Frequently Asked Questions
Accessible information in alternative formats
The COVID-19 vaccine information leaflets are available in British Sign Language (BSL), audio, other languages, Easy Read and large print formats.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine leaflets | The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine (nhsinform.scot)

British Sign Language (BSL)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine | Translations (nhsinform.scot)

Audio
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine | Translations (nhsinform.scot)

Easy Read Guide
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Appointments

When might I expect my COVID-19 vaccination appointment letter?
Letters are being sent out in batches to priority vaccination groups. This is being done in line with vaccine supply to NHS Grampian. Please do not contact your GP or the NHS for a vaccine; you will be contacted when it is your turn. Please visit the Vaccination Group page to keep updated with the progress of vaccination roll out.
Why has my friend been allocated an appointment before me?
Appointments are allocated based on several factors including clinical priority and date of birth
What should I do when I receive the letter and can't attend my appointment or my appointment letter is late?
Please follow the contact details information provided in the appointment letter.
Will the main NHS Grampian switchboard be able to direct my call to the booking number or make my COVID-19 vaccination appointment?
No. Do not call the main NHS Grampian switchboard as they will not be able to make an appointment for you or change your appointment and you may also prevent other urgent calls getting through. Please phone the number on your appointment letter if you need to make any changes.
Should I contact my local GP practice for my appointment?
No. Do not call your GP as they will not be able to make an appointment for you and you may also prevent other urgent calls being able to get through. Please phone the number on your appointment  letter if you need to make any changes.
After my COVID-19 vaccine will I still have to follow the government rules?
Yes. It is not known whether having the vaccine stops you spreading the virus to others, so it is important that we all continue to follow the latest government advice. After you get the vaccine, it is still important to follow FACTS.

FACTS:

F – Face coverings in enclosed spaces. Shops, public transport or anywhere else inside that physical distancing might be more difficult.
A – Avoid all crowded places. Indoors and outdoors.
C – Clean your hands and hard surfaces regularly.
T – Two metre distancing remains the overall advice.
S – Self isolate and book a test if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19

For further information on Covid-19 Symptoms and what to do visit- Coronavirus (COVID-19) self-help guide | NHS inform

Where will my appointment be?
Clinics have been set up across Grampian. Please visit our Vaccination Centres page to find out more.
Can I just turn up at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to get my jab?
No. All COVID-19 vaccinations are by appointment only, so please don’t turn up unless you have an appointment.
I have mobility issues; will I be able to access the clinic?
All COVID-19 vaccination clinics are accessible to those with mobility issues.
Will it be safe to go to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic?
Yes. During vaccination, strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place, with enhanced cleaning of venues, strict social distancing, hand cleaning stations and staff will be wearing appropriate Personal Protection Equipment.
Should I wear a face covering?
Yes – please wear a face covering while travelling to and from and during your appointment unless you are exempt.
I'm clinically vulnerable and I don't feel safe going for my appointment
A clinical appointment is a valid reason for leaving home. You can get advice about travel by contacting THInC on 01467 536111 or email travel@thinc-hub.org.  The venue where you will have your vaccination is safe. All COVID-19 safety measures are in place.  Staff are wearing appropriate PPE.  Physical distancing controls are in place.  You should wear a mask at all times during your journey and your appointment.
How should I travel to my appointment – under increased restrictions?
Going to your appointment is classified as essential travel so you can car share with a friend or relative if required – remember to wash your hands before and after, keep your distance, wear a facemask and keep the car windows open. For further advice on how to travel safely visit: Advice on how to travel safely (transport.gov.scot)

If you want to find out about public transport go to the Traveline Scotland website on www.travelinescotland.com or call them on 0871 200 2233. You can check the latest Stagecoach timetables at www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/national/covid-temporary-timetables

If you are struggling to work out how to get to your appointment you can call THInC on 01467 536111 or email travel@thinc-hub.org for advice

If you are driving to the appointment, you will have to wait 15 minutes after you have had your vaccination before you can drive.

