The COVID-19 vaccine

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

This is the latest information as per the government guidelines on the vaccination programme within Rotherham.

Vaccines – Spring Boosters 

Vaccines – Children

Vaccines – 16+

Vaccines – Booster 

To find out the latest information on the number of COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the NHS in England please click here.

Spring Booster Programme

The spring booster programme is now up and running. People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those aged 12 years and over with a weakened immune system are eligible for a spring booster of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

Spring boosters can be booked via the national booking system online or by ringing 119. In addition, some GP practices across Rotherham may contact eligible patients directly to invite them for vaccination.

For more information on the spring booster programme please click here.

  • National Booking System

    Vaccines are available to book across Rotherham

A guide to the spring booster for those aged 75 years and older residents in care homes

Vaccines for 5 to 11 year olds

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that all children aged between 5 to 11 years old are now eligible to have the Covid vaccination. All availability and appointments can be booked via the national booking system below:

  • National Booking System

    Vaccines are available to book across Rotherham

Vaccines for 12 to 15 year olds

Children and young people aged 12-15 are now eligible for a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and will be offered this 12 weeks after their first dose.

You can book your COVID vaccination on the NHS website.

Please note that any children who have had a positive PCR test in the last 12 weeks will not be eligible and will have to wait until the 12 weeks have passed.

COVID-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in most young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and 1 dose of the vaccine will provide good protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.

Vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds should also help to reduce the need for young people to have time-off school and reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 within schools. This will help to keep young people emotionally well and happier.

FAQs for 12 to 15 year olds

The medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has confirmed the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for 12 to 17 year olds. This followed a rigorous review of the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccines in this age group.

The UK has also benefited from having data from the US, Canada and Israel, which have already offered vaccines universally to young people aged 12 to 15 years.

Common Side Effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term and not everyone gets them. The very common side effects should only last a day or 2.

Very common side effects in the first day or 2 include:

  • having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection
  • feeling tired
  • headache, aches and chills
  • young people may also have flu-like symptoms with episodes of shivering and shaking for a day or 2

We suggest that young people should rest and take paracetamol (following the dose advice in the packaging) to help make them feel better.

Very rare serious side effects

Worldwide, there have been recent, very rare cases of inflammation of the heart called myocarditis or pericarditis reported after COVID-19 vaccines. Most of these people felt better following rest and simple treatments.

All parents, or those with parental responsibility, are asked for consent and will usually make this decision jointly with their children. The information leaflet is addressed to the child (as the recipient of the vaccine) and encourages them to discuss the decision about the vaccine with their parents.

In secondary schools, some young people may be mature enough to provide their own consent. This sometimes occurs if a parent has not returned a consent form but the child still wishes to have the vaccine on the day of the session. Every effort will be made to contact the parent to seek their verbal consent.

This is a well-established process which you will be familiar with from other school-based vaccination programmes.

Who decides whether a young person can give their own consent?

In secondary schools, some young people will be mature enough to provide their own consent. Healthcare professionals from the schools immunisation team will speak to the young person and make every effort to contact the parent. These professionals have expertise in vaccinating young people and will be responsible for assessing whether they have enough understanding to self-consent (this is called ‘Gillick competence’).

Can parents, guardians or carers refuse to have their child vaccinated?

Yes. The vaccine is not mandatory. Parents will be asked to give their consent for the vaccine. Young people may express a wish to have the vaccine and may have the capacity to provide informed consent themselves. Parents should be encouraged to speak to their children ahead of time so that there is agreement on consent in advance of the vaccination session.

If no consent is received, and the young person is not Gillick competent or does not want to be vaccinated, the immunisation will not proceed.

What happens if a parent, guardian or carer has not consented, but the young person wants to be vaccinated?

Young people who understand fully what is involved in a proposed procedure, such as vaccination, can legally give consent. This is known as ‘Gillick competence’.

