GPs and community NHS teams across Gloucestershire are offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from Coronavirus.

We’re at the forefront of the COVID-19 community vaccination response and great progress is being made in contacting and vaccinating the over 50s, people with underlying health conditions and carers.

If any residents in the top priority groups have not yet received their first dose of vaccine, they are advised to take up the offer when they receive their reminder from local GP services.

The NHS is politely requesting that residents in the next age groups e.g. under 50s do not call their GP surgeries at this time. Local GP services will contact them when it is their turn to be vaccinated.

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have been developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca. For more information about the vaccines take a look at our FAQs below or visit the nhs.uk vaccination page here.


We will regularly post updates on the rollout of the vaccination programme on our news page here.


Groups of GP practices are working closely together with community services and volunteers to provide vaccination services across the county.

Vaccination centres are running in the following locations:

Cheltenham
Cheltenham East Fire Station
Cotswolds
North Cotswold Hospital, Moreton in Marsh
Cirencester Hospital
Forest of Dean
Old Cinderford Health Centre
Gloucester
Rosebank Surgery, Stroud Road
Churchdown Community Centre
Stroud and Berkeley Vale
Beeches Green Health Centre, Stroud
Rowcroft Medical Centre, Stroud
Vale Community Hospital, Dursley
Tewkesbury
The Devereux Centre, Tewkesbury

All public vaccination services for Gloucestershire residents are appointment-only, with GPs and their teams providing the bulk of vaccinations at the GP led community vaccination centres (and associated mobile services). If people have booked a vaccination appointment following communication from local GP services, they are politely asked to keep it.

We can reassure people in priority groups that they will be able to have their vaccination locally e.g. at one of the centres above, if they choose to.

Gloucestershire residents in the top priority groups may receive a letter from the NHS (nationally) giving them an option to  book an appointment at alternative vaccination sites e.g. the Boots Pharmacy in Gloucester, Badhams Pharmacy in Bishops Cleeve or depending on where they live, large out of county centres such as the Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol. This is done through the national booking system: website: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or phone 119.


The health and social care worker vaccinations are being carried out by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Staff are being prioritised according to their COVID-19 risk assessments, with all staff being offered the vaccination in the coming weeks and months. You will be invited to book your vaccination appointment when the time comes.

When invited to do so, staff can book an appointment at the Edward Jenner Vaccination Hub at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, at SkillZONE in Tuffley, or one of a number of temporary ‘pop-up’ sites in other areas of the county.

Social care staff should request their vaccine via Gloucestershire County Council. The process for social care employers is here.

 


The large majority of people aged 50 and over have now received their first dose.

Residents do not need to travel outside of the county for their COVID-19 vaccination if they do not wish to.

Local GP services have been contacting residents to offer an appointment slot locally at one of 10 Primary Care Network GP led vaccination centres across the county. There was also a pilot walk in service in Gloucester and Cheltenham in early April.

If you are 50 years old or over (or have an underlying health condition), we would encourage you to take up the offer of your first dose. If you are in this age group and haven’t heard from local GP services yet, please contact your surgery.

Many people in the current priority groups will have also recently received a national letter from the NHS giving them the option to use the national booking website: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or phone 119 to book a vaccination appointment at other available services e.g. several pharmacy locations in the county, subject to availability.

Some out of county services e.g. the large vaccination centre in Bristol, may also be available to certain residents in priority groups (based on where they live) through the national booking system.

Yes. The NHS will not offer any COVID-19 vaccines to the public until experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.  The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said the vaccines in use are 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.

There have been reports of an extremely rare adverse event of concurrent thrombosis (blood clots) and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) following vaccination with the first dose of AstraZeneca.

The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has considered the relative balance of benefits and risks and advise that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events, in particular for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

JCVI currently advises that it is preferable for adults aged under 30 years without underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine, if available.

Anyone who has received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should still attend for their second vaccination, irrespective of age.

Read more about the AstraZeneca vaccine here.

In most cases, no. Supply and availability of vaccines will be a key factor.

Any vaccines that the NHS provide will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get it will offer a high degree of protection.

When it comes to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the JCVI advise that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. For adults aged over 30 years, this vaccine will continue to be used routinely based on availability.

Those under the age of 30, without underlying health conditions, who have not yet had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, will be able to choose an alternative vaccine based on availability and an assessment of risk, should they wish to do so. These individuals may however make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more about the AstraZeneca vaccine here.


Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available. Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the MHRA.

For more information about the vaccines visit the nhs.uk vaccination page here.

