Due to new advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers on 30 December 2020, we need to reschedule the second coronavirus vaccination appointment for those who have already had one dose. The new medical advice is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose, and should be given towards the end of this 12 week period. The new guidance will ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible. If you have received a first dose, you do not need to contact the health board, you will be automatically re-scheduled and called for your new appointment.
While two doses of the vaccine are needed to get the best long-term protection, in the short-term individuals will have high levels of protection from the first dose received. There are no safety concerns in the new guidance, and it will not negatively impact on the effectiveness of the complete course of COVID-19 vaccine.
Those people most at risk from the complications of COVID-19 are being offered the vaccine first.
In the UK, there are two COVID-19 vaccines (made by Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca) likely to be offered first. They both need two separate doses to provide the best protection. These vaccines will not have a full UK marketing authorisation (license) but will have been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) based on a full assessment of safety and effectiveness.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent group of experts, has recommended that the NHS offers these vaccines to those at highest risk of catching the disease and of suffering serious complications or dying from COVID-19, and to protect the NHS and social care services. This includes older adults and frontline health and social care workers. When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.
Everyone who is in the clinically extremely vulnerable group will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. This may depend on the severity of your condition. Your GP can advise on whether you are eligible.
When more vaccine becomes available in 2021 we will be offering it to more groups.
COVID-19 vaccines will become available as they are approved for use, and as each batch is manufactured and delivered. People will be called in order, and you will be sent an appointment when your turn comes as soon as there is enough vaccine available.
Vaccines will be offered in a range of settings. Most people will go to the nearest vaccination centre. Some vaccination teams will visit people to offer the vaccine, for example in care homes.
Please try to attend the vaccination centre you are offered. If you cannot attend the centre you are offered you may have to wait to get the vaccine in a more convenient location.
You can find out more information about COVID-19 vaccines, including their contents and possible side effects at https://111.wales.nhs.uk/coronavirus(2019ncov) and www.gov.uk/government/collections/mhra-guidance-on-coronavirus-covid-19
You can report suspected side effects online at https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/ or by downloading the Yellow Card app.
To find out how the NHS uses your information, visit www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/lifestylewellbeing/yourinfoyourrights
To order more copies of this leaflet, visit https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/health-information-resources/