The COVID-19 vaccination is the largest vaccine programme in the history of the NHS. We understand that residents have many questions and queries about the vaccines being used and how to access a vaccination. Please see below our FAQs and Helpline information for more complex queries. 

Frequently Asked Questions About The Vaccine

We understand that you may feel anxious while waiting to be vaccinated or receive a booster jab; we have outlined answers to some frequently asked questions below. A reminder that you will be contacted or able to book online when you become eligible, so please do not call your GP practice to request a vaccination.

Click each of the tabs to see a list of questions

[Last updated: 21st December 2021]

The pandemic is over, isn’t it? Why should I get a vaccine if I haven’t already?

The pandemic isn’t over, and cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the UK with increasing pressure on NHS health and social care services. Vaccination along with infection control measures like hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing remain the only way out of the pandemic.

Covid can affect anyone at any age and some people can suffer serious complications if they become infected, leading to increased hospitalisations and death, as well as long term complications like Long COVID.

The impact increased hospitalisations related to COVID-19 have on the NHS  effects everyone’s ability to access healthcare as COVID-19 cases fill A&E and beds in hospitals, as well as ambulances, and routine care and operations are delayed or cancelled as a consequence. All of this increases workloads and pressure on an already overstretched General Practice / Primary Care workforce as winter pressures rise with seasonal illnesses in children and adults also rising.

Even if you think your risk is low, there’s still a chance you can catch COVID-19 and pass it on to people around you, even if you have no symptoms. The more people who have the vaccine, the less opportunity there is for the virus to transmit.

We are also still learning about Long COVID, and it does not appear that the chance of having long-term symptoms is linked to how unwell you were when you first caught the virus.

People with immune system disorders may not respond as well to the vaccine, and a very small number of people who are at risk of COVID-19 cannot have the vaccine. These people have to rely on the rest of us getting vaccinated to help protect them.

If so many people have had the vaccine, why do I need to have it?

Millions of people have now been vaccinated against Covid-19, but millions also remain unvaccinated.

Since the start of the pandemic it has been debated what number or percentage of the population need to be vaccinated (or to have natural immunity from catching the illness) to declare the pandemic over. However with increased transmission rates seen with the Delta variant of COVID-19 (and other variants circulating in the UK and across the world), and many other factors, the reality isn’t as simple.

The vaccine remains the best defence against the virus, so the sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you’ll begin to protect yourself and your community. Vaccinating as many people as possible should reduce the levels of local infections too, which continue to rise in North Tyneside.

All of the Covid vaccines that have been approved for use in the UK are effective against the disease, and there’s increasing evidence they reduce transmission of the virus. Vaccinating as many people as possible should reduce local levels of infection and allow restrictions to ease.

More of the latest information about this can be read at the Office for National Statistics website.

What are the latest numbers of COVID-19 cases in North Tyneside?

October 15th Public Health Update:

With an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, North Tyneside Director of Public Health is calling on residents to take care and follow health advice.

The number of cases in North Tyneside has remained steady in recent months, thanks to the efforts of the public and with high vaccination take-up in the borough.

However, in the last week, there has been a sharp increase – from around 350 cases per 100,000 of the population to 500 per 100,000.

In response, North Tyneside Director of Public Health, Wendy Burke, is asking the public to do all they can to minimise the spread.

The latest advice from North Tyneside’s Director of Public Health can be read here on North Tyneside’s Council’s website

Should I get my 2nd dose of vaccine? What about boosters?

Why do I need two doses for my Primary Course of vaccine?

Research shows that you get the best protection from two doses of Covid vaccine (8 – 12 weeks apart). Whilst your first dose of vaccine gives you some protection, particularly against severe disease, your second dose gives you stronger and longer-lasting protection against the virus.

If you are due your 2nd dose you can book it online now through the National Booking Service or attend a walk-in service that is convenient to you (see introduction to our FAQ section ‘Booking Your Covid Vaccine.’)

Why are boosters needed?

A coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Who can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine?

Booster vaccine doses will be available on the NHS, starting with the people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a 2nd dose of a vaccine at least 3 months ago (> 91 days).

At the moment this includes:

  • people aged 18 and over (operational on the National Booking System from 15/12/21)
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose. Other age groups will be offered a booster dose in the coming weeks and months.

For more information on eligibility and how to book your COVID-19 booster vaccine click here.

Should I get my 2nd dose of AstraZeneca vaccine?

Yes. You get the best protection from two doses. Anyone who has had their first AstraZeneca dose, except those who have experienced blood clots with low platelets should get their second dose.

For the AstraZeneca vaccine, side effects are generally less common after the second dose than after the first dose. There have been extremely rare cases of blood clots following the first dose of the vaccine, and an even smaller number of cases following a second dose.

Whilst your first dose of vaccine gives you some protection against severe disease, having your second dose gives you stronger and long-lasting protection against the virus.

What if I don’t want to have my 2nd dose of vaccine if I have to have AstraZeneca?

The latest advice we have been given from MHRA and the Government does allow for a different vaccine to be given to complete 1st and 2nd doses (a complete primary vaccination course) if a person is unlikely to attend for a 2nd dose or is at immediate high risk of COVID-19 infection.