Having your vaccination during Ramadan

The opinion of many Islamic scholars is that taking the COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan does not invalidate the fast. A number of prominent national organisations have said that people should not delay their vaccination on account of Ramadan.

 

Most of the side-effects experienced by some people after vaccination are mild and last for just a few hours.  However, if someone becomes more unwell after having the vaccination, the British Islamic Medical Association suggests the general principles pertaining to illness and fasting should apply.

 

Useful sources of information

The Muslim Council of Britain has a wide range of resources and advice for British Muslims available on their website. This includes information about staying safe, the vaccination and supporting you with your mental health during the pandemic.

 

The British Islamic Medical Association has information about the COVID and the available vaccines on their website.  

 

The Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board have published information about the vaccine during Ramadan here.


The NHS is inviting people for their vaccination on a phased basis as supplies of the vaccine allow.

GP practices are working through their patient lists and will invite people to book a vaccination if they are in one of the priority groups as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

There is a real focus on vaccinating the top priority groups over the coming weeks. You will be contacted when it is your turn to be vaccinated.


When it is the right time, you will receive an invitation to come forward from your GP surgery/the NHS. Please be sure that this communication is from an official NHS source. Remember your vaccination is free and the NHS will never ask for payment.

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


The NHS is inviting eligible people on a phased basis. GP practices are working through their patient lists according to the priority groups, so if you’re in one of these groups it is likely you will receive an invite soon as good progress is being made across the county. Please don’t contact your GP practice, they will get in touch as soon as it’s your turn.

If you don’t drive, or don’t have a family member, friend or neighbour who can take you to your local vaccine centre, the Community Wellbeing Service may be able to help you.  If you contact your local service they will be able to discuss the options with you and put you in touch with someone who can help.  Please note there is likely to be a charge for any transport provided.


The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses (up to 12 weeks) so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection after two weeks.

This decision will allow the NHS to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.

Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to keep their appointment for the 2nd dose when offered.

If you are in a priority group, please wait for your GP surgery/NHS to contact you about your vaccination.


The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of your suffering from COVID-19 disease.

While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long‑term protection from the virus, you will still have significant protection for a period of time after you have received the first dose. The second dose of the vaccine can be given up to 12 weeks after the first dose.


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

For the public (and staff), getting your COVID-19 vaccination, 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.


People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated.

The MHRA have updated their guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.


Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam is a consultant in the National Immunisation team at Public Health England. In this video she explains that there are no concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines affecting present or future fertility, providing important reassurance.

You can read more about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy, including information in many different language formats.


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. The NHS will ensure that people have all the necessary information on those vaccines that are approved by the MHRA before they attend for their vaccination.

People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered.

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.

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.

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.

[nhs-accordion name="How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?"]
You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, up to 12 weeks apart.


Patient Materials

There are a number of patient resources available. Several of these leaflets are available in multiple languages, just click on the link which takes you through to relevant page of the gov.uk website.

A guide for older adults
A guide to COVID vaccinations – Easy Read
What to expect after your vaccination
What to expect after your vaccination – Easy Read
Why am I being asked to wait?
Women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant or breastfeeding
A guide for women currently pregnant or breastfeeding – Easy Read
Vaccination guides in British Sign Language 
Information for Healthcare Workers
A guide for social care staff

The Inclusion Gloucestershire website has lots of useful resources, including easy read guides and information about reasonable adjustments for people with severe learning disabilities. Visit the site here.

Information in other languages 

We are working with healthcare professionals and others in the community to produce translations of important vaccination information into other languages. Find these resources here.


Habibur Rahman, Imam of Masjid Umar, Gloucester, on the COVID-19 vaccine (in English). You can also hear what he has to say about the vaccination in Bengali on this page.

Rubi Begum wants to reach out to people about the importance of taking up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination. You can also hear what he has to say about the vaccination in Bengali on this page.

Listen to Dr Mala Ubhi, CCG lead GP for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion answering questions from listeners of GFM community radio station about the vaccination programme. With thanks to GFM 96.6 for allowing us to share this recording.

Our films from each of the community vaccination centres offer a guide to how the programme is working on the ground.

A guide to community vaccination centres in Gloucestershire

Cheltenham East Fire Station

Cirencester Hospital

North Cotswold Hospital, Moreton in Marsh

Old Cinderford Health Centre, Dockham Road

Rosebank Surgery, Gloucester

Churchdown Community Centre, Gloucester

Rowcroft Medical Centre, Stroud 

Beeches Green Health Centre, Stroud

Vale Community Hospital, Dursley

The Devereux Centre, Tewkesbury


For more information on the national vaccination programme and priority groups, you may find the following links useful: