Covid-19 vaccination programme – what you need to know

Latest update – 23rd February 2021

The following groups of patients are now being contacted by letter to invite them to book their vaccination using the national booking service or by calling 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. This directs patients to their nearest mass vaccination site and community pharmacies.

  • Patients aged 65 to 69yrs
  • Carers
    • Those eligible for the carer’s allowance and
    • Those identified by their GP as the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk from Covid 19 (and therefore clinically vulnerable).
  • Those who recently received a letter to say they have been added to the shielded (clinically extremely vulnerable) list based on their QCovid risk score.

The following patients are being contacted by their local GP-led vaccination service to invite them to book their vaccination at a local site.

  • Patients aged 16yrs to 64yrs with certain underlying conditions
    • See pages 10 to 11 of Chapter 14a – COVID-19-SARS-CoV-2 (PDF) for more details of these conditions.
    • The GP records of patients with any of these conditions are flagged with the relevant code(s). This means they are automatically identified and invited. There is no need to check with your GP.

Anyone who is 70yrs and older and/or Clinically Extremely Vulnerable who have not yet been invited by the NHS to make their vaccination appointment are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible so we can do this on your behalf. Alternatively, you can arrange a vaccination online through the national booking service or by calling 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

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.

You might also be invited directly by NHS England (via letter) to book an appointment at our larger site at Epsom Racecourse (or other larger venues). If you don’t want to attend one of these larger venues that’s fine, you don’t need to do anything, simply wait for your GP service to contact you.

More information available

More information and the answers to many common questions can be found at: Covid-19 Vaccination Services in Surrey.

If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, you can email the local NHS directly at: syheartlandsccg.vaccination@nhs.net.

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

  • If you are not in one of the patient groups highlighted above, please do not contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we 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.