GPs and community NHS teams in some areas of the county will start COVID-19 vaccination of priority groups, for example the over 80s, from mid-week (pending vaccine delivery) with other areas following very soon.

Groups of GP practices are working closely together with community services to make this possible close to where people live.

Gloucestershire has adopted an innovative model of community vaccination building on existing expertise and strong local networks and partnerships.

Starting with people over 80, roll out of the vaccination programme will be expanded in the coming weeks and months to include other priority groups by age and people who are particularly vulnerable.

Local people are being asked to wait for their GP surgery to contact them about local arrangements and timings.

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge human and societal impact and the imminent roll out of a vaccination programme is to be warmly welcomed.

GP practices and community NHS services will be supporting the public vaccination effort across their local areas and it’s been an incredible effort to have reached this point with such a short lead in time and so many other competing pressures.

The NHS in Gloucestershire has adopted a really innovative model of vaccination building on strong local networks and joined up care in communities.”

John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Vaccinating our communities will be a huge undertaking, but it is vitally important if we are to overcome the immense challenges COVID-19 has placed us all under this year.

We will be working tirelessly to roll the vaccine out across Gloucestershire using all available resources and are proud of our committed and adaptable colleagues for giving their all to this incredibly important initiative.”

Professor Steve Hams, Director of Quality and Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who is leading the overall vaccination programme delivery in Gloucestershire said:

“Here at the Trust, we are one of 50 vaccination hubs across the country and our staff have done an outstanding job in getting us up and running so successfully.

The county is now gearing up to deliver an extensive and innovative community led vaccination programme through local networks. We would like to thank local GPs and community NHS services for their fantastic and tireless efforts in support of this endeavour. This is testament to the One Gloucestershire way of working.”

Not only will the vaccine save lives and reduce the pressure on NHS services, it also marks the start of our journey back to living our lives as we would wish, albeit having learnt some important lessons from the pandemic.”

Sarah Scott, Gloucestershire’s Director of Public Health said: “The roll out of the vaccine to the wider community is a significant step forwards but does not mean we can let our guards down. We must continue to follow the rules and not allow case numbers to climb. Colleagues across health and social care have been, and continue to be, central to beating COVID-19 and I want to thank them all for their monumental efforts this year.”

GP surgeries will contact people with information on clinics and how to book an appointment.

Based on local arrangements, clinics will be in GP surgeries, community centres or hospitals and confirmed ‘Wave 1’ locations are:

  • Cheltenham East Fire Station
  • North Cotswold Hospital, Moreton in Marsh
  • The Devereux Centre, Tewkesbury
  • Rosebank Surgery, Gloucester
  • Vale Community Hospital, Dursley.

Other venues in Churchdown, Stroud, Cirencester and the Forest of Dean are likely to be confirmed later this week and are expected to start vaccinations very shortly, pending delivery of vaccine supplies.

Local people are asked not to turn up at a venue for their COVID-19 vaccination until they have received communication from their GP surgery confirming details.

If people are housebound and unable to travel to a centre for medical reasons, they will be contacted by a local healthcare worker.

GP surgeries will also be making arrangements to vaccinate care home residents.

Watch our short films from day one at the vaccination sites

Cheltenham East Fire Station

North Cotswold Hospital, Moreton in Marsh

The Devereux Centre, Tewkesbury

Rosebank Surgery, Gloucester

Vale Community Hospital, Dursley

Churchdown Community Centre, Gloucester

Rowcroft Medical Centre, Stroud 

Cirencester Hospital

Beeches Green Health Centre, Stroud

Old Cinderford Health Centre, Dockham Road

FAQs for patients

How will patients be invited for a vaccination?

When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be in the form of a letter either from their GP or the national booking system; this will include all the information they need, including their NHS number.

We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we are asking people not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they get their letter.

Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe? 

Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.  The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said this vaccine is very safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.

How long does the vaccine take to become effective?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of your suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.

Why is it important to get your COVID-19 vaccination?

If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work.

Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can, should protect you and may help to protect your family and those you care for.

The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.

Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly?

Yes, the Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.

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 vaccination 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.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

This is all included in the information published by the MHRA, and Public Health England will also be publishing more resources for patients and professionals. People can be assured the NHS will ensure that they have all the necessary information on those vaccines that are approved by the MHRA before they attend for their vaccination.

Is the NHS confident the vaccine will be safe? 

Yes. The NHS would not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until it is safe to do so. The MHRA, the official UK regulator authorising licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has made this decision, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process.

What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for BAME communities?

The phase three study of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated a vaccine efficacy of 95%, with consistent efficacy across age, gender and ethnicity. Overall, among the participants who received the COVID-19 vaccine 82.1% were White, 9.6% were Black or African American, 26.1% were Hispanic/Latino, 4.3% were Asian and 0.7% were Native American/Alaskan.

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

People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 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. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.

Very common side effects include:

  • Having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1-2 days after the vaccine
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache
  • General aches, or mild flu like symptoms

As with all vaccines, appropriate treatment and care will be available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following administration.

How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?

You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 21 days apart. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of vaccine.

I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?

The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family and patients from flu this winter.