The vaccines that will help protect us from COVID-19 are now being rolled out across Scotland. When offered the vaccine please get it. Here are the key reasons why you should get a vaccine:
- The vaccines have been through rigorous clinical trials and the same safety checks as any other
- They have been proven as safe and effective for use in the UK by the Independent Scientific Advisory Committee, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and licensed for use by the regulatory body MHRA
- Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, others and our NHS from COVID-19
- The vaccine is our best way out of coronavirus, offering protection that until now has not been available
- You do not have to do anything, or contact your GP, you will be contacted when it is your turn to get the vaccine
- The vaccine programme is dependent on the quantity of vaccine available. As we get the vaccine we will call forward groups in priority order
- The vaccination programme brings hope and encouragement that we can all eventually get back to the things that we miss the most It is important that whilst we wait to be vaccinated that we stick to FACTS and adhere to the latest Government guidance to protect ourselves and others.
How to get the vaccine
Vaccinations are taking place differently across Scotland to reflect the needs of local communities.
Your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination may not take place at your GP practice. As the vaccine becomes available the eligible groups will be contacted in priority order to explain how they can get the vaccine in their area.
To find out more information, visit www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine or phone 0800 030 8013.
As with all vaccines, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert body, recommends priority groups based on clinical evidence.
For the COVID-19 vaccine, those to be offered immunisation in the first phase in order of priority are below. The first groups that are already being vaccinated include:
- Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers
- Frontline health and care staff
- Those aged 80 and over
JCVI advises the order of priority for the vaccination is:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- all those 65 years of age and over
- all individuals aged 16 years to 65 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious illness or death
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
Frequently Asked Questions
NHS Scotland will only use a vaccine if it meets the required standards of safety and effectiveness. All medicines, including vaccines, are tested for safety and effectiveness before they’re allowed to be used. The safety of the vaccines continues to be checked while in use.
We only use a vaccine if it has been through rigorous clinical trials, and has been passed and recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). There is also a rigorous review by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to establish independently whether the vaccine is safe and effective and should be authorised for supply in the UK.
The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause COVID-19. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you. This can reduce your risk of developing COVID-19 or, if you do get COVID-19, it can make the symptoms milder. The vaccine is also suitable for people with disorders of the immune system. The vaccines’ effectiveness will continue to be monitored as the vaccines are rolled out.
The vaccine will be given as an injection in the upper arm. During vaccination, strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place. It will only take a few minutes to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine will be given in two doses. It is important to get both doses to protect yourself against COVID-19.
You will be advised when to return for your second dose.
You should still go for your COVID-19 vaccine if you have a minor illness without fever. If you feel very unwell, your vaccine may be postponed until you have fully recovered.
If you’re feeling unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, do not attend your vaccine appointment. You should self-isolate and book a COVID-19 test. This can be done at nhsinform.scot/testing. If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 – even if you have no symptoms – you should wait until four weeks after the date you were tested to get the vaccine.
Yes. Even if you’ve already had COVID-19, you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19. If you do get it again, the vaccine can reduce how serious the symptoms will be. If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 – even if you have no symptoms – you should wait until four weeks after the date you were tested to get the vaccine. Can the COVID-19 vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines? You should wait seven days between the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccination.
You should not get the coronavirus vaccine if you’ve had a severe anaphylactic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine or a previous dose of the vaccine. This will affect very few people, but you will be able to ask any questions at your appointment.
Find out more about the vaccines and their ingredients here
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is not routinely recommended if you’re pregnant, as it has not been tested on pregnant women.
f you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, read more about the coronavirus vaccine and pregnancy here.
Some people may experience side effects after the vaccine.
It is important to get two doses of the vaccine, even if you have mild side effects after the first dose. These are usually mild and may include:
- tenderness, swelling and/or redness at the injection site
- muscle ache
- feeling tired
- fever (temperature above 37.8°C)
A less common side effect is swelling of the glands. This starts a few days after the vaccine and may last for up to two weeks. This is to be expected and is a sign of the immune system responding to the vaccine. If you feel uncomfortable, take paracetamol. Make sure you take paracetamol as directed on the label or leaflet.
With 95% effectiveness in trials, we presume that people will be protected and population immunity will occur. There will not be any post-vaccination checks.
With up to 130,000 of our 150,000 population eligible for two doses of vaccine, we estimate that vaccination will be completed by 31st May 2021.
All the evidence from Phase 3 trials provides confidence that this will be a highly effective means of combating the coronavirus.
Scientists have been working away quietly over several months to develop the vaccines and help ensure the required testing take places to demonstrate both their effectiveness and their safety.
Mass Vaccination Programme Gets Underway
A mass programme of vaccination against COVID-19 in the region got underway at Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary on Tuesday 8th December 2020.
Everyone eligible to receive the vaccination is being encouraged to take up the opportunity when it is presented – but not to call the NHS or their GP, and to continue following directions aimed at tackling the coronavirus.
Initially, vaccinations are being delivered at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary with the approach of vaccinating the ‘front door’ hospital teams but expanding across all front line health and social care staff, including care home and care at home staff.
We understand that you may have questions about the vaccine, and so have put together some information below that might answer some of your queries.