Below are responses to some of the most frequently asked questions from members of the public on how Covid-19 vaccinations are being rolled out in Liverpool.
Those currently eligible for a vaccine include:
If you are in one of the above groups and have already been invited, please use the booking information you were sent to arrange this as soon as possible.
If you are in one of the above groups but haven’t received an invitation yet, you can also book an appointment now through the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119 anytime between 7am -11pm, seven days a week (free of charge).
Anyone who does not fall into one of these above priority groups is not eligible for a vaccine at this time. However, the vaccine will be offered more widely as soon as possible.
If you do not fall into one of the above categories, please do not contact your GP practice to request a vaccination, or to ask when you will become eligible. They will not have this information, and it will not help you get seen any faster.
The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it the most first, based on national guidelines from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
You can read the full JCVI guidance here:
Further information on who is covered in these priority groups is also included in the government’s ‘Green Book’ for public health professionals on immunisation here:
Until now the NHS has asked people to wait to be invited for a Covid-19 vaccination - and that remains the advice for most people.
The majority of people aged over 50 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable in Liverpool have already received a first dose of the vaccine now. However anyone in one of these groups who still hasn’t had one, should get in touch with the NHS to arrange this as soon as possible.
You can do this by booking an appointment through the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119 anytime between 7am -11pm, seven days a week (free of charge).
If a suitable slot is not available through the national booking service, you can also call your GP practice to request one.
We can’t give exact timescales, because it depends on where you are on the priority list and the availability of vaccine supplies. However, GPs and practice staff are working very hard to get to everyone as quickly as possible.
Liverpool’s vaccination centres are following the national guidelines around the prioritisation of patients. However, there are some occasions where small numbers of doses may be left over and need to be used quickly to avoid vaccine wastage.
In these instances, our vaccination sites have been offering these vaccines out to other patients within the current priority groups who are able to attend at short notice, or to local health and social care staff.
Liverpool currently has 16 local GP led vaccination centres operating across different areas of the city. These are being delivered to patients through Liverpool’s Primary Care Networks (groups of GP practices working together).
This means that you might not be contacted by your usual practice, and you might be asked to go to a different location for the vaccination.
It also means that your own practice might not be able to answer questions about your vaccination – however vaccination centres are using patient lists from each practice, and you’ll be contacted when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.
In addition to these GP-led vaccination centres, some appointment slots are also available via a regional mass vaccination centre, and at some local community pharmacies and hospital sites -bookable through the national NHS Covid-19 vaccination booking system at: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
We are not currently publicising vaccine centre locations because you can’t just drop in for a vaccination at most sites – instead you will be told where to go when you are given your appointment slot.
Vaccination centres are not generally offering appointments on a drop-in basis at the moment. This is to help ensure that those at highest risk get vaccinated first. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn. Please don’t turn up to a vaccination centre without a pre-booked appointment, as they will be unable to vaccinate you.
A mobile vaccination bus has now launched in Liverpool, and over the coming weeks it will visit a number of different locations across the city, reaching out into specific communities where take up has been lower. Vaccinations on the bus will be offered on either a drop-in or booked appointment basis – details will be shared locally ahead of each visit.
If you are invited to attend a vaccination by a local GP-led vaccination centre, you could be contacted either by phone call, or by text message - depending on what contact information you have provided to your GP practice.
You could also receive a letter from the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service inviting you to book an appointment at: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
If a suitable appointment isn't available through this booking service – you can also wait for your local GP-led service to get in touch with an appointment closer to home if you prefer.
It is not possible to access the vaccine through the national NHS booking system if you are not a registered patient, and you won't be automatically invited to receive a vaccine at a local GP-led site either.
However, you can still receive a vaccine upon request. No GP practice in Liverpool should turn you away if you contact them to explain your situation, providing that you are eligible to receive one at the time you contact them.
If you are not currently registered to a GP practice, we would strongly recommend that you join a GP practice near to where you live as soon as possible - even if you have no current health concerns. This is really important – not only in order to receive a Covid19 vaccination, but also so you can access support with any future health you might have.
You can find some useful information on how to register with a GP practice here: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-surgery/
If you need any further help doing this, you can also get in touch with Healthwatch Liverpool for support at: https://www.healthwatchliverpool.co.uk/find-services.
In Liverpool, we want to make access to vaccination as easy as possible for people and ensure our most vulnerable communities are able to have their vaccination appointment as close to home as possible.
This means that instead of creating a single mass vaccination centre for the city, our plan is to deliver the same capacity of vaccines through a bigger network of sites situated closer to people’s homes.
We currently have 16 GP-led vaccination centres in Liverpool. Each of Liverpool’s 85 GP practices is linked to at least one of these sites, and eligible patients are told which location they need to attend when they are invited to receive their vaccination.