When should I arrive for my appointment?
Please arrive on time for your appointment and not too early. Due to physical distancing requirements we are limited to how many people are allowed into buildings, so if you arrive too early for your appointment you may be asked to queue outside.
Is there car parking available at clinic locations?
The vaccination clinics are being held at a range of community venues across Grampian. Car parking will be available near or at the location.
Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?
Please attend on your own unless you require the assistance of a carer. A carer may attend the appointment with you for support and both you and your carer should wear a face covering.

The Vaccine

When will I be vaccinated?
Vaccination is now available for people in the highest risk groups. After the first priority groups have been vaccinated, we will begin to offer the vaccine to other people who are at greater risk. You will be contacted by letter with your vaccination appointment when you are eligible. It’s important not to contact the NHS or your GP practice for a vaccination before then.
How will I be contacted about my appointment?
You will receive a letter notifying you of your appointment venue date and time. It is important not to contact the NHS or your GP Practice as they are unable to make an appointment.

For more information download:
COVID-19 Letter
COVID_19 Leaflet

 

Will I have to pay for my vaccination?
The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge.  You may be contacted by telephone regarding a vaccination appointment but you will never be asked for any financial details.
COVID-19 vaccine fraud prevention
Posters and information guides have been developed to raise awareness of some of the most common vaccination scams currently in operation. These are available here and we would encourage you to share these, not only with colleagues but also with friends and family.
Can I request a specific vaccine?
It is not possible to request a specific vaccine.  We administer the different vaccines based on national guidance and if a particular vaccine is not suitable for your age cohort, then you will be vaccinated with an alternative.  There is a detailed checklist and consent process undertaken by our vaccinators, which will determine if you should have a specific vaccine based on clinical need.  Please do not contact the national call centre to request a specific vaccine as your request may not be accommodated.
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and risk of blood clots
The JCVI has updated the guidance on use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine.  This is in light of recent 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.  Although this condition remains extremely rare, there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AZ vaccine.  Around four people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given. This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between four days and two weeks following vaccination.  Updated information is available on the national NHS Inform website regarding potential side effects of the vaccine, including a leaflet specifically explaining the blood clot risk in more detail – https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/the-vaccines/side-effects-of-the-coronavirus-vaccines.

 

It must be stressed that this condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.  It must also be stressed that the JCVI, the MHRA and the European Medicines Agency have all concluded the benefits of vaccination continue to significantly outweigh the risks.

 

The JCVI now advise it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ.  Individuals can still choose to have the AZ vaccine after consideration of the risks and benefits.  The JCVI also state that, if you have already had your first dose of AZ without suffering any serious side effects, you should complete the course, regardless of your age.

How is the vaccine given?
The vaccine will usually be given as an injection in the upper arm. The COVID-19 vaccine will be given in two doses. You will be advised when to return for your second dose. The second dose will be given 12 weeks after the first dose. COVID-19 vaccination offers good protection within two to three weeks of the first dose. The second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer-term protection. It is important to get both doses to protect yourself against COVID-19. During vaccination, strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place. It will only take a few minutes to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
What happens if I miss the second dose?
If a scheduled second vaccination has been missed then please contact the number on your appointment letter to rearrange as soon as possible.  It is important that you return for your second vaccination as this will provide the maximum level of protection possible for a longer duration.
Will I receive the same vaccine for my second dose as I get for my first dose?
Yes. You should receive the same vaccine for your first and second dose based on current advice from the MHRA and the JCVI.  The Chief Medical Officer and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer do not support using different vaccines for first and second doses before research examining this has reported its conclusions.
How do I arrange a second dose in Grampian if I received my first dose somewhere else?
If you received your first dose somewhere else in Scotland, and are now in Grampian, please contact the national helpline on 0800 030 8013 to advise that you have moved area.  If you received your first dose out with Scotland, call the relevant booking team below to discuss how to arrange a second dose (we will need to know your vaccination date and which vaccine you received):

  • Aberdeen City – 0800 030 4713
  • Aberdeenshire – 0330 128 9919
  • Moray – 0345 337 9899
What if I’m ill when I’m due to receive my vaccination?
If you or a member of your household displays any symptoms of COVID-19 such as a new continuous cough, fever of over 37.8°C or loss of sense of taste or smell, please do not attend this appointment. Instead isolate according to current Scottish Government guidance and rearrange the appointment once you are well.

