What COVID-19 vaccine will I receive if I am aged under 40?

On Friday 7 May, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised the UK government a preference for adults aged 30 to 39 without underlying health conditions to receive an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – where available and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated. More information is available here.

As at Friday 7 May, vaccinations aren’t currently being carried out for patients aged under 40, except to avoid vaccine wastage.

I live in a severely immunosuppressed household – when will I get my vaccine?

In early April it was confirmed that households of people with severe immunosuppression will be offered a vaccination as part of cohort 6 alongside carers and those who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.


If you are part of a household with someone who is severely immunosuppressed then your GP Practice will be in touch to advise you how you can book your COVID-19 vaccination.


Our GP Practices are working hard on identifying many patients in cohort 6 and will be in touch. We ask that you bear with us as depending on the size of your GP Practice this could take a little time.

Why aren’t teachers and people who work in the emergency services being vaccinated as a priority?

Joined Up Care Derbyshire has rolled out COVID-19 vaccinations based on the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). These groups are based on clinical vulnerability to COVID-19.

These groups included frontline health and social care workers, because these people have daily contact with patients. This includes ambulance staff and frontline social workers. Another priority group for vaccinations includes paid and unpaid carers of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable. This definition includes some teachers and nursery staff, and vaccinations of people in this group are continuing.

The JCVI did not include all emergency service personnel or teachers in this group, and Joined Up Care Derbyshire Is following this guidance to ensure fairness to all.

Should I be concerned about media coverage of a possible link between blood clots and the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine?

UPDATED: Friday 7 May 2021

What does the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency say?
On Wednesday 7 April, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new advice, concluding a possible link between COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and extremely rare, unlikely to occur blood clots. They also said that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but the MHRA advises careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised:

·         Under-30s with no underlying health conditions should be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine where available

·         Those who have received their first dose of the AZ jab should continue to be offered a second dose of the same jab

What does the European Medicines Agency say?
On Wednesday 7 April, European Medicines Agency’s safety committee (PRAC) concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of Vaxzevria (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca) but confirmed that the overall benefit-risk remains positive.

Updated preference given on Friday 7 May
On Friday 7 May, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised the UK government a preference for adults aged 30 to 39 without underlying health conditions to receive an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – where available and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated. More information is available here.

As at Friday 7 May, vaccinations aren’t currently being carried out for patients aged under 40, except to avoid vaccine wastage.


What should I do if I suspect I may have had an allergic reaction to a COVID vaccination, based on previous reactions to vaccination or medication?

If you suspect that you may have an allergic reaction to a COVID vaccination, based on previous reactions to vaccination or medication, then please discuss your concerns with your GP who can advise you on the best course of action.

Who is currently in the priority list for the vaccine?

The full prioritisation list and further information can be found here and is as follows (in order of priority):  

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  • Frontline health and social care workers 
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals 
  • All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.
  • All those 40 years of age and over 

What will happen when I go for my vaccination?

On arrival, you will be checked-in by a member of staff and you will be asked the following questions:

  • your invitation letter with your NHS number
  • proof of your date of birth
  • proof of your postcode
  • to confirm you have no symptoms of COVID-19
  • to confirm that you have not had a flu jab in the last 7 days.

You will then have a basic health check, which includes questions about any allergies you have and any medication you are currently taking.

You will be asked to give your consent confirming you are having the vaccine.

You will then be given the vaccination. This is given via a needle into your non-dominant arm/shoulder and will feel no more than a quick sharp scratch (similar to a flu jab).

After you have been vaccinated, you will be given advice about the follow-up dose you need to have to give you maximum protection against the virus.

You may be asked to wait for 15 minutes before you leave the centre so we can be sure you are ok before you travel. It is advised that you do not drive for at least 15 minutes after the vaccination.

What do I need to know about my second dose?

What should I do if I am invited for a second dose?

