not drive for 15 minutes afterwards. You will need to remain in clinic until that time has elapsed
The vaccines significantly reduces a person’s chances of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus. However, it is still unclear how effective it is at stopping that person from still catching the virus and passing it on to others. Therefore, a vaccination does not automatically mean that life can resume to normal just yet. It is crucial people continue to follow the government guidance to ensure they fully protect yourself and those around them.
The vaccine may take up to 21 days after the second dose for a body to build up the full protection offered by the vaccine. No vaccine offers 100% protection and some people may still get COVID-19 despite having their vaccination. However, the vaccine will ensure their symptoms are less severe than they could have been without the protection offered by the jab.
The first dose of the vaccine ensures the immune system recognises the virus that causes COVID-19 and builds immunity to it. The second dose further boosts this immune response to ensure longer term protection. Second doses will be offered approximately 12 weeks after the first dose. It is vital that people attend for their second dose in order to ensure you have the best protection offered by the vaccine.
Our ask to the public of Salford
- Please do not contact your GP practice, hospital, other NHS organisations or Spirit of Salford helpline regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. You will be contacted directly as soon as you become eligible
- Please book your appointment online or via the telephone booking centre as soon as you receive your invitation
- Please do not attempt to book an appointment before you are eligible
- Please attend all booked appointments. If you become unable to attend an appointment, please call 0800 953 0116 to re-arrange and allow someone else to use the slot instead.
- Please cascade this information to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues
- Continue to abide by hands, face, space guidance, which will still save lives.