If no consent from a parent has been received, but the young person wants to be vaccinated and is judged to be Gillick competent by the the healthcare professional, the young person can still be vaccinated. In this case, the school age immunisation service provider will make every effort to contact a parent, to try and reach agreement between the parent and young person. However, the parent cannot overrule the decision of a Gillick competent young person.

If a young person is unwell on the day, the school age immunisation service provider will decide whether to proceed with vaccination or not. A follow-up offer will be made to any children who miss the first vaccination in their school.

This will help to ensure that the following pupils can access the vaccine:

  • if your child turns 12 years of age after the session
  • if your child is absent from school on the day
  • If your child has recently had a COVID-19 infection
  • if you change your mind about whether to have the vaccine or need a bit longer to reach a decision

All questions on the suitability of the vaccine for individual young people should be directed to the school age immunisation service provider delivering the vaccines, who will also be able to share information on these catch-up sessions.

There is opportunity for this age group to get their vaccine at some of our walk-in sites. Please look out for our Facebook updates to find out when these sessions are available.

There are very few children who cannot receive the vaccine.

Prior to vaccination all individuals are issued with a leaflet that outlines safety information about the vaccine. This will include a link to more detailed information about any health conditions that may prevent a young person from receiving vaccination.

All young people and their parents or carers should consult their clinician if they have concerns regarding allergies and COVID-19 vaccination.

Period problems are extremely common and can be caused by a variety of factors including stress and other short-term illnesses. Although some people have reported that their periods were briefly disrupted in the month after vaccination, there is no evidence that this was due to the vaccine.

No, the vaccines do not contain any live COVID-19 virus.

There is no alcohol in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines which is the recommended vaccine for young people.

The MHRA has confirmed that the vaccines do not contain anything of animal origin. It does not contain any meat derivatives, animal products or any egg and is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those of Muslim or Jewish faiths.

All ingredients are published in healthcare information on the MHRA’s website.

Vaccines for 16+

Are you 16 years old or over and not had your first dose of the COVID vaccine?  It is extremely important that all people come forward to have their COVID-19 vaccine to help protect them, those close to them and their communities from the virus. All people over the age of 16 will be offered a minimum of two doses.

Booking an appointment

You can now receive your COVID-19 vaccination at one of the local vaccination sites:

Walk In Sessions: We will advertise our Walk In vaccine sessions our Facebook page, NO NEED TO BOOK.

All first dose appointments in Rotherham will the Pfizer vaccine.

Please share with family and friends.

  • National Booking System

    Vaccines are available to book across Rotherham

Booster vaccines

The booster vaccine will be offered no earlier than three months after completion of the first course (first and second dose) of vaccination.

In Rotherham, booster vaccines are currently available for those 16 years old and over who are at least 91 days since their 2nd dose of the vaccine.

Booster Vaccines

  • National Booking System

    Vaccines are available to book across Rotherham

FAQs

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.

No.  Any vaccines that the NHS will 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 is worth their while.

There is no evidence currently that the new strain will be resistant to the vaccines we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal. Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.

Yes, the two approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.

No. Vaccinations are only available through the NHS. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge, the NHS will never:

  • Ask you for bank account or card details
  • Ask you for your PIN or banking password
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips

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.

The NHS are aware that there are a number of rumours and misinformation circulating about the COVID-19 vaccine. Please check the source of the information before reading. For the most up to date and valid information please go to the NHS Covid Vaccine web page or the Gov.uk COVID-19 page.

The vaccines that the NHS uses and in what circumstances will be decided by the MHRA. All vaccines, including Astra Zenica, Pfizer and Spikevax (formerly known as Moderna) are classed as being very effective.

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.

The MHRA have said these vaccines are highly effective, but to get full protection people need to come back for the booster dose – this is really important.

To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advise that the second dose of both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine should be scheduled up to 12 weeks apart.

Please remember that even after you’ve had all your doses of the vaccine, it is still important to follow the guidance in your local area. It is still important to protect yourself, your family, friends and the NHS.

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

For further information on the side effects of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine, view the patient leaflet here.