  • It is important that you attend the same vaccination site for both your first and second vaccinations.
  • Make your booking as soon as you can.
  • Attend the vaccination, but still observe any requirements for social distancing and mask wearing.

Should I get my second dose?

  • Yes, the Covid-19 vaccines currently in use were approved for use on the basis of each person receiving two doses.
  • Initially, these doses were to be spaced 21 days apart, but on December 30 the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers announced that this should be increased to 12 weeks. This was to enable more people to get some protection from a first dose.
  • The first dose causes the body to have an immune response, which protects against Covid-19 but fades over time. The second dose was shown to produce a larger secondary immune response, which takes longer to fade. This is why a second dose is important.

How do I book my second dose?

  • You may have an appointment card which already lists you next appointment. If so, you do not need to book; just attend the same site at the time and date on the card
  • You may also have a second booking made for you if you book online, either through the National Booking System or with your GP practice. You can log in to check this.
  • If you do not have an appointment card, please wait to be contacted by your GP practice or by the National Booking System, and follow their directions.

Is there enough vaccine for a second dose?

  • Yes, sufficient vaccines are available for second doses

Can I have my second dose somewhere else?

  • It is important that you attend your second dose appointment at the location stated when you booked.
  • In some cases, this will be unavoidable. For example, a person may have moved into or out of a hospital in-patient ward since their first dose. However, these cases will be considered on an individual basis.

Will I get the same vaccine for my second dose?

  • Yes, research is underway to determine the effectiveness of mixing different vaccines, but this is not yet complete.
  • If you are concerned because you experienced any side-effects from your first dose, please inform staff when you go for your second dose. A senior clinician is always available at a vaccination site to consult on such issues, and will be able to advise the most appropriate course of action for you.

Will I be immune once I have my second dose?

  • Your body will take time to develop its immune response, so you should continue to observe social distancing and other safety precautions immediately after receiving your second dose.
  • After about three weeks, your body’s immune response should have developed to protect you from becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, and may also reduce the risk of you transmitting it to others
  • You may need to receive ‘booster’ shots to protect you against new variants of the virus in the future.

How can I be sure a text message to book a vaccination is genuine?

Q: I’ve received a text message from ‘NHSvaccine’ telling me that I am now eligible for my Covid-19 vaccination and inviting me to book at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119. I know there has been some previous coverage of fraudulent and scam text messages, so can I be sure this is genuine?


As of 9 March 2021, the National Booking Service for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has begun carefully trialling a text message service for Covid-19 vaccination invitations and reminders, in addition to the letters that are currently sent to eligible people. Over 400,000 people aged 55 or in receipt of Carer’s Allowance were among the first to receive text message invites.

As this is a new initiative, and there has been some previous coverage of fraudulent and scam text messages, some patients may be wary of receiving a text message from the NHS, and so below are some Questions and Answers about this new development which we hope will answer any questions you have about it.


Q: Why is the NHS doing this?

Text messages are already being used by local vaccination services. The NHS National Booking Service is trialling this approach to see whether it helps to reach eligible individuals and encourage them to book their appointment faster than the letters used so far, and whether receiving an invite in this way is preferable for those in younger age groups.


Q: How does the national NHS know my mobile number?

The NHS has been using contact details – including addresses and now mobile phone numbers – given to us by patients and recorded in their GP patient record.


Q: I share a mobile phone with others in my household – how do we know which of us is invited?

If you share a mobile phone with other adults then you can try to book online. If you are not eligible yet then the booking system will not let you book until you are.

You could also wait for your invite letter to arrive to be sure.


Q: I’ve received a text message invite from my GP or local hospital, is this the same?

No. This service is in addition to the texts sent out by some local services.

If you have received a text message or any other kind of invite from another vaccination service and have booked an appointment, then please ignore the text messages.


Q: I booked after receiving a text message but no letter came – does this mean I have fallen for a scam?

Not necessarily. If your text message came from ‘NHSvaccine’, included a link to the NHS.uk/covid-vaccination website and gave you the option of phoning 119, then it was genuine.

There are other reasons why you may not have received a letter, such as:

  • If you have moved recently and forgotten to update your GP practice records or register with a new one;
  • If your address is recorded incorrectly with your GP, or;
  • If the text message was from a local vaccination service.

If in doubt you can check with the organisation you think you have booked in with.


Q: I’ve already had my first dose of the vaccine and have now received a text message from the NHS. Does this mean my dose wasn’t recorded properly?/Can I use this to book my second dose?

In a small number of cases you might still receive a text message and a letter after recently receiving your first dose. This will be because there can be a few days lag between being vaccinated and your record being updated.

If you have already been vaccinated or have a vaccination booked, please ignore the message – there is nothing you need to do.

You will not be able to use this service to book your second dose – you should continue to wait to be invited back by the service where you got your first dose.

If you were vaccinated a long time ago and still received a text message, you may wish to get in contact with whichever service you received your vaccination at to ensure they recorded it properly.


Q: How do I know this is a legitimate text?

You can trust your text message is genuine if it comes from ‘NHSvaccine’, includes a link to the NHS.uk website and gives you the option of phoning 119.

If you’re still unsure, you can wait for your letter to arrive – if the message was genuine your letter should be delivered a few days after.

Remember, the COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge on the NHS. The NHS will never ask for:

  • your bank account or card details
  • your pin or banking password
  • copies of personal documents to prove your identity such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips

If you think you have been a victim of fraud or identify theft, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.


Q: I received a text but someone else in my household who is in the same age group didn’t. Can they book?

Not everyone will receive a text message, because we don’t have everyone’s mobile phone number from their GP patient record, and in some cases the mobile phone numbers we do have will be out of date.

If someone is in an eligible group and doesn’t receive a text, it’s probably for this reason, and they should receive a letter very soon.


Q: I received this text message but I am not in an eligible group and the booking website wouldn’t let me book – why?

The NHS can only send text messages to people who are eligible based on the information provided in their GP patient records.

In a small number of cases, it might be the case that the mobile number we have for someone has lapsed and has since been recycled and allocated to you.

Alternatively someone with a similar number who is eligible may have entered their number incorrectly on their GP record.


Q: I’ve contacted the national booking service but I can’t travel to one of the locations that are available, what should I do?

More locations will become available in the coming weeks so you could try again later.

Alternatively, you can choose to wait until your local GP service invites you for the vaccine.


Q: What are the operating hours of the telephone booking system?

The telephone booking service will be open 16 hours a day (from 7am until 11pm), seven days a week. People will also be able to book online 24/7.


Q: What should people do if they can’t get through to the phone line straight away?

At times, due to high demand, the phone line will get very busy, which may mean waiting on the line for a while or calling back later. You can alternatively book online.

If you need help to do this, please ask someone in your support bubble.

Q: Does this service work for people who don’t understand English well or are deaf?

The phone line will have interpreters and a BSL facility available on request to help you book your appointments.

I’m aged 70 or over and have not yet had my vaccination, what should I do?

From Monday 8 February, people aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID and who would like to be are being asked to contact the NHS to arrange a jab.

Until Monday 8 February the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first – and that remains the case for most people.

However, to ensure absolutely everyone is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over can now contact the NHS. The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

If a suitable and convenient slot is not available people can also call their GP practice.

For more information click here.

Will I be covered after the first vaccination?

The first vaccination will give you partial protection but it is very important that you attend for your second vaccination as this will maximise your protection from the virus. For more information please go to the further information section below

I have seen social media or been told by my friends or family or people in my community that I shouldn’t get a vaccination because it is unsafe or contains food products  that are contrary to my religion or life style preferences.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 are safe following extensive testing vaccine do not contain any components of animal origin. We are working with our communities across Derbyshire to spread the message that getting the vaccine is incredibly important, that it is safe and that people should take up the invitation when they receive it.

