Covid-19 vaccination programme – what you need to know

Latest update 18 January 2021: Extension to patients 70+ and clinically extremely vulnerable

The NHS has confirmed that COVID-19 vaccinations can now be offered to cohorts 3 (75 to 79-year-olds) and 4 (70 to 74-year-olds and the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable under 70).

However, please note, the contacting of patients aged 70 and above and those in the clinically extremely vulnerable groups WILL NOT be happening immediately. That is because we are continuing to prioritise people over 80 and care home residents for vaccinations, as we are still working through these highest priority cohorts.

Please continue to be patient and await further contact from your GP surgery or the organisation they have asked to carry out their vaccination service. This will be by text or telephone (though please be aware that if you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam).

You might also receive a letter from NHS England inviting you to book at our mass vaccination site in Epsom if you prefer.

Please make sure your practice has your up-to-date contact details, preferably a mobile phone number. You can submit any updated information via our change of details form.

What you need to know – introduction

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. An effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from coronavirus.

Following extensive safety trials and authorisation by the independent regulator (the MHRA), effective COVID-19 vaccines are now available for free in the UK. The vaccination programme has already started in Surrey Heartlands and we are working hard to reach everyone who is eligible as quickly as vaccine supplies allow.

An independent group of experts (Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation) has recommended that the NHS first offers vaccines to those at higher risk of catching Covid-19 and of suffering serious complications or dying from the virus. Read the latest guidance on priority groups on GOV.UK: Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

How you will get your vaccine

GP practices are working together to vaccinate patients, so you might not be contacted by your usual practice, and you might need to go to a different location for the vaccination itself. You will be told where to attend when you are invited. When you have had your vaccination you will be told when you will need to go back for your second dose.

More vaccination services are being set up gradually in line with an increase in supply of vaccines.

You might know others over 80 who have been invited for their vaccination already, but that doesn’t mean that you are a lower priority or have been missed.

NHS teams are working hard to vaccinate as many people in the priority group as quickly as possible. In the coming weeks many more people will be invited in, but it is only the start of the programme and it will take time to work through everyone.

More information available

Lots of common questions are answered, plus extra information about the rollout of the vaccine in Surrey Heartlands is available: Covid-19 Vaccination Services in Surrey

We all have an important part to play to help the NHS:

  • Please do not contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, the NHS will contact you.
  • When you are contacted, please attend your appointments.

In the meantime, we cannot let down our guard. Please follow the rules to stop the spread of coronavirus.