The COVID-19 vaccine

The NHS and its partners are working hard to deliver vaccines to priority groups in Rotherham across the 5 local vaccination sites. 

Rotherham residents now have 3 options for booking their ‘first dose’ of the COVID-19 vaccination, click here for information.

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.

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

Following the recent announcement regarding the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine a patient information leaflet, with more information, is now available to view here.

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

High Priority Groups

Rotherham registered patients in high priority groups 1-9  have now been invited for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are included in one of these groups and are yet to receive your first dose please contact roccg.vaccinebooking@nhs.net

During April 2021, the priority for the vaccination programme will focus on second dose appointments. Second doses of the vaccination are given at 11 – 12 weeks after your first dose. We will then move onto first dose vaccinations for those in phase 2 priority groups, highlighted below.

Priority Groups – Phase 2

  • Group 10 - Age 40-49

  • Group 11 - Age 30-39

  • Group 12 - Age 18-29

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.

You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Your second dose will be between 3 and 12 weeks after your first dose. It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection.

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. Both vaccines are classed as being very effective. The Oxford/AstraZeneca is easier to store and transport, meaning we can deliver them in more places, and we expect to have more doses available as they are manufactured in the UK, so we would expect that most people are likely to receive this vaccine over the coming weeks and months.

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.

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear. For more information, see the patient leaflet here.

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.

When you are given your appointment date for your second dose, it is important that you attend.  Full protection kicks in around a week or two after the second dose.

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 both first and second doses of the vaccine, it is still important to follow the guidance in your local area. To protect yourself, your family, friends and the NHS you still need to:

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

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

Rotherham registered patients in high priority groups 1-9  have now been invited for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are included in one of these groups and are yet to receive your first dose please contact roccg.vaccinebooking@nhs.net

Please do not turn up at any vaccination site unless you have an appointment. All vaccination sites will be ensuring social distancing policies are in place for patient and staff safety, therefore we ask that you arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your appointment to avoid queues forming.

Our community health teams have now vaccinated all patients registered as housebound with their first dose of the covid-19 vaccine. 

We do not have a separate standby list for contacting patients at short notice. We would continue to working through the priority list to fill all appointments to ensure our most vulnerable patients are vaccinated as soon as possible.

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.

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 Ramadan. Please click here for more information.

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.

Carers are in Cohort 6 and should have now been invited for their first vaccination. We are working to the national guidance outlined in the this standard operating procedure to vaccinate all Rotherham carers.

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

Residents registered with a Rotherham GP practice were invited to have their vaccinations by either telephone call from the NHS Rotherham booking centre, GP text message link to Online Booking System or receiving a letter from the National Booking System.  For more information on the ‘first vaccine dose’ booking options click here 

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.

Booking Information

Rotherham residents now have 3 options for booking their first COVID-19 vaccination:

NHS Rotherham Booking Centre – The Rotherham booking centre is 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 contact you via telephone we will send a letter. 

Online Booking System –  You can now book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment via a online booking system. Rotherham residents who have mobile phone number registered with their GP practice may receive a text message from ***GP SURGERY*** that will contain a unique link directing you to book.nhs.me to book your vaccination when it is turn to be vaccinated.

National Booking System – If you are:

  • aged 50 or over
  • an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • have a learning disability or are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

You may receive a text from ‘NHSvaccine‘ inviting you to book your vaccination appointments at a larger vaccination centre such as Sheffield arena. You will also get a invitation letter a few days after therefore if you receive a text from ‘NHSvaccine’ inviting you to book and you’re not sure if it is genuine, you can wait to receive your letter. For more information on the national booking system please click here

Please note:

  • Texts from ‘NHSvaccine’ are separate to any invites you may get from local NHS services such as a GP surgery.
  • You do not have to book an appointment at one of these centres if it is not convenient for you to get there. You can choose to wait for an invitation from the Rotherham booking centre.
  • 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.

We are now providing an additional option for you to book your vaccination appointment via an online booking system.

Rotherham residents who have mobile phone number registered with their GP practice may receive a text message from ***GP SURGERY*** that will contain a unique link directing you to book.nhs.me to book your vaccination when it is turn to be vaccinated.

Please Note:

  • You will only receive the booking text message from ***GP SURGERY*** if you have a registered mobile number with your GP Practice.
  • You will only receive an invite for your COVID-19 vaccination when it is your turn.
  • You will only be able to book an appointment for yourself. The link included in the text message is unique to you. The system will not allow anyone to use the same link to book an appointment for themselves.
  • The NHS COVID-19 vaccination text message will 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 have booked your appointment a confirmation text message will be sent to your mobile phone.

It is your choice if you wish to use this additional option for booking online. If you do not wish to use the online booking form, you will still be contacted via phone call or letter.

If you do not have a mobile number registered with your GP Practice, please do not worry. Our vaccination booking centre will call you and book your vaccine appointment when it is your turn.

If you have a mobile number registered with your GP practice you will receive an invite text message when it is your turn.