Are there any side effects?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. These are important details which the MHRA always consider when assessing candidate vaccines for use. For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, like lots of others, they have identified that some people might feel slightly unwell, but they report that no significant side effects have been observed in the over 43,000 people involved in trials. All patients will be provided with information on the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the MHRA.

How is the vaccination programme in Derbyshire being rolled out?

The vaccination programme in Derbyshire is being rolled out in a phased way so some areas will have started before others. This is the same for other areas across the whole country. Each vaccination site has been selected based on very strict rules for patient safety including having enough space for the 2 metre distancing rules at all times.

We are constantly monitoring our sites and looking for further opportunities to deliver vaccinations in the community. You can find the latest information on the Joined up Care Derbyshire website here.

Who is defined as ‘clinically vulnerable’ (cohort 6 in the vaccination programme)?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) defines patients who are clinically vulnerable as those with:

chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma

  • chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe and profound learning disability
  • diabetes
  • solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
  • asplenia and splenic dysfunction
  • morbid obesity
  • severe mental illness

The Green Book also adds younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings and adult carers and states that the list is not exhaustive. GPs are being asked to use their 'clinical judgment' to take account of the risk of COVID-19 and any underlying health conditions. ​​​​

How is Derbyshire doing with the rollout?

Derbyshire is working through the priority groups as quickly as possible to ensure that everyone who is eligible for a vaccination receives one as quickly as possible. Those areas who started later have caught up so the number of people vaccinated in the priority groups so far is roughly equal across the county. So far the rate of vaccinations delivered across our county compares very favourably and we are working as hard as we can to ensure that we reach every milestone date for the completion of vaccinations for each group or cohort set by the government.

How will I be told when it is my turn to be vaccinated?

We are working through each group or cohort as quickly as possible and we are in the process of starting the 70 and over groups. We must complete the first four groups by 15 February. Depending on where you are invited and what grouping you are in there may be a different way of being invited. You will either be contacted by letter, SMS text, email or phone call.

Why are my neighbours, friends and families getting their vaccination before me?

The roll out of the vaccination is different across the country and within Derbyshire. You will be invited for vaccination when your local area reaches your vaccination grouping or cohort. These groupings are decided nationally by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. Your friends and neighbours could be in a different grouping to you or their area is at a different stage in vaccinating. We will get to you in turn and request that you don’t call your GP as they are very busy vaccinating people and looking after patients not needing a vaccination. Please bear with us and we will be in touch with you.

I have heard that people in their 30’s have been seen in vaccination queues - is this true?

Yes. When attending a vaccination appointment you may see people below the age of those in the current priority groups of 70 years and older. These will be health and social care workers or care workers who are also in a priority group. We check everyone’s eligibility so you can be sure that anyone receiving a vaccination will be entitled to it.

Can pregnant women have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has amended its previous precautionary advice on Covid-19 vaccines and pregnancy or breastfeeding. The new advice sets out that vaccination with either vaccine in pregnancy should be considered where the risk of exposure SARS-CoV2 infection is high and cannot be avoided, or where the woman has underlying conditions that place her at very high risk of serious complications of Covid-19, and the risks and benefits of vaccination should be discussed.

You can have the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding. You do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

Read the latest COVID-19 vaccine advice if you're pregnant, may get pregnant or are breastfeeding on GOV.UK

Also, see this article: Covid vaccine: Fertility and miscarriage claims fact-checked

I am housebound – how does the process work and when will I be tested?

The housebound programme has been operating for some time now. One of the most frequent questions we are asked is when housebound people will receive their vaccination but this is difficult to answer as the planning is linked to the weekly schedules and supply of vaccine. However, our team of vaccinators are working through this group of patients as a priority.

A patient is deemed to be housebound when they are unable to leave their home environment through a physical and/or psychological illness.  A team of vaccinators will be delivering vaccinations to the housebound and those who are care home residents. The roving team are made up of healthcare staff, GPs and nurses. 