Please contact the telephone number provided in your appointment letter to rearrange your appointment if any of the following apply: –

  • you have had COVID-19 infection less than 4 weeks prior to your appointment
  • you are participating in a clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine
  • you have had any other vaccination in the 7 days before your appointment,
  • you have been advised to self-isolate or if you are awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test.

The purpose of your appointment is to attend for a COVID-19 vaccination. Please do not ask the vaccinators about other health concerns.

For further information on COVID-19 symptoms and how to book a test visit NHS Inform Coronavirus (COVID-19): General advice | NHS inform

I’ve already had COVID-19, do I need to get vaccinated?
Yes. Even if you’ve already had COVID-19, you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of getting COVD-19. If you do get it again, the vaccine can reduce how serious the symptoms will be.

If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 – even if you have no symptoms – you should wait until four weeks after the date you were tested to get the vaccine.  If your appointment falls in the isolation period, then follow the instructions on your appointment letter to rearrange.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines or medication?
You should wait seven days between the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccinations.

If you are taking specific medication and would like to understand if you can have a vaccine while taking it, please contact the National Vaccine Helpline on 0800 030 8013 (available 8am–8pm, 7 days a week). Please note this is a general information line and it will not be possible to book or change your vaccination appointments via this helpline.

Are there any reasons why I should not get vaccinated?
There are very few people who cannot get the COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine should not be given to:

  • People who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of this COVID-19 vaccine
  • Those who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to any of the ingredients of the vaccine.

The vaccinator will check that it is safe for you to have the vaccine at your appointment. If you are unsure about anything, or have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, call 0800 030 8013 (available 8am–8pm, 7 days a week). Please note this is a general information line and it will not be possible to book or change your vaccination appointments via this helpline.

If you are currently involved in or previously took part in a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial

If you are part of a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, or took part previously please speak to the Trial Clinical Lead and ask if you still require a COVID-19 vaccination.

If you are informed that you do not require to have the vaccine, please cancel your appointment.

Are there any side effects to the vaccine?
Some people may experience side effects after the vaccine. These are usually mild and may include:

  • tenderness, swelling and/or redness at the injection site
  • headache, muscle ache
  • feeling tired
  • fever (temperature above 37.8°C).

A less common side effect is swelling of the glands. This starts a few days after the vaccine and may last for up to two weeks. This is to be expected and is a sign of the immune system responding to the vaccine.

If you feel uncomfortable, take Paracetamol. Make sure you take Paracetamol as directed on the label or leaflet.

It is important to get two doses of the vaccine, even if you have mild side effects after the first dose.

Fever after vaccination
It’s quite common to develop a fever after a vaccination. This normally happens within 48 hours of the vaccination and usually goes away within 48 hours.

You do not need to self-isolate or book a COVID-19 test unless you have other COVID-19 symptoms or:

  • you have been told by NHS Test and Protect that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • you live with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19
  • you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19.

If the fever starts more than 48 hours after the vaccination or lasts longer than 48 hours, you should self-isolate and book a COVID-19 test. This can be done at NHS Inform.

 

Should I tell someone if I’m having side effects?
As with all vaccines, you can report suspected side effects through the Yellow Card Scheme. You can report side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines online at Yellow Card.

You can also call the Yellow Card hotline on 0800 731 6789.  This hotline is available Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.

