Covid-19 Vaccine - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

National Vaccination Programme

How do I know what vaccines I need and when?

The NHS website has all the information you need.

Alternatively, the Public Health Team (  can answer any questions you may have.

Do I need to wait for a GP to invite me?

No, you can attend a walk in centre without an invitation. Just check in advance that you are eligible for the vaccination to avoid a wasted trip.

Why are you postponing second doses?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection after two weeks – 89% for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 74% for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. 

This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save live, and the data is now compelling showing that the vaccines are more effective with a longer gap between the doses.

Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for it at the right time.

Why aren’t BAME groups being prioritised?  

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.

Throughout the pandemic increasing attention has been given to reducing health inequalities and we have invested more than £4 million into research into Covid-19 and ethnic disparities so that we can go further.

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