Those who are housebound will have been identified by their registered GP and will have been written to explaining they are classed as housebound for the purposes of receiving the vaccination. The roving team or GP will then call to arrange an appointment.

You will only be vaccinated at home if you have been considered housebound by your GP. This is to ensure that those in vulnerable groups or who are geographically or socially isolated can access community vaccination services as soon as possible..

A team of two roving team staff will be carrying out your appointment. They will have identification to prove they are healthcare professionals. You will receive a telephone call before the appointment to confirm they will be visiting you. 

All roving team staff will be wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep themselves and you safe. 

If possible you should wear a face mask during the short appointment.

You can prepare by making sure you wear light clothing that is easily accessible for administering a vaccine into the upper arm. Please also open your window to increase ventilation within your home and do tell the team of any access issues to your property. 

The roving team are only be allowed to work if they are symptom free and they will be following social distancing guidelines where possible as well as wearing full personal Protective equipment (PPE).

Is there anything I should watch out for when the roving team call to my home to vaccinate me?

In other parts of the country we have seen scams taking place so it is important to be aware of the following:

Coronavirus vaccinations are free of charge. The NHS will never:

  • ask for your bank account or card details
  • ask for your PIN or banking passwords
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills

Derbyshire Police have more information on how to protect yourself here. You may also find this leaflet produced by the National Cyber Security Centre and the Government Counter Fraud Function useful. ​​​​​

Will people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable be allowed to receive a vaccination from the roving team?

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you will be asked to access your vaccination from one of the Local Vaccination Services. These sites have been deemed to be Covid-19 secure venues. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you will be sent an invitation when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

Is there an official definition of what defines a person as clinically extremely vulnerable?

Yes. Those with the following conditions fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable group:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow, such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • people with severe respiratory conditions, including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell)
  • people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • adults with Down’s syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (Stage 5)
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions

What else do I need to know about my appointment

In Derby and Derbyshire you will be invited to attend an appointment at one of the following:

  • your local Primary Care Network Vaccination site (this is a group of local GPs working together and they have agreed which of the GP surgeries in each group or network has the best location for social distancing and other reasons)
  • Vaccination Centre which for our county is the Derby Arena
  • Hospital Hub (located at Derby Royal and Chesterfield Royal hospitals)
  • Community pharmacy site in locations across the county

Please noteif you are a care home resident or are housebound you will be offered a vaccination in the place you call home

Attending your vaccination appointment

People who are eligible for appointments will receive letters from the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service, telling you how you can book an appointment.

You may also be contacted by your local GP practice through SMS text or phone call. Please do not get contact your GP practice or local hospital if you haven’t received an invitation yet you will be contacted.

You can expect each vaccination appointment to take around 30 minutes.

  • If you have been sent an invitation letter or text message, please bring this with you.
  • If you do not have an invitation, bring evidence of your age, staff identification (for frontline healthcare workers) or evidence that you are officially considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable.

Please note we will need your NHS number in order to update your record. If you do not bring your letter or text we can still update your records but it will take us longer. You are asked to attend your appointment alone unless you require a nominated carer for medical reasons. Please do not bring any other family members or friends into the vaccination centre as they will not be offered a vaccination or be able to wait inside the centre. If you come with someone they will have to wait outside.

You should arrive no more than five minutes before your appointment to avoid queues developing. We know that this can be difficult to manage especially if you are using public transport but we have to do all we can to keep our vaccination sites safe. We also ask that patients do not bring bags or rucksacks into the vaccination venue as this is an infection control risk and also can be a hazard. They should be left at home or in the car.

Although we have measures in place to keep you and our staff safe, please wear a face covering when attending your appointment. It is also advisable to wear loose clothing as the vaccination is given in your upper arm.

Toilets and disabled facilities are available on site. You may wish to bring a drink with you as no refreshments will be provided when attending your appointment.

Do not attend if you have tested positive for COVID-19 28 days prior to your appointment or if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms include a new persistent cough, fever or high temperature, loss of taste and/or loss of smell