If you have any concerns about your health please contact your GP, or NHS 24 on 111.

Can I catch COVID-19 from the Vaccine?
You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine. It is possible to have caught COVID-19 and have had no symptoms when you attended your vaccination appointment.  If you do develop symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms after your vaccination that last longer than 48 hours please follow self-isolation guidance and book a test via NHS Inform. This can be done at NHS Inform.
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the COVID-19 vaccine
Pregnant women should now be offered vaccination at the same time as non-pregnant women, based on their age and clinical risk group. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age, because of more extensive experience of their use in pregnancy.

Pregnant women who commenced vaccination with AstraZeneca vaccine, however, are advised to complete with the same vaccine. Clinicians (such as obstetricians, mid-wives, GPs or other healthcare professionals authorised to offer COVID-19 vaccination) should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with the woman, who should be told about the limited evidence of safety for the vaccine in pregnancy.

For the latest guidance on pregnancy, breastfeeding and the COVID-19 vaccine visit:

NHS Inform
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine | NHS inform

 

COVID-19 vaccination and bleeding disorders
The patient information leaflet which accompanies appointment letters for COVID-19 vaccination states: “People with bleeding disorders or people taking medication to thin the blood or reduce bleeding should consult their specialist for advice on vaccination”.

NHS Grampian advise not to phone you GP, but instead read the following carefully.

Patients who are prescribed blood thinning medication including warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel, rivarovxaban, edoxaban and apixiban should not be concerned about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and should attend their appointment to receive this important immunisation.

There is no need to contact your general practice for advice regarding blood thinning medication prior to attending for COVID-19 immunisation.

Vaccinators will ask a question related to this prior to administering an injection.

Patients on blood thinning medication may bruise more readily, the vaccinator will simply apply pressure after immunisation to the injection site for a bit longer than average. Reassuringly, the needle the COVID-19 vaccine is given with is very small and causes minimal trauma.

If the individual receives medication/treatment to reduce bleeding, for example treatment for haemophilia, intramuscular vaccination can be scheduled shortly after such medication/treatment is administered.

Please call the number on your letter to rearrange your appointment if required.

As an unpaid carer, how do I register for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccinations are available for unpaid carers aged between 16 and 64 who provide face-to-face care for a family member or friend.

Carers who receive relevant benefits (Carer’s Allowance, Young Carer Grant or Child Winter Heating Payment) will be in our system and will receive a letter with details of their appointment. But all unpaid carers are being encouraged to self-register – when they do, they will be advised if they are already scheduled for an appointment so there is no duplication.

The online carers’ registration portal is now closed, but individuals can still call the national helpline (0800 030 3018) to register for an appointment as an unpaid carer.

General Information

Volunteering
Voluntary Sector organisations wishing to offer to support

For individuals wishing to volunteer

  • You can volunteer your time and skills to support local needs:
  • Contact and register with your local volunteer centre or search for opportunities through Volunteer Scotland
  • Register to be a Community Reserve Volunteer through the British Red Cross, or go directly to the volunteer responder organisations that interests you and match your skills and experience.
  • You can also volunteer to respond and provide help and assistance in the local community in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak at Register as a volunteer (office.com)
  • While not every volunteer may be called upon to support the vaccination activities, there are plenty of local activities which will benefit from your help.

Your local NHS health board will be in touch with you to arrange your vaccination appointment when you are eligible.

It's important not to contact the NHS or your GP practice for a vaccination before then. 

The public have an important part to play:

  • Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
  • When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments; and
  • Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.

Contact

You will be contacted when it is your turn to get the vaccine.

If you have received an appointment for vaccination and need to make any changes please call the number noted in the appointment letter.

National Coronavirus Helpline

NHS Inform have set up a free helpline, 0800 030 8013, to help with any general advice on coronavirus or the coronavirus vaccine.

The helpline is open from 8.00am to 8.00pm each day.

 

 

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