COVID-19 vaccine

Plenty of COVID-19 vaccination appointments available in Essex

Everyone aged 18 and over is being urged to arrange a jab if they have not had one as the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme, the biggest in health service history, begins the final push to protect the country.

For more COVID-19 vaccination information, see below:

Mid and South Essex - https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk
Hertfordshire and West Essex - https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk
Suffolk and North East Essex - https://sneevaccine.org.uk

To book an appointment

Visit the National Booking Service or call 119.

People wishing to rebook their second dose are now able to check availability first, before cancelling and rescheduling their existing second dose appointment. 

Please make sure you cancel your other appointment – it can then be offered to someone else. If it was going to be with your GP, don’t forget to let them know ASAP.

Don’t forget – you need to have both doses of the vaccine and whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.

Having your second COVID-19 vaccination

So that the COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to make progress as planned, the NHS in Essex wants to make sure residents know what to do when it’s time for their second dose of the vaccine.

The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer-lasting protection.

It’s important that the same vaccine is used for both doses and it will help if you return to the same place as where you had your first dose.

Please remember that, until you have had your second dose, you should continue to follow all the guidance including social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand washing.

The following information explains where you should go to receive your second dose.

If you received your first dose at your GP practice or a site run by your GP / Primary Care Network:

(Primary Care Networks are groups of GPs working together to administer the vaccine from a single site)

You should return to your GP practice or the site run by your GP / Primary Care Network for your second ose. Your GP may have already given you a date for your second dose. If you don’t have a date yet, your GP will contact you soon with a date

If you received your first dose at a large vaccination centre:

You should have already been given a date to return to a vaccination centre for your second dose. If you don’t have a date yet, you can book one online using the National Booking System or by calling 119. If you live in Essex and need help to book an appointment you can ring 0344 2573 961, open 10am to 4pm, local rate.

If you received your first dose at a hospital:

If you had your first dose of vaccine at Basildon Hospital, Broomfield Hospital, Orsett Hospital, Southend Hospital or Towngate Theatre in Basildon and booked your appointment online using ShiftPartner, then your second appointment must be also booked using ShiftPartner

If you need to change the date of your second appointment, you can also do this online using  ShiftPartner

If you need help please call the Mid & South Essex COVID Vaccination Booking Line on 01245 515919.

If you booked your first dose by calling the Mid & South Essex COVID Vaccination Booking Line (01245 515919) then we will contact you with details of your second appointment.

If you received your first dose at a community pharmacy:

You should have already been given a date to return to a community pharmacy for your second dose.

If you don’t have a date yet, you can book one online using the National Booking System or by calling 119.

Please do not turn up for a vaccination without making an appointment first. If you turn up without an appointment you will, unfortunately, be turned away.

If for any reason you are unable to make your appointment for your second dose, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting your GP, hospital or the National Booking System.

The following information may also be helpful to you:

Guide for older adults visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-guide-for-older-adults 

Women of childbearing age, currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-women-of-childbearing-age-currently-pregnant-planning-a-pregnancy-or-breastfeeding 

Guide for healthcare workers visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-guide-for-healthcare-workers 

Guide for social care staff visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-a-guide-for-social-care-staff 

What to expect after vaccination visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-what-to-expect-after-vaccination or NHS.UK vaccination information

Some questions answered:

These questions and answers relate to the vaccination hubs at our Mid and South Essex Hospitals. We will add to these questions as the programme rolls out.

Q. I have received a text message – is it a scam? 

A. If you have received a text message from Basildon, Broomfield or Southend Hospital it means that you are eligible to have the COVID-19 vaccine. The text you have received will have clear NHS Mid and South Essex (MSE) branding with a link that allows you to book an appointment and there will also be a telephone line option. If you are concerned that the message is a scam, please call 01245 515 919.

The Government has asked us to initially focus on those who are at highest risk of serious COVID complications – this principally being people who are over 80 years old, alongside people who work in care homes and some people who work in health and care who are classified as ‘high risk’. 

Q. When will the second dose will be given?

With effect from 8 January 2021, the Government has asked all vaccination centres to reschedule all second dose appointments to 11 to 12 weeks after the first dose in line with the latest scientific advice they have received. This is to allow more people to receive their first dose of the vaccine.

If you already have your second dose booked, you will receive an appointment cancellation from our online booking system. Please do not try to rebook your appointment online as we will be in touch with your rescheduled appointment in due course which will be at 11 to 12 weeks from your first dose.

We appreciate that this will be disappointing and can only apologise for any inconvenience and distress caused, unfortunately we have been given no discretion on the application of this new arrangement for second doses.

Q. I have no transport to get to one of the hospital vaccination hubs, what can I do?

A. If you are unable to get to the hospital vaccination hub you will still be offered the vaccination, possibly in your own home, on another date by your primary care provider.  There are no patient transport services available for the vaccination programme. 

Q. I don’t want to travel to hospital for the vaccine as it’s a COVID risk.

A. Our hospital vaccination hubs are safe and COVID secure. Any person needing to come to hospital should attend if they possibly can. The Basildon vaccination hub is inside the main entrance to the hospital in a newly built vaccination centre. Southend and Broomfield Hospitals' hubs can be accessed without entering the main hospital buildings. Please follow the signs to the vaccination hubs. Those attending for their appointment must wear a mask and observe social distance guidelines.

Q. I am housebound – how can I get my jab? 

A. You will still be offered the vaccination even if you cannot get to hospital or your local medical centre.  Your primary care provider will arrange this for you, but it is likely to be in the New Year.  The initial roll out of the vaccination programme is being undertaken from special vaccination facilities only.

Q. I have not been invited – should I have been? 

A. The NHS will contact you when it's your turn to have the vaccination. Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them. Continue to stay at home to protect the NHS and abide by social distancing and hand hygiene guidance when you make essential journeys.

The Government has asked us to initially focus on those who are at highest risk of serious COVID complications.  Everybody will be invited to have the vaccination but this programme will take several months.

If you have not been contacted about having the COVID-19 vaccination, please read the information in the leaflet why you are being asked to wait https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-why-you-are-being-asked-to-wait

Q. Should patients contact their medical practice about existing medicines clashing with the vaccination? 

A. It is important that anyone unsure about taking a particular type of vaccine should discuss it with their GP. All those people over 80 attending for a vaccine will receive a pre-assessment review by a doctor prior to having the vaccine.

Further general information about the vaccination programme may be found here https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/12/hospitals-to-start-biggest-ever-nhs-vaccination-programme-this-week/