We are also continuing to actively look at the development of extra locations and 'pop up' clinics to help improve access further. In planning for this, we are looking at what we can learn from Liverpool’s recent experience with Covid-19 mass testing, and how people chose to access the various locations that were made available as part of this programme.
No. Vaccinations are only available through the NHS, and the only ways that you can be contacted to receive one is by the NHS, a local GP surgery, or your employer. Anyone offering you a paid-for vaccine is committing a fraud crime.
Please remember that:
If you receive a call that feels suspicious, you should hang up immediately. If you think you may have been the victim of fraud you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if there is a concern that someone has or might come to their house, you should report it to the Police by calling 101.
If you have a vaccination slot booked which you are no longer able to attend, it is really important that you cancel and rearrange the appointment with as much advanced notice as possible.
This will enable us to ensure that your appointment slot can be offered to someone else who is waiting, and help to minimise any risk of vaccine wastage.
The vaccine will give you the best possible protection against Covid-19, but even once you’ve had the vaccine there is still a chance you might get or spread the virus to others who haven't yet been vaccinated.
This means that even once you have been vaccinated, you will still need to follow the national lockdown rules, and continue to follow all social distancing guidance, wash your hands frequently, and wear a face mask.
Yes, you should still get vaccinated even if you have had covid-19, or tested positive for covid19 antibodies in the past. There are no safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a history of Covid-19 (whether confirmed or suspected), and it is possible that you could still carry and pass on the illness to others.
Vaccination should be postponed for at least four weeks after onset of symptoms or four weeks from the first PCR positive test in those who did not have symptoms.
No – the vaccine will not affect the result of a test for Covid-19.
You cannot choose which COVID-19 vaccine you are given unless there is a clear medical reason for doing so – such as a history of allergic reaction to one of the ingredients. If this is the case, please discuss this with your GP practice to ensure you get a suitable vaccine.
None of the available Covid-19 vaccines contain any animal or human products within their ingredients, although the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a negligible amount of alcohol (2 mg of ethanol per dose of 0.5 ml), which is similar to amounts naturally found in foods such as bread.
This means that they are fully suitable for vegans, vegetarians and also for Muslims.
A detailed review of each of the Covid-19 vaccines and their ingredients has been provided by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and can be found at the below links:
No. None of the authorised COVID-19 vaccines or vaccines currently in development contain the live virus.
The vaccines work by training the body's immune system to fight the covid-19 virus.
This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
The Covid-19 vaccines are all safe, effective and suitable for Muslims to have. The vaccines do not contain any animal products, although the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a very small amount of alcohol (2 mg of ethanol per dose of 0.5 ml). However this amount of ethanol is negligible - similar amounts are found in foods such as bread - and the vaccine has been fully endorsed by the British Islamic Medical Association.
In Liverpool, many local Muslim community leaders have been working alongside the NHS as volunteers, right at the forefront of the vaccination efforts.
We are extremely grateful to the Abdullah Quilliam Mosque for fully supporting the NHS administering the vaccination for the Muslim community, and also for offering use of the Mosque as a 'pop-up' vaccination centre.
We want to reassure our Muslim community that taking the Covid-19 vaccination does not invalidate the fast, according to Islamic scholars.
This means that Muslims do not need to delay having their vaccination on account of Ramadan.
Most people feel well, or have only very mild flu-like symptoms for a short time after having the vaccine, which means they can continue their fast. However, it will be important to drink plenty when you can, and to rest during the day.
More information & advice about this can be found from the British Islamic Medical Association at: https://britishima.org
A roving vaccination team is in place for housebound patients who are unable to attend a vaccination centre for medical reasons.
If your GP record shows that you are clinically housebound and you haven’t been contacted yet, you should contact your GP practice to request an appointment as soon as possible.
However, we would ask people to make every effort to attend a clinic location if at all possible because we can get through patients more quickly in a clinic setting than on home visits.
If your existing GP records do not recognise you (or a family member) as housebound, but you think a home vaccination is required, please discuss this with the GP practice.
Yes. There is a list of nationally set criteria which defines someone as 'Clinically Extremely Vulnerable' and everyone in this group should now have been invited to a vaccine.
This group were also advised by the NHS to shield during periods of lockdown because clinicians deemed them to be at higher risk of serious illness from catching the virus.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and haven’t had your vaccine yet, please book an appointment as soon as possible - either by using the details you were sent, or calling your GP practice to request one.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need help to get to your local vaccination centre, please ask friends or family. If you still need help, you may be able to get a free taxi. When you have booked your appointment, and if you need help to get there, please call the Liverpool City Council COVID Advice Line on freephone 0800 169 3032.
Please also be aware that even after both doses of the vaccine, all patients must continue to follow social distancing rules and advice.
