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 – 12 – 15 year olds

Vaccines – 16+

Vaccines – Booster (third dose)

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

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

Vaccines for 12 to 15 year olds

People aged 12 to 15 in Rotherham are being offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

After a successful school-based vaccination programme we are now making the vaccine available for 12–15 year olds at Rotherham Hospital. This means that any 12–15 year old children who did not receive their vaccination in school can now book on a weekend clinic which is based at the old Greenoaks Centre at Rotherham Hospital. Consent will be required on the day.

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.

The recommendation that only one dose be given is related to the very rare risk of a condition called myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle.

It can cause chest pain and heart palpitations, but cases are usually mild and children recover quickly with standard treatment.

The risk is tiny after one vaccine dose and slightly higher after two, with 12 to 34 cases seen for every one million second doses.

Most of the benefits from the vaccine, which reduce the small risk of illness, are gained after one.

Children aged 12 to 15 years who are at increased risk from infection or living with someone who is immunosuppressed will be offered 2 doses of the vaccine, 8 weeks apart.

All young people aged 12 to 15 years are now being offered a first dose of the vaccine through a school based COVID-19 vaccination programme. If you are 12 years old or more on the day the vaccinations are taking place in school, you will be able to access a vaccine.

As we learn more about COVID-19 and how it responds to the vaccine, there may be future doses given to groups of young people.

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.

Like all school-based vaccination programmes, the vaccines will be administered by the school age immunisation service provider, working closely with the school.

Following vaccination your child will be observed for 15 minutes.

Serious allergic reactions to vaccination are very rare but tend to happen within a few minutes of the injection. School age immunisation service teams are all trained to spot and manage allergic reactions and so all children will be observed for 15 minutes.

All school age immunisation service providers will bring the necessary equipment to treat an allergic reaction.

Children with allergies to common food items are not at higher risk of these serious allergies.

For any young people aged 12 to 15 years who do not receive their vaccine on the vaccine day, there will be catch-up arrangements in place that the school age immunisation service provider will be able to share with the school.

This includes any young person who turns 12 years of age after the day the school age immunisation service provider visits the school.

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.

All young people in the eligible age group who do not attend school, for example those who are home educated or living in secure accommodation, should be offered the vaccine. The school age immunisation service provider have plans in place to offer vaccines to these young people in the coming weeks.

Yes. School age immunisation service providers are commissioned to vaccinate children in special schools.

Unfortunately, walk-ins from this age group cannot be accepted. Presently there are no plans to make walk-in appointments 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. You have two options to get your vaccine in Rotherham:

Book an appointment: Call 0300 3035258.

The Rotherham booking line will be open at the following times:
Monday to Friday – 9am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm

Walk In Sessions: Alternatively, you can attend one of our Walk In vaccine sessions, NO NEED TO BOOK.

For the latest details on the upcoming walk-in sessions, please visit our Facebook page.

All first dose appointments in Rotherham will the Pfizer vaccine.

Please share with family and friends.

Booster (third dose) vaccines

PLEASE NOTE: The NHS in Rotherham will contact you when it is your turn to receive your booster vaccine at one of the Rotherham vaccination sites.

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

All Rotherham residents in the eligible categories have now been invited for their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Following the announcement for the 2021 COVID-19 vaccination programme, the following people should be offered a booster (third dose) of the COVID-19 vaccine in the same order as the first part of the vaccination programme.

Priority Groups – Booster (third dose) Vaccines

  • Those living in residential care homes for older adults

  • All adults aged 40 years or over (in the same order as the first vaccination programme)

  • Frontline health and social care workers

  • All those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and adult carers

  • Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

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.

All people over the age of 16 are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Your second dose will be around 8 weeks after your first dose. It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection.

Currently national guidance states that healthy 12-15 year olds will receive one dose of Pfizer vaccine only. However young people who are at increased risk of infection or living with someone who is immunosuppressed will be offered 2 doses of the vaccine, 8 weeks apart.

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.