What this means practically is that if you had AstraZeneca as your 1st dose, and do not want to receive a 2nd dose of AstraZeneca, you can receive Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as your 2nd dose.

Please book a vaccine appointment or attend a walk-in clinic where Pfizer vaccine is available (or AstraZeneca if this is the only 2nd dose you will consider) and discuss your situation with a health professional. The NHS ‘Find a walk in vaccine centre‘ tool allows you to see the vaccine types available.

What is an NHS COVID Pass, and why might I need to have one?

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way. It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 vaccine (or vaccines) when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.

You may be asked to demonstrate your COVID-19 status at places that use the service in England as a condition of entry to a venue or event. As of Wednesday 15 December, this will be become mandatory in certain settings in England (and is already part of regulations in Scotland and Wales).

What can you use the COVID Pass for?

1) International travel

You can show the vaccination records contained within your NHS COVID Pass as proof of your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad. In addition to your NHS COVID Pass, you will need to follow additional rules when travelling abroad.

Read an overview of all the things you need to do to travel abroad from England

You should check that the name on your passport matches how it is displayed by NHS COVID Pass at least 2 weeks before you travel. If the names are different, contact your GP practice to have your details updated.

The government is working with the devolved administrations to ensure everyone in the UK is able to show their COVID-19 status.

If you have not been fully vaccinated, you should continue to follow the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to, such as proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival. You should carefully research the requirements of your destination country before travelling.

Further details on entry requirements can be found on the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages and on the websites of your destination country.

See advice about travelling abroad from England during the pandemic

2) Domestic use in England

The government has recently announced that certain businesses in England will have to use the NHS COVID Pass scheme as a condition of entry.

This includes that have the following characteristics:

  • crowded indoor settings such as nightclubs and music venues
  • large unstructured outdoor events such as business events and festivals
  • very large structured events such as business events, music and spectator sport events

This means that you will need to show your NHS COVID Pass – which shows proof of a full course of recognised vaccine (two doses, the second of which must be administered at least 14 days ago) or a negative lateral flow or PCR test result – at these venues.

Further guidance on how organisations use the NHS COVID Pass.

How would I prove that I've had a COVID-19 vaccine?

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.

It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 vaccine (or vaccines) when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.

You may be asked to demonstrate your COVID-19 status as a condition of entry to a venue or event. As of Wednesday 15 December, this will be become mandatory in certain settings in England (and is already part of regulations in Scotland and Wales).

Please note: GP practices CANNOT provide you with an NHS COVID Pass (vaccination status certification.)

  • You can access your NHS COVID Pass through the free NHS App on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 status will be shown within the NHS App.
  • You need to be registered with a GP in England to use the NHS App. If you’re not registered with a GP, you can still access the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS website (NHS.UK) or via 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’) to request a letter.
  • We ask that you don’t call your GP practice about this, as our practices are unable to assist.

What do I do if my vaccine record is missing or incorrect?

If you find that the NHS App and/or the NHS COVID Pass does not accurately reflect your Covid-19 vaccination record the Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS) aims to resolve missing or incorrect vaccination records for people vaccinated in England who have a current NHS number and are registered with a GP practice in England.

Please call 119 and ask the call agent to make a referral to the VDRS team on your behalf. The VDRS team will then call you back within 5 working days.

PLEASE NOTE: This service cannot currently resolve vaccination record queries related to Covid-19 vaccines administered overseas.

What do I do if I had my vaccine in a pop-up clinic and it doesn't show in the NHS App?

In North Tyneside several pop-up clinics were operating over the Spring / Summer and into Autumn. If you had a vaccine at a pop-up clinic and your vaccine record on the NHS App is incomplete or inaccurate please refer to the table below to find out who the provider was for you jab.

Pop up site Timeframe Provider
Shiremoor / Northumberland Park Spring Village Medical Group, Northumberland
North Shields Northumberland Square Spring Village Medical Group, Northumberland
Killingworth Spring Newcastle Hospitals
Quorum and Silverlink business park Summer iPharmacy
Whitley Bay Spanish City Summer Village Medical Group, Northumberland
Tynemouth Summer Pharmacy2U
North Shields Bedford Street August Pharmacy2U
TyneMet College September 2021 Pharmacy2U

Please then call 119 in the first instance, and ask the call agent to make a referral to the Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS team) on your behalf. The VDRS team will then call you back within 5 working days.

If 119 cannot help then please contact then please contact the TyneHealth Helpline  by either phoning 0191 486 2001 or you can email your query to tynehealth.vaccine@nhs.net

What do I do if I had my COVID-19 vaccine(s) overseas?

Please Note: 119 and the Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS) cannot resolve vaccination record queries related to COVID-19 Vaccines administered overseas.

Proof of vaccination

You must be able to prove that you’ve been fully vaccinated under a vaccination programme with approved proof of certification. If you live in England, you can prove your vaccination status using the NHSCOVID Pass.

If you were vaccinated in another country or territory, the table below gives examples of what you can use as proof of vaccination.