You can view the list of conditions which mean a patient is deemed Clinically Extremely Vulnerable here:
You can also find information and guidance about support available to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable groups here:
If you think you qualify as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' but have not been advised of this by the NHS, please talk to your GP for further advice.
Everyone who has a Learning Disability should have received a letter, text or phone call asking you to make an appointment. Please do this at the earliest possible opportunity.
You can bring someone else with you to the appointment. If you need any other support please ask for this when you make your appointment or contact your GP.
This information about the Covid vaccine in Easy Read may also be useful:
Short Covid Vaccine film - produced by Skills for People and Learning Disability England
Carers who meet certain criteria will be invited for a vaccine in the coming weeks, including carers who receive a carer’s allowance, and those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is clinically vulnerable to severe illness if they catch COVID-19.
Those deemed as clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 includes:
The underlying health conditions included within this criteria are:
All those who are eligible as carers under these national guidelines should receive an invitation for a vaccine by 30th April.
Anyone in Liverpool who is already identified as a carer in their GP records; those who receive Carer’s Allowance; or those known to Liverpool City Council or Liverpool Carers Centre Local Solutions, will be automatically invited for a vaccination.
Anyone who thinks they might be eligible to receive a vaccine as a carer, but doesn’t currently receive Carer’s Allowance or have their carer status recorded with any of the organisations mentioned above, should contact the Liverpool Carers Centre now. This includes carers aged 16 – 18, as well as adult carers.
They can do this either by calling: 07545652775 or by emailing: email@example.com. Alternatively, they can also complete an e-referral form by visiting: www.localsolutions.org.uk/carers-vaccine Following a short assessment process, if a person is identified as an unpaid carer they will be provided with details to arrange a vaccination.
Yes, severely immunosuppressed patients should already have been invited for a vaccine either as someone who was advised to shield, or who has an underlying health condition.
From 31st March 2021, those who live with people who are severely immunosuppressed are also being prioritised for a vaccine and should contact their GP practice to request a vaccine appointment. This is because people who are severely immunosuppressed may have a less effective response from the vaccine, so the inclusion of household members is intended to increase their protection.
Over the coming weeks, GPs will be writing to severely immunosuppressed patients to advise them their household members are now eligible and to book an appointment for a vaccine over the coming weeks.
This applies to immunosuppressed patients over 16 only as there is not the same evidence regarding children.
Household members are defined as “individuals who expect to share living accommodation on most days... and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable”. Members of ‘bubbles’ that do not live with an immunosuppressed person for the majority of the week are not eligible.
You can find further information and advice on this here:
The vaccination programme continues to prioritise people most clinically at risk from Covid, and broadly speaking patients with ME/CFS do not come under the current criteria for underlying health conditions.
However, some patients with ME who have more severe or additional health problems may be included.
If you don’t receive an invitation in the next few weeks but think you should be included in this group, you can contact your GP practice to discuss your level of risk and whether you should be included. This is a decision for each patient’s own GP to make by applying their clinical judgement, on a case by case basis.
Under the current national JCVI guidelines, only the parents/carers of children and young people with very severe neuro-disabilities or designated as clinically extremely vulnerable, are eligible to receive the vaccine as an unpaid carer.
Those designated as clinically extremely vulnerable are those who have also been sent letters asking them to shield during the pandemic.
The families of children identified with a severe neuro-disability will receive a letter from Alder Hey to inform them of this shortly. Examples include children who:
We want to reassure parents and carers that there is strong evidence that children are at low risk of severe illness or health complications due to catching covid19, and the vast majority of neuro-disabilities do not increase a child's clinical vulnerability.
Yes. All of our local GP-led vaccination sites are fully accessible.
All of our local vaccination centres are fully accessible, and should be able to provide hearing loops.
Additional support can also be provided, but it’s important to make sure that your GP practice has a note of any communication needs so that this is in your records.
If you need any extra support to be put in place for your vaccine appointment, you should also make staff aware when you book your appointment so that they can arrange this in advance.
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable (advised to shield during lockdowns) who need help to get to a local vaccination centre, may be able to get a free taxi.
When you have booked your appointment, if you need help to get there, please call the Liverpool City Council COVID Advice Line on freephone 0800 169 3032.
However, we would ask that people to make every effort to attend a clinic with support from family or friends first.
There is general information available in different languages, BSL, Easy Read and large print here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-guide-for-older-adults
If you need this information in Braille, or any other format, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also download information about the covid vaccine and pregnancy and breastfeeding in the same range of accessible formats here:
There is also further information on our CCG resources page here: Liverpool CCG - Covid-19 vaccine videos and resources
If you need an interpreter for your vaccination appointment, you are entitled to this. Please ask your GP to book an interpreter for you. If you have any problems with this please email email@example.com or text 07920 206 386
If you booked your first appointment through the national NHS Booking System at www.nhs.uk/covidbooking and/or received your first dose at the regional vaccination centre or at a local pharmacy or hospital, you can go online and book this now.