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

The Majority of 12-15 year olds in Rotherham have now been invited for their vaccine via the Health Immunisations Team in school. Details of the school based programme for COVID-19 vaccinations is available here

In the coming weeks there will be arrangements made for any 12-15 year olds who have yet to receive their vaccine in Rotherham.

Currently national guidance states that this group of young people will be offered 2 doses of the vaccine, 8 weeks apart.

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.

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.

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.

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

You can now receive your COVID-19 vaccination at one of the local vaccination sites. You have two options to get your vaccine in Rotherham:

Book an appointment: Call 0300 3035258.

The Rotherham booking line will be open at the following times:
Monday to Friday – 9am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm

Walk In Sessions: Alternatively, you can attend one of our Walk In vaccine sessions, NO NEED TO BOOK.

For the latest details on the upcoming walk-in sessions, please visit our Facebook page.

All first dose appointments in Rotherham will be the Pfizer vaccine.

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

Rotherham patients will receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine around 8 weeks after receiving their first dose. You can get this by booking an appointment via the call centre on 0300 3035258 or attending one of the walk-in sessions at the local vaccination sites.

The Rotherham booking line will be open at the following times:
Monday to Friday – 9am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm

Walk In Sessions: Alternatively, you can attend one of our Walk In vaccine sessions, NO NEED TO BOOK.

For the latest details on the upcoming walk-in sessions, please visit our Facebook page.

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 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

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.

We are aware that some over 40s are now receiving a national NHS text messages/letters inviting them to book a booster appointment at a COVID mass vaccination centre or pharmacy hub outside of the borough.

This is simply another way for you to access the vaccine, but you have a choice to wait for a local appointment at a Rotherham vaccination service site, if you prefer. If there is a suitable location and time slot available you are able to book to get your vaccine via the national system.

However, if you, a family member or friend are in the high priority groups ( starting with over 80s) for booster vaccines you will be contacted by the NHS in Rotherham, on the number registered with your GP practice, when it is your turn. You do not need to take up the offer in the national appointment. In Rotherham, we are working our way through the high priority groups as quickly as possible and will be inviting people for vaccine over the coming weeks. This will be at one of our Rotherham GP practice led vaccination service sites. Appointment for these sites are currently only being booked via our local NHS booking teams.

We want to provide the people that are most likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 and those who care for them with the best possible protection for this winter. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has reviewed available data and provided advice that COVID-19 boosters are first offered to the most vulnerable in order to provide maximum protection during the Winter months.

The flu vaccination programme is now running which protects people from serious complications from getting flu, so we would also encourage people that are eligible for a COVID-19 booster to also get their flu vaccination. More information on the flu vaccination is at www.nhs.uk/flujab

Independent experts, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), have said that for the 2021 COVID-19 vaccination programme, the following people who received vaccination in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be offered a third dose COVID-19 booster vaccine.

The following people should be offered a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the same order as the first part of the vaccination programme.

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

The JCVI advises that the booster vaccine dose should be offered no earlier than six 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.

The NHS will let eligible people know to have their booster vaccine when it is their turn.

The JCVI advises that the booster vaccine dose should be offered no earlier than six months after having the second dose of the vaccination. Like your previous doses, the vaccine will be given in your upper arm.

People will be offered the vaccine through a range of services. Primary care teams will vaccinate care home staff and residents. Health and social care staff will be directed to book their appointments through employers and members of the public will be invited to get their booster through a GP-led service and/or be contacted by the NHS to book through the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service to get their vaccination in a designated pharmacy, vaccination centre or GP-led service.

As most younger adults will only have received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose in late summer or early autumn, the benefits of booster vaccination in this group will be considered at a later time when more information is available. In general, younger, healthy individuals may be expected to generate stronger vaccine-induced immune responses from primary course vaccination compared to older individuals.

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.

The COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine can be given on the same day and for people that are eligible for both, there may be opportunities to have both together. We would encourage you to get your vaccinations as soon as possible and get fully protected rather than waiting as it may not always be possible to get them together.

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. This may be through a GP-led service or by booking through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination national booking service.

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

What to expect after your vaccination

Protection for social care staff

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

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.