Covid-19 vaccination programme – what you need to know

Latest update 26 January 2021: Extension to patients 70+ and clinically extremely vulnerable

The NHS has confirmed that COVID-19 vaccinations can now be offered to cohorts 3 (75 to 79-year-olds) and 4 (70 to 74-year-olds and the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable under 70).

As well as continuing to prioritise people over 80, we are starting to invite patients aged 70 and above and those in the clinically extremely vulnerable groups. However, these won’t all happen at once.

Please continue to be patient and await further contact from your GP surgery or the organisation they have asked to carry out their vaccination service. This will be by text or telephone. Please be aware that if you receive an email, text message or phone call that looks as if it is from the NHS but you are asked to provide financial or other personal details, this is a scam). We will never ask you for payment of any kind.

You might also receive a letter from NHS England inviting you to book at our mass vaccination site in Epsom, or other larger venues, if you prefer. If you don’t want to travel to Epsom, or any of the other venues offered by NHS England, that’s fine, you can simply wait for your GP service to offer you a more local venue.

Please make sure your practice has your up-to-date contact details, preferably a mobile phone number. You can submit any updated information via our change of details form.

What you need to know – introduction

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. An effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from coronavirus.

Following extensive safety trials and authorisation by the independent regulator (the MHRA), effective COVID-19 vaccines are now available for free in the UK. The vaccination programme has already started in Surrey Heartlands and we are working hard to reach everyone who is eligible as quickly as vaccine supplies allow.

An independent group of experts (Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation) has recommended that the NHS first offers vaccines to those at higher risk of catching Covid-19 and of suffering serious complications or dying from the virus. Read the latest guidance on priority groups on GOV.UK: Joint Committee on Vaccinatin and Immunisation

How you will get your vaccine

GP practices are working together to vaccinate patients, so you might not be contacted by your usual practice, and you might need to go to a different location for the vaccination itself. You will be told where to attend when you are invited. When you have had your vaccination you will be told when you will need to go back for your second dose.

You might also be invited directly by NHS England (via letter) to book an appointment at our larger site at Epsom Racecourse (or other larger venues). If you don’t want to attend one of these larger venues that’s fine, you don’t need to do anything, simply wait for your GP service to contact you.

You might know others of a similar age or in a similar priority group who have been invited for their vaccination already; that doesn’t mean that you are a lower priority or have been missed, please be patient and we will be in touch.

NHS teams are working hard to vaccinate as many people in the priority group as quickly as possible. In the coming weeks many more people will be invited, but it is only the start of the programme and it will take time to work through everyone.

More information available

More information and the answers to many common questions can be found at: Covid-19 Vaccination Services in Surrey.

If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, you can email the local NHS directly at: syheartlandsccg.vaccination@nhs.net.

We all have an important part to play to help the NHS:

  • Please do not contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you.
  • When you are contacted, please attend your appointments.

In the meantime, we cannot let down our guard. Please follow the rules to stop the spread of coronavirus.