If you received your first dose of the vaccine through a local GP-led site in Liverpool, you’ll be contacted around a week and a half before your second dose is due and asked to make an appointment. This process is in place to make sure that the appointments offered to patients at GP-led sites match up with vaccine availability.
If you haven’t been contacted a week before your second dose should take place (i.e. 11 weeks after your first dose) you can contact us using the details at the bottom of this page so that we can look into this for you - please don’t contact us before this.
The latest guidance is that a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine should be given between 77 and 84 days (11 to 12 weeks) after the first. This applies to both the vaccines currently being used (AstraZeneca and Pfizer).
Although the majority of protection comes from the first dose, having your second dose is still extremely important too as it will improve and prolong your immunity - so please don’t skip your second dose.
Yes. All vaccination sites have access to the same patient record system, and you will be given a second dose of the same vaccine you received for your first.
The NHS will not offer any vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe, and beneficial to do so.
There are two different Covid-19 vaccines currently available in the UK under the NHS - the Pfizer/BioNTech, and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
The MHRA, the official UK regulator, has approved both of these as safe and offering a high level of protection, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once they are authorised and being used in the wider population too.
The global nature of the pandemic has meant that the development of vaccines has been the focus of huge amounts of funding, knowledge and resource from countries all around the world. It has also been possible to recruit patients to be involved in testing the vaccine much more quickly.
It’s also important to understand that these vaccines haven’t been developed from nowhere. Scientists had already been working on vaccines against the SARS group of viruses, of which Covid-19 is just one, many years previously.
All of the vaccine that have been approved for use in the UK have met very strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
None of the other vaccines under development will be available until they have passed those same strict standards either, which apply to every vaccine the NHS uses.
The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of an extremely rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it's not yet clear why it affects some people.
The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.
For people under 30 without other health conditions, it's currently advised that it's preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
The vaccines are safe and effective for the vast majority of people. However, you should not have the COVID-19 vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction (called 'anaphylaxis') to a previous dose of the same vaccine or any of the ingredients in the vaccine.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is the UK regulator, has approved both vaccines available in the UK as highly effective in protecting individuals against COVID-19. The latest studies/data show that the UK’s approved vaccines can provide anywhere between 70% to over 100% protection in individuals.
The vaccine is extremely effective at training the body’s immune system to fight off the COVID-19 virus, and having the vaccine is a much safer way to gain immunity that waiting to catch the virus with its many known health risks, and hoping that you don’t become seriously ill.
We would reassure everyone that the vast majority of people experience either no side effects, or very mild ones after having a covid-19 vaccination.
The most commonly reported side-effects are:
Please be reassured that checking for any history of allergies, as well as being able to deal with any allergic reactions in the very rare instances that they do happen, is a central part of training for all vaccinators.
Yes, the national guidance is clear that the vaccine is safe for all women of childbearing age, including those planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant or breastfeeding.
You can read more information and advice about this at the link provided below:
No, this is completely untrue, and we would always encourage people to 'check the facts' using official NHS and government information.
The Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) and British Fertility Society (BFS) have said that there is absolutely no evidence that the vaccine can affect fertility, and no theoretical reason why it ever might either.
The Covid19 vaccine is designed to help your body learn how to fight a virus that attacks your respiratory system, and has absolutely no connection with the body's reproductive system at all.
Yes. The latest national guidance says that women can receive the vaccine without compromising any planned fertility treatment or pregnancy.
You can read more about this in a statement from The Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) and British Fertility Society (BFS) have produced some further advice which you can read here:
Frontline health and social care staff are a current government priority for vaccination. If you haven’t heard anything about plans for vaccination of staff in your workplace yet, please speak to your employer about this.
Social care workers are now also able to use the national booking system to book an appointment for vaccination. You'll be asked to confirm your employment as part of the process, and also asked to show ID when you arrive for your appointment.
Please be aware that you may also be required to provide your NHS number in order to be vaccinated as a health or social care worker, so it’s a good idea to find this out in advance if you can.
If you don’t know your NHS number, there’s information on how you can find it here: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/what-is-an-nhs-number/
Currently, the only group being invited to have the vaccine based on their occupation are health and social care workers.
This is because they are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with Covid-19, and of transmitting that infection to vulnerable patients in health and social care settings.
Some key workers may also be eligible for the vaccine, but this decision will be based on their age or health condition rather than their role at work.
If the above FAQs don’t answer your question or enquiry about Covid-19 vaccinations, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t use email then you can phone our main reception on 0151 296 7000 so that they can take your details and pass them to the team dealing with these enquiries.
You can also visit www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine for further information and advice.