First phase of the programme
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved for use in the UK and is being given to people in order of priority, as agreed by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
The vaccine is being offered first to people most at risk from Coronavirus including:
- people who live in care homes and care home workers;
- people aged 80 and over;
- health and social care workers in England.
In Hertfordshire, it is being delivered at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and at local vaccination services run by GPs in west Hertfordshire.
When will I get the vaccine?
It will take quite a few weeks to invite all those in the priority groups to have their vaccination.
To help the NHS deliver the vaccine in a safe and effective way, please follow these guidelines:
- Don’t contact the hospital or your GP about the vaccine; the NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.
- When you are contacted, please attend your booked appointments. You will need to have two doses of the vaccine, at least 21 days apart.
The protection offered by the vaccine will not take effect until some time after the second dose. It is really important to continue washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, wearing a face covering and keeping a safe distance apart from people, even after having your vaccination.
Is it safe?
The vaccine has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Approved Coronavirus vaccines have gone through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through.
The UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world and vaccines are only used if they are approved by the MHRA.
The MHRA has been monitoring every stage of coronavirus vaccine development and so far thousands of people have been given a coronavirus vaccine with no serious side effects or complications reported.