If you do not have a mobile number registered, please do not ring your GP practice for a vaccine appointment, we will contact you via phone call or letter when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

No. There is no need for you to register your mobile number with your GP practice, we will phone you to book your vaccination appointment on the number held on your practice records. If we are unable to contact you via telephone we will send a letter.

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

No. The vaccination site will have your details and will check these on your arrival. Please attend on time to avoid queuing.

Please do not worry, you can copy the unique link included in your text message onto a computer and book your appointment that way. Alternatively you do not have to use the online booking system, this is just one option. If you do not book online you will still be contacted via phone call or letter when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

Yes. The online booking system is an additional option for patients to use to book and appointment. It is your choice if you wish to use this additional option for booking online. If you do not wish to use the online booking form, you will still be contacted via phone call or letter when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

Cancelling / rescheduling your ‘First Dose’ vaccine appointment

If you are unable to attend your vaccine appointment due to feeling unwell, you are self-isolating, have symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within 28 days prior of receiving your first dose vaccine invitation via text message you can choose to decline the invite, by clicking through to the booking link and selecting ‘I don’t want to book right now’ and you will be able to select the option ‘I am currently too unwell’. This will then allow the booking system to contact you at a later date.

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.

You can cancel your vaccine appointment however they way in which you do this depends on how you booked, see below for each booking option:

NHS Rotherham Booking Centre – If you booked via the Rotherham booking centre, when you are contacted by one of our call handlers you will be given a number to contact if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.

Online Booking System – If you booked your appointment via the Rotherham online booking system after receiving a text message from GP surgery, you can cancel or reschedule your appointment using the same unique link that you received in your text message. You can reuse this link to cancel or reschedule your appointment (rescheduling appointments is dependent on availability). Once cancelled or rescheduled you will receive a text message acknowledging this.

National Booking System – If you have booked your appointment at a mass vaccination centre such as Sheffield arena after receiving the NHS national booking letter, you can cancel your appointment by contacting the contact number included in your invite letter.

If you do not wish to have the COVID-19 vaccination but have still received a text message inviting you to book an appointment, you can choose to decline the invite. There is a section available for you to provide more information if needed.

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.

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/

Both your first and second dose of the vaccine will be registered on your digital medical record which your GP can see. You may be able to access this if you have registered to use the Rotherham Health App 

Rotherham patients who received their first vaccination dose at a Rotherham vaccination centre will receive a letter from the NHS Rotherham Booking Centre notifying them of a second dose appointment date, time and venue (this will be the same vaccination centre where you had your first dose). We are aiming for patients to receive their notification letter at least 10 days prior to their appointment.

Rotherham patients will receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 11 weeks after receiving their first dose.

Please note: It is important that all patients attend their allocated second vaccination appointment as both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are required to ensure the best protection.

Patients who received their first vaccination dose at Sheffield Arena / a large scale vaccination centre will have already received their second dose appointment date and time and the location which will be at the same vaccination centre where you received your first dose.

Please ensure you attend this appointment. It is important that all patients attend their allocated second vaccination appointment as both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are required to ensure the best protection.

If you received your first vaccination dose at the Hospital hub, you will receive a unique booking link via text, when it is your turn, to book in for your second dose appointment at approximately 11 weeks after your first dose. Your second dose will be at the same location where you had your first.

If  you received your first vaccination dose at a local GP-led vaccination site, the NHS Rotherham Booking Centre will contact you by either letter, text or telephone call approximately 11 weeks after you received your first dose with an appointment for your second dose. Your second dose will be at the same location where you had your first.

You will receive your second dose 11 – 12 weeks after receiving your first dose. If you are at 12 weeks after your first vaccination and have not received your appointment for second dose, please contact us on roccg.secondappointment@nhs.net

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, please contact us on the details included in your appointment letter. It is safer to wait until you have recovered, we will advise on the next steps to take to ensure you can receive your second dose of vaccine in a timely manner.

Due to the high patient numbers that we are processing across our vaccination sites, we are not in a position to offer a choice to patients with regard to the time or date for your second vaccination.

If you are unable to attend your appointment, are feeling unwell, you are self-isolating, have symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within 28 days prior to your appointment date, please contact us on the details included in your appointment letter. It is safer to wait until you have recovered, we will advise on the next steps to take to ensure you can receive your second dose of vaccine in a timely manner.

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 2 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 BOTH 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

COVID-19 vaccination video guide for older adults in British Sign Language (BSL)

Patient leaflets – COVID-19 vaccinations

What to expect after your vaccination

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

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting – information about your vaccination

Protection for social care staff

A guide to phase 2 of the vaccination programme

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 roccg.rothhealthvolunteers@nhs.net 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.

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 – Please note – following new infection control guidance for our region, all volunteers must wear surgical masks rather than cloth face coverings.  Masks will be provided at each location.
  • 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.

  • 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 note – following new infection control guidance for our region, all volunteers must wear surgical masks rather than cloth face coverings.  Masks will be provided at each location.
  • 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.