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

Tell one of the NHS staff members before you are vaccinated if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). You should not have the vaccine if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction to:

  • a previous vaccine
  • a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine
  • some medicines, household products or cosmetics

Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Please be assured, the staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately. They staff can also discuss any previous reactions with you before you are vaccinated.

Thousands of people across the country have received their COVID-19 vaccination and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported. Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them, for more information click here.

Please note: No vaccine will be approved or tested in a phase 3 clinical trial if it hasn’t first passed other safety checks. At every stage of a vaccine’s development, safety is always being checked and side effects monitored.

There’s no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives issued a press release responding to misinformation around COVID-19 vaccine and fertility. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have also published information and advice for pregnant women about the COVID-19 vaccine

People who are suffering from a fever-type illness should postpone having the vaccine until they have recovered.

You can choose not to have the vaccine, it is your choice. The NHS however is encouraging everyone who can to have it. The more people who have the vaccine, the harder it will be for the virus to spread.

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.

The two approved COVID-19 vaccines also do not contain any animal products or egg.

Read about the approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK
Read about the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK

The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.

There is clear evidence that certain Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups have higher rates of infection, and higher rates of serious disease and mortality. The reasons are multiple and complex.  There is no strong evidence that ethnicity by itself (or genetics) is the sole explanation for observed differences in rates of severe illness and deaths. What is clear is that certain health conditions are associated with increased risk of serious disease, and these health conditions are often overrepresented in certain Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.  

Prioritisation of people with underlying health conditions will also provide for greater vaccination of BAME communities who are disproportionately affected by such health conditions. Tailored local implementation to promote good vaccine coverage in Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups will be the most important factor within a vaccine programme in reducing health inequalities in these groups. The NHS will provide advice and information at every possible opportunity, including working closely with BAME communities, to support those receiving a vaccine and to anyone who has questions about the vaccination process.

Taking the Covid-19 vaccines currently licensed in the UK does not invalidate the fast. Individuals should not delay their Covid vaccinations on the account of fasting. Please click here for more information.

Carers

According to the JCVI and Public Health England Green Book, adult carers are those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

We are working to the national guidance outlined in the this standard operating procedure to vaccinate all Rotherham carers.

People who are unwell, currently self-isolating or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and / or  tested positive for COVID-19 should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered. Your vaccination appointment must be 28 days after recovering from COVID-19.

Please remember, you should not book or attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well, it is safer to wait until you 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.

How long it takes to recover from coronavirus is different for everybody. For more information about ‘long COVID’ and symptoms click here.

Booking Information

National Booking System

Vaccines are available to book across Rotherham

We would strongly encourage everyone to be registered with a GP practice, however, you can still get your vaccine at one of our walk-in sessions.

The Rotherham NHS vaccination invitation text message will be sent from ‘GP SURGERY’ contain the following:

Mr / Mrs / Miss / Ms XXX [Your Surname]

Name of GP Practice

Primary Care Network [PCN] Signature

Once you arrive at your vaccination service site you will need to check in at reception. You will receive your vaccination which is given as an injection into your upper arm. You may be asked to wait up to 15 minutes for an observation period. You will be given a vaccination card at your appointment, keep your card safe.

The vaccine itself is very quick and will only take a few minutes. After your vaccination you may be asked to stay for a 15 minute observation period to be monitored.

Yes. You may bring a carer with you to your appointment if you need support. Additionally, each vaccination site has marshals on hand to assist you so please do let them know if you require support.

Yes. There are wheelchairs available at all our vaccination sites and these are cleaned and sanitised after each use before being used for someone else. Additionally, each vaccination site has marshals on hand to assist you so please do let them know if you require support.

Yes, each vaccination site has volunteers and marshals on hand to assist you so please do let them know if you require support. Alternately you may bring a carer with you.

Both your first and second dose of the vaccine will be registered on your digital medical record and available on the NHS app.

Please note, your GP practice will not be able to provide you with a COVID vaccine passport.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has issued advice that states if you’ve already received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should still get your second dose. Most blood clot reactions have happened after the first dose vaccination.

