Sunderland Echo

YOUR VACCINATIO­N QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Thousands of readers asked us questions about the roll-out of the vaccine. Today, we have answers from the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England

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By the end of January, everybody will live within 10 miles of one of our 2,700 vaccinatio­n centres, providing easy access, regardless of where you live

Q : I am disabled/ housebound. Will my GP surgery or local chemist be able to get the vaccine to me at home?

A : Guidance on vaccinatio­ns for housebound people is up online here: www.england.nhs.uk/ coronaviru­s/wp-content/ uploads/sites/52/2021/01/ C0992-covid-19-vaccinedep­loyment-in-communitys­ettings-lvs-sop-v3.1-6-jan-2021. pdf Q : I am shielding. Do I need to continue to shield after I have had my first dose of the vaccine?

A :

Even after receiving a vaccine, people who have been asked to shield should continue to follow shielding advice until further notice, as we continue to assess the impact of vaccinatio­n among all groups. Anyone who is unsure should speak to their GP. The latest guidance can be found online.

Q

: Given the concern about the spread of the virus in supermarke­ts, will the government prioritise the vaccinatio­n of shop workers?

A

: They cannot choose to work from home and are exposed to many different people each day. Supermarke­t staff who are over 50 or in one of the medically vulnerable priority groups will receive priority for the vaccine.

For future priority lists, the JCVI will consider all available evidence for phase 2 recommenda­tions of the vaccinatio­n programme.

Q

: My partner is shielding and is due to get the vaccine - can I get it earlier to keep them safe?

A

: We do not yet know if the vaccines prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. We are following the advice from independen­t experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccinatio­n and Immunisati­on (JCVI) on which groups of people to prioritise for Covid-19 vaccines. They advised the immediate priority should be to prevent deaths and protect health and care staff, with old age deemed the single biggest factor determinin­g mortality. Q

: Will pharmacist­s be able to help with the wait time for a second dose?

A

: The JCVI is confident

12 weeks is a reasonable dosing interval to achieve good longer-term protection. As the

Chief Medical Officer said, it is about vaccinatin­g the largest number of people more quickly.

Q : selection What is the criteria detailed within the over-80s group? My mum, 93, is still waiting to hear.

A : We aim to offer the first vaccine dose to all those in the top four priority groups recommende­d by the Joint Committee of Vaccinatio­n and Immunisati­on (JCVI) by 15 February. The priority groups can be found here.

Q

: I have had one jab but the second is now delayed.

How safe am I to go to the supermarke­t as I have been unable to get a delivery slot from three supermarke­ts?

AThe Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZenec­a vaccines are both highly effective within two weeks of receiving the vaccine, even after one dose. We do not yet know whether the vaccine prevents transmissi­on so you should continue to follow social distancing measures and wear a face covering, rememberin­g ‘hands, face, space’.

Q : How long does the vaccine last?

A

: It is likely to be some time until we have sufficient data to provide a clear picture of how long the protective effect of vaccinatio­n lasts.

PHE will employ existing surveillan­ce systems and enhanced follow-up of cases to monitor how effective the vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes including: infection, symptomati­c disease, hospitalis­ations, mortality and onwards transmissi­on.

Q

: Can they visit workplaces and administer it there? A

: By the end of January, everybody will live within 10 miles of one of our 2,700 vaccinatio­n centres, providing easy access, regardless of where you live. We are confident tens of millions of people will be immunised by the spring.

Q

: I’m classed as extremely vulnerable and I’m a teacher. My sister is a social worker, able to do the vast majority of her work from home, and is not vulnerable. So why is it she will probably get the vaccine before me?

A : We are following the advice from independen­t experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccinatio­n and Immunisati­on (JCVI) on which groups of people to prioritise for Covid-19 vaccines and extremely clinically vulnerable people will be offered the vaccine as part of the first four priority groups. The JCVI advised the immediate priority should be to prevent deaths and protect health and care staff, with old age deemed the single biggest factor determinin­g mortality.

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