Vaccine certificates only

If the table below says you can use a ‘Vaccine certificate’ as proof of vaccination, the following rules apply. The vaccine certificate must be issued by a national or state-level public health authority, be in English, French or Spanish, and include as a minimum:

  • your forename and surname(s)
  • your date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

Verify your vaccination status in the passenger locator form

You can verify your vaccination status in the UK passenger locator form if you are using either:

  • the NHS COVID Pass
  • the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC)

You should have your vaccine certificate available in case you are asked to show it.

The table below shows the countries and territories where you can use your EU DCC to verify your proof of vaccination on the passenger locator form. You can only do this if you are fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine.

Countries with an approved proof of vaccination (and examples of proof required)

The Government website with the full list of countries and territories with approved proof of vaccination for travel to England is available here. If you have proof of vaccination from a country or territory that is not on this list, or with a vaccine that is not listed, you must follow the rules for people who do not qualify as fully vaccinated.

Please sign up to Gov.uk for updates regarding this issue if you were vaccinated overseas and want to be kept up to date with any changes. We will update our FAQs also when / if anything changes with regards to the NHS COVID Pass on this issue.

How long do I need to wait after having COVID-19 Infection before getting a vaccine?

The UK Health Security Agency (formally Public Health England) have issued new guidance on the 22nd November advising that where people have had Covid-19 infection:

1) those people over 18 (or under 18 and at higher risk) will need to wait four weeks from the onset of symptoms or a positive test result before getting the vaccine

2) those people under 18, not at higher risk, will need to wait at least 12 weeks.

Who can get a Covid vaccine?

The national vaccination programme is now in Phase 3 and inviting everyone aged 12 years to get their vaccine.

The NHS is working on plans to offer:

  • a booster dose to everyone aged 18 years old and over (operational on the National Booking System from 15/12/21)
  • a booster dose to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system
  • a 2nd dose to all children aged 12 to 15 years old who are not already eligible

Please note that at the moment:

If you’re 18 years old or over and booking a 2nd dose, you can book it from 8 weeks after getting your 1st dose. If you’re 16 or 17 years old and booking a 2nd dose, you can book it from 12 weeks after getting your 1st dose.

Please Note: If you’re 12 to 17 years old and at higher risk from COVID-19, you can get a 2nd dose from 8 weeks after your 1st dose at a walk-in vaccination site.

Anyone who hasn’t yet accessed a COVID-19 vaccine and wants one, will always be able to access one. More information about who can access COVID vaccinations is available on the NHS website.

How can I get a Covid vaccine in North Tyneside?

North Tyneside residents aged 12 and above can now book their vaccine appointment online via the National Booking Service, or by phoning 119. You can also use the service to cancel or change a COVID vaccination.

Some sites in North Tyneside also offer walk-in vaccine services – for 1st and 2nd doses as well as booster vaccinations – where no appointments or pre-booking are required. Find the latest walk in clinics on the NHS ‘Find a walk-in Vaccination site’ tool. 

PLEASE NOTE: Under 18s must check that the walk-in site they wish to attend is able to vaccinate their age group – sites will either offer vaccinations to 18+, 16+ or 12+. Young people aged 12 to 15 MUST be accompanied by an adult family member – parent, grandparent, adult sibling – to get their vaccination. 

What about young people and children at high risk from Covid-19?

Some young people and children aged 12 to 17 are being offered 2 doses of the vaccine if either:

  • they live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • they have a condition that means they’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

Conditions that mean they may be at high risk and eligible for 2 doses are:

  • a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities (or they’re on the learning disability register)
  • a condition that means they’re more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)

Those who are eligible for 2 doses of the vaccine will be contacted by their GP to arrange their appointments.

In North Tyneside the majority of vaccinations for this group of patients are taking place at the Oxford Centre in Longbenton.

Other ways to get 2 doses if you are aged 16 or 17

What about 3rd doses for those with weakened immune systems?

A 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses. This includes people who had or have:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections
  • a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for a 3rd dose

If you’re eligible for a 3rd dose, the NHS will let you know when and where to have the vaccine.

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine 3rd dose

Please note: The 3rd vaccine dose for people with a weakened immune system is not a booster dose.

Are certain cohorts getting a third vaccine dose in addition to a booster?

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI)  issued guidance on the 3rd September 2021 recommending a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the primary course of vaccination for people who are severely immunosuppressed (as defined within the JCVI guidance). This is being offered as a routine part of vaccination – separate to the booster programme – to people aged 12 and above who are severely immunosuppressed due to treatment for conditions such as cancer or for those with long-term chronic conditions, where their immunity is affected by medication.

This third dose of the vaccine will be offered eight weeks after their 2nd dose of the vaccine to help reduce the risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. GPs and consultants will be identifying patients who meet this criteria. This 3rd dose is not the same as the current booster dose programme and is instead part of the primary course of immunisation. A booster jab is also expected to be offered 6 months after the 3rd dose but we are currently awaiting JCVI guidance on this. Please note, Guidance for household contacts of those who are immunosuppressed has not changed. They are recommended to be vaccinated with their first and second doses, in line with JCVI advice.

How has the Covid vaccine been rolled out in North Tyneside?

Phase 1

From the start of the vaccination programme across the UK all vaccination services have been following Government guidance and JCVI priority groups starting with those most at-risk of severe covid disease:

  1. All adult care home residents and staff
  2. All those aged 80 years and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. All those aged 75 years and over
  4. All those aged 70 years and over and clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)
  5. All those 65 years of age and over
  6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality (clinically vulnerable)
  7. All those 60 years of age and over
  8. All those 55 years of age and over
  9. All those 50 years of age and over

GP-led Local Vaccination Services began vaccinating the most vulnerable in our community in December 2020.

It is estimated that those in priority groups 1 – 9 represent around 99% of preventable deaths from Covid-19. The target to have invited all of these groups for their first vaccination dose by the end of April was met and 1st and 2nd vaccinations continued to be delivered over the summer.

Phase 2

This phase of the vaccine rollout in North Tyneside saw under 50 years olds invited to get the vaccine in the following age order, through a mixture of Pharmacy-led walk-in service provision or as booked appointments on-line through the National Booking Service or by phoning 119. Surge testing and vaccination through pop-up sites also contributed to the rollout in this phase as 2nd dose intervals were reduced from 12 weeks to 8 weeks:

  1. 40 to 49 years
  2. 30 to 39 years
  3. 18 years and over
  4. 16 and 17 year olds (currently 1st dose only)

Anyone who is 16 years or above who hasn’t yet had their COVID-19 vaccine can and should book their appointments now through the National Booking Service or attend a walk in service.

Those aged 18 or above who haven’t yet had their 2nd dose after receiving their 1st more than eight weeks ago, should also book a second dose appointment or attend a walk in service

Phase 3

From September 2021 the rollout of the vaccination programme moved to Phase 3, with GPs, Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and Pharmacy-led sites delivering booster vaccinations to those eligible and moving down the age cohorts to include 12 to 15-year-olds (currently 1st dose only.)

Parents and guardians will get a letter with information about when the vaccine will be offered to their child. Most children will be given their vaccine at school, but the National Booking Service has also now opened up to this age group.

Why is the NHS vaccinating some groups before others?

The numbers needed to vaccinate per life saved go up as we move down the priority groups. These figures come from analysis of the pandemic so far and are completely independent.

Getting our most vulnerable vaccinated as quickly as we could, while transmission rates were high, undoubtedly saved lives.

The data gathered from the vaccination programme so far supports this phased approach to the rollout, with rates of serious illness and hospitalisation being significantly reduced in those who have been vaccinated.

Public Health England (PHE) analysis on direct and indirect impact of the Covid vaccination programme up to June 2021 indicates that vaccination has reduced both infection rates (reduced by 7,151,000) and deaths (reduced by 27,200) from Covid-19. More about this analysis can be found here.

Why do I have to wait for my vaccination?

The NHS is offering 1st and 2nd Covid vaccinations (and now boosters) to those at greatest risk from Covid-19 first, in line with recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI). 

The first groups offered vaccinations were adult care home residents and workers, frontline health and social care staff and people aged 70 and over, and those who are extremely clinically vulnerable (or shielding).

GP-led Local Vaccination Services in North Tyneside led the vaccination of cohorts 1-9 in Phase 1 (those aged 50 and over and who are clinically vulnerable as defined by the JCVI)

It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable deaths from COVID-19.

I work for the NHS / in social care, how can I access a vaccine (or booster dose)?

Vaccination of patient-facing health and social care workers has been co-ordinated through hospital hubs and employers, as well as the nationally run mass vaccination centres and local vaccination services.

Anyone who is an eligible front line worker who hasn’t yet had the vaccine (or a booster) should book one through the National Booking Service, or by phoning 119.

I am housebound, how can I get the vaccine (or booster dose)?

Our local GP and Community Nursing teams have been vaccinating housebound patients from the priority groups from the start of 2021.

Now that COVID-19 booster doses are due as well as flu vaccines for those that are housebound, the community nursing teams are extremely busy trying to get to all those that are eligible.

GPs and community nursing teams will be in touch to arrange a booster dose when it is due. 

Please note: If your booster dose is due and you (or a family member or person that you care for) are eligible and are housebound, but haven’t heard from your GP or Community Nurse, please contact the TyneHealth Vaccine Helpline by either phoning 0191 486 2001 or you can email your query to tynehealth.vaccine@nhs.net

Can I get a Covid vaccine privately?

No. Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS for the moment.

Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police 101 service and/or Local Trading Standards.

How do I cancel and rebook an appointment?

To cancel or rebook an appointment you made on the National Booking System, you will need:

Then: 

  1. Go to National Booking System online via the NHS website OR you can phone 119, between 7am – 11pm.
  2. Click manage my booking
  3. You will need to CANCEL your booking BEFORE you can get a new appointment
  4. Enter your personal details
  5. Select a location and date that works for you. If your choice are limited, you can try again later as more appointments are added during the day.

How do I get a vaccine if I’m not online or have communication difficulties or hearing problems?

If you cannot book appointments online through the National Booking Service, you can call 119 free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.

If you are attending a GP-led service locally then you will be able to book a translator through your GP practice.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.

In addition to the above, there are a number of walk-in vaccination services in North Tyneside where no appointment is necessary.

These walk in clinics are regularly posted on our TyneHealth social media pages and on the North Tyneside Council website. We are working with our community partners at making this information available to those who cannot access the above information on-line through leaflet drops to households and local business, schools and community centres.

What Covid vaccines are available in the UK?

A total of four vaccines have been approved for use in the UK having been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA):

Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are available, and all three are being used across the UK for 1st and 2nd doses (primary courses) of COVID-19 vaccine.

Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine to give the greatest immune response and protection from your booster. This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses.

Please Note: some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, but this is in exceptional circumstances only and involves a health care professional decision on a case by case basis.

A fourth vaccine, Janssen, has also just been approved for use in the UK. We understand supply will arrive in the UK of this one-dose vaccine later in the year or early in 2022, and will update further as we know more

All of the vaccines currently being delivered in the UK have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection.

Can people choose which vaccine they want?

You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have.

When you book, or attend a walk-in vaccination service, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you based on your age, any underlying health conditions, and whether you are pregnant.

Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines. For example:

  • if you’re pregnant or under 40 you’ll usually be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
  • if you’re under 18, you’ll only be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Please Note: Booster vaccines do not have to be the same as your 1st and 2nd dose and will be Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna (unless you are unable to receive these vaccines, in which case a decision will be made by a healthcare professional, on a case by case basis, as to whether to use Oxford/AstraZeneca as your booster.)

Is the Moderna vaccine being used for all boosters?

As of December 2021, the booster programme is now being led by Moderna vaccine, although you may also still receive Pfizer/BioNTech as a booster. Both of these vaccines have been recommended by the JCVI and MHRA since the booster dose plans were first announced. Please see more information about the Moderna vaccine on our information PDF below.

Please Note: Some people may be given the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as a a booster dose. This will only be considered in exceptional circumstances following a decision by a health professional, on a case by case basis.

Can I have a different vaccine for my 2nd dose?

You should have the same vaccine for both doses of your primary vaccination course (1st and 2nd doses), unless you had serious side effects (such as a serious allergic reaction), after your 1st dose.

However, the latest advice we have been given from MHRA and the Government does allow for a different vaccine to be given to complete 1st and 2nd doses (a complete primary vaccination course) if a person is unlikely to attend for a 2nd dose or is at immediate high risk of COVID-19 infection.

What this means practically is that if you had AstraZeneca as your 1st dose, and do not want to receive a 2nd dose of AstraZeneca, you can receive Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as your 2nd dose.

Please book a vaccine appointment on the National Booking System or attend a walk-in clinic and discuss your situation with a health professional.

Are Covid vaccines safe?

Yes. The NHS would not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it was safe to do so. The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety. Millions of people have been given a Covid-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects have been very rare.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines, please make an appointment at a Local Vaccination Service where health professionals will be available to address your concerns.

How have these vaccines been tested?

All the vaccines have been through clinical trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers. This is a rigorous testing process which produces evidence of the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

The MHRA, the body that regulates medicines in the UK, carried out a rigorous scientific assessment of all of the available evidence for each of the vaccines and took advice from the Commission on Human Medicines before approving the vaccines for use in the UK. The MHRA has determined that all vaccines are safe and effective in the fight against Covid.

Currently the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has advised that it is preferable for people under 40 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca.

The MHRA has a legal duty to constantly assess all of the vaccines being used. A safety monitoring process is in place, and the MHRA regularly publishes reports on Covid vaccine safety.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines, please make an appointment at a Local Vaccination Service where health professionals will be available to address your concerns.

Should I be worried about blood clots?

Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against Covid. For the vast majority of people, the benefits of the vaccine in providing protection against the serious consequences of Covid far outweigh any risks.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines, please make an appointment at a Local Vaccination Service where health professionals will be available to address your concerns.

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of an extremely rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

It’s not yet clear why it affects some people.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. For people aged 40 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

For people under 40 without other health conditions, it’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting on GOV.UK

Urgent advice: Call 111 immediately if:

You get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that’s unusual for you along with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

Should I be worried about heart inflammation (myocarditis)?

Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against Covid. For the vast majority of people, the benefits of the vaccine in providing protection against the serious consequences of Covid far outweigh any risks.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines, please make an appointment at a Local Vaccination Service where health professionals will be available to address your concerns.

Heart inflammation (myocarditis)

There have been rare cases of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) reported after COVID-19 vaccination. Most people who had this recovered following rest and simple treatments.

Get urgent medical advice if you have any of these symptoms within a few days of being vaccinated:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart (palpitations)

Find out about the side effects for the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the UK:

Will I get side effects from the vaccine?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and only last 2-3 days, and not everyone gets them.

You will always be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns about vaccination with a health professional across all our local vaccination sites in North Tyneside and will be given written information to take away with you about the vaccine you have had and any potential side effects.

Very common side effects in the first day or two include: 

  • having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection
  • feeling tired
  • headache, aches and chills

You can rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better.

Don’t let side effects put you off having the second dose, as you need that to get the best protection.

Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for two to three days, a high temperature for longer than a couple of days is unusual and may indicate you have Covid or another infection. If your symptoms don’t get better, or seem to get worse, or if you are concerned, seek advice by calling NHS 111.

More information

GOV.UK: what to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination

GOV.UK: information for children and young people on what to expect after COVID-19 vaccination

How do I report side effects from a Covid vaccine?

If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card) so that they can assess you properly.

You can also report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card scheme. You can do this online by searching Coronavirus Yellow Card or by downloading the Yellow Card app https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

Will the vaccine effect my fertility?

Research has shown that the vaccines don’t affect men’s or women’s fertility. They don’t have any ingredients in them that would affect fertility and there is no likely way they could.

It’s entirely normal for new medicines not to be recommended for pregnant women, or those planning a pregnancy, when they are first issued because normally, they’re not initially tested on this group.

Now that more data is available, the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations has updated its advice and says there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after Covid vaccination. Pregnant and non-pregnant women are being invited for a vaccine at the same time, based on their age.

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding? Should I get the Covid vaccine?

Most recent data shows that since May, almost 98% of pregnant people admitted to hospital with COVID19 had not had either of their COVID19 vaccines.

This is true at a local level too – we are seeing some very poorly pregnant people being admitted to intensive care units across the locality with COVID19 who haven’t had their vaccines.

Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy for both mother and baby, including admission to intensive care and premature birth.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives have both recommended vaccination as one of the best defences for pregnant women against severe COVID19 infection, while the independent JCVI confirms the jab has been shown to be effective and safe for women carrying a baby.

Midwives and GPs across the country will be encouraging pregnant people to get the vaccine as it is the right thing to do for mum and baby. A decision aid has also been produced to help with these discussions.

This is an important part of the national vaccination programme that will hopefully see all of our communities armed with the best defence against COVID19

To support pregnant people across North Tyneside who are still making a decision about their COVID-19 vaccine, North Tyneside Council has partnered up with Northumbria Healthcare and North Tyneside CCG to pilot ‘joined up’ walk in vaccine clinics where a midwife will be present to offer advice.

Which Covid vaccine will I get if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

You can be vaccinated against COVID-19 if:

  • you’re pregnant or think you might be
  • you’re breastfeeding
  • you’re trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future

If you’re pregnant

If you’re pregnant and have not had a COVID-19 vaccine yet, it’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because these vaccines have been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified.

If you’ve already had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for your 1st dose and did not have any serious side effects, you should have it again for your 2nd dose.

None of the Covid vaccines are live vaccines and cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

If you’re breastfeeding

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccines and cannot pass it to your baby through your breast milk.

If you’re breastfeeding, the vaccines you can have depends on your age:

  • if you’re 40 or over, you can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines
  • if you’re under 40 and do not have a health condition that increases your risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, it’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine

The Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are preferable in people under 40 because of an extremely rare blood clotting problem linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccine side effects

More information

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/2021-02-24-combined-info-sheet-and-decision-aid.pdf

GOV.UK: COVID-19 vaccine advice if you’re pregnant, may get pregnant or are breastfeeding

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility

Can the vaccine give me Covid?

You can’t catch Covid from the vaccine. Having the vaccine will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.

It may take a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine. And like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get Covid despite having a vaccination, but if they do it should be less severe. You need to have both doses for maximum protection.

Whilst you can’t catch Covid from the vaccine, it’s possible to have caught it and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment. If you have symptoms, it’s important to get a Covid test. It’s still important to follow guidelines, even after receiving the jab.

Should people who have already had Covid get the vaccine?

The MHRA have advised that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19.

It is advised that if you have had Covid-19 infection you need to wait four weeks since the start of your symptoms or positive test before you get the Covid vaccine.

Will getting the Covid vaccine protect me from flu?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. We would advise anyone who hasn’t had a flu vaccine, who is eligible for one when flu season arrives, to get one.

More information about getting the Flu vaccine in 2021 / 22 is available on our Flu Vaccine Information page.

Are there any people who shouldn’t have the vaccine?

Allergic reactions

Most people with allergies (including food or penicillin allergies) can be vaccinated against COVID-19.Tell healthcare staff before you’re vaccinated if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis). They may ask what you’re allergic to, to make sure you can have the vaccine.

Serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are very rare.

If you do have a reaction, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

If you have a serious allergic reaction to the 1st dose of a vaccine, you should not have the same vaccine for your 2nd dose. Referral to an allergy specialist is likely to be arranged through your GP to discuss any rare allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccines.

Blood Clotting

Anyone who experienced cerebral or other major blood clots occurring with low levels of platelets after their first vaccine dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (an extremely rare side effect) should not have their second dose. Anyone who did not have these side effects should come forward for their second dose when invited.

The MHRA recently confirmed that the evidence to date does not suggest that the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca causes venous thromboembolism without a low platelet count. It is important to note that this type of blood clot together with lowered platelets can rarely occur naturally in unvaccinated people as well as in people with COVID-19 disease.

While the MHRA continues to investigate these cases, as a precautionary measure anyone that develops these symptoms below after vaccination is advised to seek prompt medical advice:

  • shortness of breath, chest or persistent abdominal pain, leg swelling
  • blurred vision, confusion or seizures
  • unexplained pin-prick rash or bruising beyond the injection site

For more information about this advice from MHRA please click the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-issues-new-advice-concluding-a-possible-link-between-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-and-extremely-rare-unlikely-to-occur-blood-clots#history

I am currently unwell with Covid-19 symptoms, can I get the vaccine?

People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the vaccine until they have recovered, and should book a test and self-isolate.

The UK Health Security Agency (formally Public Health England) have issued new guidance on the 22nd November advising that where people have had Covid-19 infection:

1) those people over 18 (or under 18 and at higher risk) will need to wait four weeks from the onset of symptoms or a positive test result before getting the vaccine

2) those people under 18, not at higher risk, will need to wait at least 12 weeks.

Who will receive a booster dose?

After the latest government announcement booster doses will be available to everyone aged 18+ who have had a 2nd dose of a vaccine at least 3 months ago (> 91 days)

Those currently eligible includes:

  • people aged 18 and over (Operational on the National Booking System from 15/12/21)
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

For more information on eligibility and how to book your COVID-19 booster vaccine click here.

Which COVID-19 vaccines are being used for booster doses?

Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine. This advice is based on the latest available scientific evidence and the ‘Green Book’ published by Public Health England that underpins all vaccination programmes in the UK. As of December 2021, the booster programme is now being led by Moderna vaccine, although you may also still receive Pfizer/BioNTech as a booster. There’s more information about the Moderna vaccine in the ‘Vaccines’ section of these FAQs.

This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses and some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

Please Note: The use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as a a booster dose will only be considered in exceptional circumstances following a decision by a health professional, on a case by case basis.

Is the Moderna vaccine being used for all boosters?

As of December 2021, the booster programme is now being led by Moderna vaccine, although you may also still receive Pfizer/BioNTech as a booster. Both of these vaccines have been recommended by the JCVI and MHRA since the booster dose plans were first announced. Please see more information about the Moderna vaccine on our information PDF below.

Please Note: Some people may be given the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as a a booster dose. This will only be considered in exceptional circumstances following a decision by a health professional, on a case by case basis.

How will I be invited for my booster dose?

Those eligible will be invited for a booster either by your GP practice and/or by the national NHS teams. This will be either by telephone, letter, text or email depending upon your contact preferences. Please do not contact your GP about getting a vaccine unless they have contacted you.

Where you can go for your booster is different to when you had your first doses.

  • Your Local GP Practice will be inviting those eligible for a booster to book their jab through a local GP-led vaccination service. If you want to be vaccinated by your GP practice team, then different sites are available to you depending on where you are registered. Please refer to the next question and see the table within to see where GP-led vaccination sites are running from across North Tyneside.
  • The National Booking System: When you become eligible you can also book a booster dose via the National Booking Service online (or by calling 119.)  The national system  provides access to two GP-led sites in North Tyneside: Royal Quays in North Shields and the Oxford Centre in Longbenton, as well as providing access to 25 community pharmacy sites across North Tyneside, so you will have lots of choice of where you can attend.  You can also book at sites outside North Tyneside if this is more convenient for you.

Please note: if you are eligible for a booster dose but haven’t yet received notification, and it’s been more than 3 months (>91 days) since your 2nd dose, the Government advice is to book your booster through the National Booking Service, or attend a walk-in service that is delivering boosters which can be found on the NHS website using the ‘Find a walk-in vaccination centre’ tool.

Will my GP practice be administering booster COVID vaccines?

Yes – all of the GP practices in North Tyneside are inviting patients who are eligible to get a booster dose via their GP-led vaccine service.

Some GP practices are working together in their Primary Care Network (PCN) to offer booster vaccines at centrally located hubs (The Royal Quays Outlet in North Shields and the Oxford Centre in Longbenton are also bookable on the National Booking System) whilst some GP practices are doing them at their individual surgeries or other community sites. Please refer to the table below for details.

When using the National Booking System the postcode you put in filters for the closest vaccination centres; so if you want to book a specific centre like Royal Quays or the Oxford Centre, please use the postcode of that centre when using the system.

North Shields

GP Practice Booster Site
Collingwood Surgery Unit 30 Royal Quays Outlet Centre
Nelson Health Group Unit 30 Royal Quays Outlet Centre
Redburn Park Medical Centre Unit 30 Royal Quays Outlet Centre
Priory Medical Group Unit 30 Royal Quays Outlet Centre
Spring Terrace Health Centre Spring Terrace Health Centre

North West

GP Practice Booster Site
Lane End Surgery Oxford Centre
West Farm Surgery Oxford Centre
Wellspring Medical Practice Oxford Centre
Wideopen Medical Centre Oxford Centre
Mallard Medical Practice Oxford Centre
Swarland Avenue Surgery Oxford Centre
Woodlands Park Medical Centre Oxford Centre
Stephenson Park Health Group Oxford Centre
Northumberland Park Oxford Centre

Wallsend

GP Practice Booster Site
Bewicke Medical Centre Bewicke Medical Centre or Langdale Centre
Park Road Medical Practice Park Road Medical Practice
Portugal Place Portugal Place
Village Green Surgery Village Green Surgery

Whitley Bay

GP Practice Booster Site
Beaumont Park Unit 30 Royal Quays Outlet Centre
Whitley Bay Health Centre Unit 30 Royal Quays Outlet Centre
Marine Avenue Medical Centre Unit 30 Royal Quays Outlet Centre
Park Parade Surgery North Tyneside General Hospital Outpatients Department
49 Marine Avenue North Tyneside General Hospital Outpatients Department
Monkseaton Medical Centre Shiremoor Resource Centre
Bridge Medical Practice Shiremoor Resource Centre

Are all pharmacies doing boosters jabs?

No – only selected pharmacy sites are offering booster doses. There are however 25 community pharmacy sites available on the National Booking System across North Tyneside alone who are able to offer boosters, so you will have lots of choice of where you can attend.  There are also pharmacy sites outside North Tyneside and the larger vaccination centres where booster doses are also been administered, if this is more convenient for you.

Please note: the postcode you put into the National Booking System filters for the closest vaccination centres, so if you want to book a specific centre please use the postcode of that centre when using the system.

Community pharmacy sites in North Tyneside offering COVID-19 Booster Doses (and flu vaccines)

Site No. Pharmacy Site Name Postcode
1 Asda, Benton Road NE12 9SJ
2 Burn Terrace Pharmacy, Willington Quay NE28 7BJ
3 Burradon Pharmacy NE12 5UT
4 Coast Road Pharmacy NE28 9HP
5 Dennis Pharmacy, Willington Quay NE28 0AA
6 Fairmans High Street West, Wallsend NE28 8HU
7 Fairmans Whitley Road, Whitley Bay NE26 2SN
8 Forest Hall Pharmacy NE12 7HS
9 MailMyMeds, Unit 1 Ground Floor NE12 8EW
10 Marden Residents Association NE30 3QD
11 Monkseaton Methodist Church NE25 8AQ
12 Northumbria Uni, Coach Lane Campus, Benton NE7 7XA
13 Seaton Burn Pharmacy NE13 6EN
14 Seaton Pharmacy, Shiremoor Resource Centre NE27 0HJ
15 St Paul’s House, Willington Quay NE28 6NQ
16 Tesco, Norham Road, North Shields NE29 7UJ
17 The Cedarwood Trust, North Shields NE29 7QT
18 Unit 13-14 Collingwood Centre, North Shields NE29 9QR
19 Unit 26, Beacon Shopping Centre, North Shields NE29 6QF
20 Village Hotel, Silverlink North NE27 0BY
21 Wallsend Memorial Hall NE28 6RN
22 Welcome Health Pharmacy, Whitley Bay NE26 2SY
23 Well Pharmacy, Windsor Drive, High Howdon NE28 0PS
24 White Swan Centre, Killingworth NE12 6SS
25 Wideopen Pharmacy NE13 6LH

In addition, the GP-led vaccination centres at The Oxford Centre in Longbenton (NE12 8LT) and the Royal Quays Outlet in North Shields (NE29 6DW) can also be booked using the NHS National Booking Service.

Will I get my flu vaccine at the same time?

Those eligible for a flu vaccine will also be invited around the same time.  Where possible local vaccination services will try to offer both the flu vaccine and the Covid booster together, but this may not always be possible.  It is important that when you are invited for either vaccine you attend as soon as possible to improve immunity against both Covid and Flu as early as possible.

More about the 2021/ 22 flu vaccine programme can be found on our TyneHealth Flu Vaccine information page.

Will my booster dose show on my 'NHS COVID Pass' / Vaccination Record in the NHS App?

The NHS COVID Pass (vaccine status certification) for travel does not currently include COVID-19 booster vaccinations. The government is reviewing the implications and requirements of boosters for international travel certification. It is looking at whether and how booster vaccinations could be included in the NHS COVID Pass for travel.

You do not need a COVID-19 booster vaccination to get an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use in England.

We will update this page and section as soon as more information is available about booster doses and the NHS App / COVID Pass.

Please Note: it is possible to view your COVID-19 booster dose in your Electronic Medical Records held by your GP, accessible through on-line services. This is not an NHS COVID Pass (see above). More information on how to sign up for on-line services is available in the above link.

Where can I find out more?

Latest vaccine information will continue to be available and updated on our TyneHealth website and across our social media channels @TyneHealth on Facebook and Twitter or @TyneHealthNT on Instagram. 

More information about Covid-19, testing, vaccination and Public Health response and support available to residents through the local authority is available on the North Tyneside Council website.

Our partners in delivering communications around Covid and Vaccination in North Tyneside are: Healthwatch North TynesideNorth Tyneside CouncilVODA and the North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group 

More information is also available on the NHS website.

Vaccine Helpline and Email Support

Our Frequently Asked Questions above are regularly updated with the latest information about the vaccination programme, including latest medical, scientific and government advice. However, if you haven’t been able to resolve your vaccine query above, or it isn’t possible to book an appointment through the National Booking Service, online ‘Find a walk-in’ search or by phoning 119 then TyneHealth have launched a new centralised service for North Tyneside residents. This is design to improve access to find support for more complex vaccine queries and resolve booking issues.

How to get in touch

Phone: 0191 486 2001

or

Email: tynehealth.vaccine@nhs.net

This service is available from 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week