Find out more

National Booking System

Vaccines are available to book across Rotherham

You will receive your second dose around 8 weeks after receiving your first dose.

Yes, you will receive the same vaccine as your first dose. The vaccine you received at your first appointment will be noted on your medical records and also on the vaccination card you were given at your first appointment.

It is important to receive your second vaccination dose as you need to have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the best protection.

If you are unable to attend your appointment due to feeling unwell, you are self-isolating, have symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within 28 days prior to your appointment date.

Yes, please bring along your vaccination card and appointment letter to support quick registration upon arrival.

If you have misplaced these please do not worry, turn up for your appointment as allocated, you will still be able to receive your second dose of the vaccine at your allocated appointment time.

After your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine it can take up to 3 weeks to give you the best protection. Please remember it is still important to follow local guidance to protect yourself, your family and the NHS. 

The COVID-19 vaccine that you have had has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. Each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and shown to be safe. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe. It is important to have all vaccine doses to have the best protection against COVID-19.

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and having both your first and second dose of the vaccine will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk. So, it is still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you. To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • continue social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current guidance at gov.uk/coronavirus

All doese of the vaccine will be registered on your digital medical record and available on the NHS app.

Please note, your GP practice will not be able to provide you with a COVID vaccine passport.

National Booking System

Vaccines are available to book across Rotherham

All people over the age of 16 will be offered a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in age order, starting with the oldest.

The JCVI advises that the booster vaccine dose should be offered no earlier than three months after completion of the first course of vaccination.

JCVI have advised that individual who are severely immunosuppressed get an additional third dose of vaccine as part of their primary course of immunisation.  This offer is separate to the booster programme. More information is available here: JCVI issues advice on third dose vaccination for severely immunosuppressed – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There are very few people in the eligible groups who should not have a booster.  If you have had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine you should discuss this with your doctor.

After reviewing data on booster responses from different combinations of COVID-19 vaccines, in Rotherham we will be offering either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Spikevax (Formerly known as Moderna) vaccine (vaccine to be offered as the booster dose irrespective of which type of vaccine was used in the primary schedule). There is good evidence that both vaccines are well tolerated as a booster dose and will provide a strong booster response.

Where mRNA vaccines cannot be offered e.g. due to contraindication, vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine may be considered for those who received AstraZeneca vaccine in the primary course. More detail is available in the green book.

As with your previous dose the common side effects are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK, and include:

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

You can rest and take paracetamol (follow the dose advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better. Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2 to 3 days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection.

Although a fever can occur within a day or 2 of vaccination, if you have any other COVID-19 symptoms or your fever lasts longer, stay at home and arrange to have a test. Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, you can call NHS 111.

If you had serious side effects after any previous dose you may be advised to avoid or delay further vaccination. You should discuss this with your doctor or specialist.

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few days for your body to build up some protection from the booster.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

No, you need to finish the first course of your vaccination.

Everyone that is eligible that hasn’t already had their first or second COVID-19 vaccination will still be able to get vaccinated, even when the COVID-19 booster programme begins.

Everyone aged 18 and over can book their initial COVID-19 vaccination through the NHS booking service (call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week).

If you are pregnant and in one of the groups that the JCVI has recommended for the boosters, you are eligible to receive a booster, no earlier than six months after completion of the first course of vaccination. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn.

Rotherham Community Transport are providing transport for people who have a COVID Vaccination appointment but have no means of getting there, anyone who needs transport please call 01709 517100 once you have your appointment time. For more details about Rotherham Community Transport go to: www.door2door.org.uk

A guide to the spring booster

What to expect after your vaccination

A guide for children and young people who are at increased risk from infection or living with someone who is immunosuppressed

Easy read guide for children and young people who are at increased risk from infection or living with someone who is immunosuppressed

What to expect – advice for children and young people

Guide for 12 to 15 year olds

Boosters Guide for over 50’s

Boosters Guide for people with a weakened immune system

Waiting time after your COVID Vaccination Update

More information

More information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the NHS website: