COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAMME: INVITATION TO BOOK As you will be aware, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has commenced a COVID-19 vaccination programme. Given limited supply of the vaccine in this early phase of the programme, we are offering appointments in strict priority groupings. We are pleased to inform you that you are now eligible to contact us to book your appointment. Please do not share this invitation with other colleagues, as it is important for us to be able to manage the numbers who are booking appointments. How do I book my appointment? Please contact our Booking Centre to make an appointment on: 029 2184 1234 (internal call: 41234) Booking Centre hours are 8.00am-8.00pm, 7 days a week. Due to the high volume of calls to this number, it may take several attempts before you are able to get through to someone to book an appointment. If anyone has any queries regarding their booking, they can contact the following email address: [email protected] What information do I need to provide when I book my appointment? Name Date of Birth Home address Contact Number Employer name Whether you have had any other vaccine in the last 7 days Emergency contact name and number Where will the vaccination take place? We are providing vaccinations at the Cardiff and Vale Therapy Centre, Splott Road, Cardiff CF24 2BZ. This venue has good transport links and car parking. The centre is open for appointments 7 days a week from 8.30am – 7.30pm. How long will it take? We want to prevent people from having to queue and so it is very important that you stick to the appointment time we give you. Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your allocated appointment time. We may ask you to wait a short while after your vaccination, approximately 15 minutes. How many injections will I need? Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine will be given in 2 doses on 2 separate occasions. You will be able to book your first appointment when you call, and your second at a later date, within 12 weeks. It is important that you attend both appointments to be fully vaccinated. People who have received the first jab will have a good level of protection. The data indicates that from three weeks after the first dose the vaccine provides a high level of protection from COVID-19, in the short term until the second dose. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection. Do I need to bring anything with me? You will need to bring some identification with you, along with a recent wage slip to confirm your position as a personal assistant, as well as a list of any medications you take. You will also need to bring a face covering (mask) to wear whilst you are in the vaccination venue in line with current guidance. We will also be ensuring that social distancing is observed whilst in the vaccination centre. What should I wear? Please wear loose clothing so that your upper arm can be easily exposed for the vaccination. Can I bring someone with me? We ask that where possible you attend your appointment alone. We do however understand that some people may require support to attend. What if I can’t attend the appointment? Please call the Booking Centre on: 02921 841234 to let us know and we will re-arrange your appointment. Please do not come to your appointment if you or a member of your household have a new continuous cough, loss of taste and/or smell or a high temperature, however mild. If you have symptoms, stay home and book a test straight away by calling 119 or visiting www.gov.wales/coronavirus. Please do not book an appointment if you have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection until fully recovered, and at least 4 weeks after onset of symptoms, or 4 weeks after a positive test if you were asymptomatic. Please do not book an appointment if you are self-isolating due to being identified as a close contact of a positive case. Frequently asked questions about the Covid-19 vaccine – please read before booking Should I have the vaccine if I have a history of allergic reactions? Any person with a history of allergic reactions to the ingredients of the vaccine, should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. People with other allergies such as a food allergy can have it. Please note that other Covid 19 vaccines when available may be more suitable and safer for you to receive. Should I have the vaccine if I am pregnant or planning a pregnancy? What about if I am breastfeeding? Although the available data does not indicate any safety concern or harm to pregnancy, there is insufficient evidence to recommend routine use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy. Therefore women should not come forward for vaccination if they may be pregnant. However, if a woman has underlying conditions which puts them at very high risk of serious complications of COVID-19, then they should speak to a clinician about the potential benefit outweighing the risk. Women do not need to avoid pregnancy following vaccination. There is no known risk associated with giving non-live vaccines whilst breastfeeding. JCVI advises that breastfeeding women may be offered vaccination. Can I have the vaccine if I am taking part in a trial already? If you are a participant in any COVID-19 vaccine trial, please contact the trials study team once you have made your appointment. The study team number is on your participant contact card/information sheet. What if I don’t want the vaccine? Having the vaccine is not mandatory, it is a personal choice. If you choose not to have a vaccine on this occasion but later change your mind, you can do so. How safe is the vaccine as it’s been developed so quickly? For a vaccine to reach the general public it will have to work and be safe. There may be a misconception that vaccine research takes a long time but it isn’t the research that takes the time – it’s all the steps beforehand, like getting funding and approval. What’s sped up in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is the funding. The UK Government funded trials to get them up and running quickly. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Medicines Research Authority have sped up the process of approval – things like administrative paperwork that used to take months is now being done in days. This is what’s brought down the time for delivery of the clinical trials. Processes have been streamlined and run in parallel. The length of the trials themselves have not been shortened, and the usual safety measures remain in place and high standards must still be met. Why are vaccines important? Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases. It is much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and attempting to treat them. Vaccines can reduce or even eradicate some diseases, if enough people are vaccinated. Since vaccines were introduced, diseases like smallpox and polio that used to kill or disable millions of people are gone from the UK. I’ve had COVID already/ tested positive for antibodies do I need to be vaccinated? You should get vaccinated. We do not yet know the length of immune response in those who’ve had the disease. When you have the new COVID-19 vaccine, you will reduce the spread of this deadly virus and help to protect yourself and others. However, if you have had COVID-19 symptoms or had a positive test within the last 28 days, you should book a later appointment. Does the vaccine have any side effects? Vaccines are very safe. As with all medicines, side effects can occur after getting a vaccine. However, these are usually very minor and of short duration, such as a sore arm or a mild fever. More serious side effects are possible, but extremely rare. Tests have been done in thousands of adults to ensure the vaccine is safe. The safety of patients/ recipients is paramount. For further information, visit https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/covid-19-vaccination-information/ I don’t know anyone who has had COVID-19, so why do I need a vaccine? The number of people worldwide who have died with COVID-19 has passed one million with many regions still reporting surging numbers of new infections. In Wales, there have been many deaths and thousands more people hospitalised, or with ongoing health complications. People continue to get infected, and once the virus starts to spread it can do so rapidly. Even if you, your colleagues, your family or friends haven’t experienced it first hand, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat. Protect your family, colleagues, patients, and others. Being vaccinated will help to protect you and reduce the spread of this deadly virus. If I have the vaccine will I be immune for life? / Can I still catch COVID-19 after I have been immunised? Duration of protection remains unknown, and further doses may be necessary. Will the vaccine be free if I’m in a priority group? Will it be free if I’m not? The vaccine will be provided free through the NHS. It may take a while to get to everybody, but, when you are invited, make sure you get yours. Will other measures (social distancing/PPE/ face coverings/ lockdowns) still apply to me if I’ve had the vaccine? Yes, you should still act to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community and stick to the regulations. I have contact with people in eligible groups, should I let them know the vaccine is coming? If you are a doctor, nurse, care worker or in a patient-facing role, as well as being likely to be prioritised for vaccination, you have an important role in offering information on vaccines to other people. People may seek reassurance that vaccines are safe and effective. Where can I find further information about the COVID-19 vaccine? Please visit the Public Health Wales website: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/covid-19-vaccination-information/ If you have any queries about the vaccination programme please email the team on [email protected] Please note: this email is only for general queries, you will not be able to book your vaccine appointment by email.