The COVID-19 vaccine

The NHS and its partners across Rotherham have been working hard to develop safe and effective ways to deliver a small amount of vaccines. Groups of GP practices, known as Primary Care Networks (PCNs), have now set up 5 local vaccination centres across Rotherham to vaccinate  residents identified in one of the high-priority groups, on a phased basis over the coming months.

The Rotherham COVID vaccination contact centre is now calling eligible patients to book their COVID-19 Vaccination. There is no longer a requirement for you to call us, we will contact you when it’s your turn for the Vaccine.

Please do not turn up at a vaccination centre unless you have an appointment. If you have an appointment, please ensure you arrive on time. If you arrive early, please wait in your car until it is your appointment time to avoid queues forming.

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

High priority groups

1. Residents in a care home for older adults, and their carers

2. Over 80s, frontline health and care staff

3. Over 75s

4. Over 70s, and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5. Over 65s

6. Under 65s with underlying health conditions

7. Over 60s

8. Over 55s

9. Over 50s

Click to view priorities poster (PDF)

Patient leaflets – COVID-19 vaccinations

A guide for adults

What to expect after your vaccination

Why do I have to wait for my COVID-19 vaccine?

Protection for healthcare workers

Protection for social care staff

Vaccination and pregnancy


We have received a national letter regarding the vaccination of frontline health and social care workers and we are currently putting plans in place within Rotherham for vaccination of this group. The NHS will be in contact with your organisation in the near future to discuss the vaccination.

The NHS are currently working through the list of patients within this age group. You will be contacted when it is your turn to be invited for the vaccine. Please be patient; we are working hard to get through all residents in this category as soon as possible. If we are unable to speak to you on the phone we will send you a letter.

We are working with our community health teams to get the vaccine to you as quickly as possible. The logistics of this have now been made easier with the approval of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine. Please be patient, we are working extremely hard to bring the vaccine to you over the coming weeks.

Our GP Practices will be working with local Care Homes to arrange COVID-19 Vaccinations for residents and staff members. The logistics of this have now been made easier with the approval of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine. Please be patient, we are working extremely hard to bring the vaccine into Care Homes as quickly as possible over the coming weeks.

The Rotherham COVID vaccination contact centre is now calling eligible patients to book their COVID-19 Vaccination. There is no longer a requirement for you to call us, we will contact you when it’s your turn for the Vaccine.

If we are unable to speak to you on the phone we will send you a letter.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Some Rotherham residents may have already received their second doses due to the timings of their appointments. Rotherham is following the national guidance regarding the second dose of the vaccine. The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses 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. This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.

Read the statement > (

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.

The MHRA have said these vaccines are highly effective, but to get full protection people need to come back for the second 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.

Full protection kicks in around a week or two after that second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you act on that and get yourself booked in as soon as possible. Even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance.

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:

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.

More information

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

Help us help you – can you help with COVID-19 vaccinations?

We are working with GP-led Primary Care Networks to run one of the largest vaccination programmes ever in Rotherham. Local COVID-19 vaccination services are set up across Rotherham to start vaccinating those aged 80 and over, as well as other residents identified in high-priority groups across the borough in the coming months.

We need our community to come together and provide support to ensure we get everyone vaccinated against COVID-19.

Each vaccination service will require volunteers to assist in the operational set up ie. stewards. If you would like to volunteer, please read the following information and complete the form below or email if you have other questions.

If you have a clinical background…

If you have a clinical background and may be able to help vaccinate, there is a national scheme to register your interest and receive the appropriate training. Alternatively you can email us and we will pass your contact details on to a local initiative.

About the volunteering role

From January onwards we will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations at several locations across Rotherham, to be confirmed in the coming days.

At the busiest times, clinics will run from 8am to 8pm. We will split each day into sessions of approximately 4 hours, depending on location and task. Clinics are likely to run on different days each week, and some will cover Saturdays and Sundays.

At some times we may need to cover several, or all, sites from 8am–8pm, 7 days a week – this is why we need your help!

Each location will need between 4–8 volunteers for each session. Volunteers will be able to select the number of sessions they want to support and will be able to claim £5 per session for out of pocket expenses.

Please note that this is a completely new initiative and, undoubtedly, tasks, roles and ways of working will develop as it progresses in response to feedback and suggestions from staff and volunteers.

As a COVID-19 vaccine support volunteer you may be asked to do any of the following tasks:

  • Report to the site manager on arrival
  • Wear appropriate PPE throughout the session
  • Maintain infection control measures at all times, including breaks, such as using hand sanitizer and maintaining appropriate distance
  • Meet and greet patients
  • Direct patients
  • Provide support to the nursing team and generally help the sessions run smoothly
  • Help to set up and take down/prepare for the next session as necessary
  • Act as a contact point where people have been vaccinated and need to remain on site for 15 minutes

You may be asked to attend a briefing before the start of your first session.

We wouldn’t recommend the role for anyone who has been advised to shield or who is living with someone who has been advised to shield, and you must be aged 16 or over.

If you would like to sign up please complete the form below and email it to us. Alternatively you can add your contact details – name, address and phone number – to an email and confirm that you have read the agreement and are okay with the content.

Volunteer instructions

  • Remember to wear weather appropriate clothing if you are working outside
  • Please do not attend if you are unwell; if you have come into contact with someone with suspected COVID-19, or have been told to self-isolate
  • There may be no secure place to leave personal belongings, so please be careful what you bring with you
  • Please wear your own mask to approach the site
  • When you arrive, please go to the designated area to sign in and receive your mask and a hi-vis vest and to be directed to your assigned tasks. You will be reporting to the person leading the site on the day
  • Please park considerately on surrounding roads
  • On the day, please arrive at the site at the agreed time to ensure you are in place at the start.

If you are unable to attend your session please contact us as soon as possible to cancel: