FAQs from our recent Zoom Meetings

Are pharmacies in Slough giving out Lateral Flow (Rapid) Testing kits yet?
Yes, the Pharmacies have commenced the Pharmacy Collect Scheme.  Most of the Slough Pharmacies have signed up to participate.  They’re on the site finder:
https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/

Why are the mosques only offering 1st doses of vaccinations – no 2nd doses?
In most instances, your first dose will be at the same place as your second.

• People who received their first dose in a hospital hub or through a GP service will be contacted to receive their second dose, if they haven’t already. You do not need to contact the NHS.
• People who booked their appointments through the national booking service (online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by ringing 119) will have booked both their first and second appointments at the same time.  People who rang 119 will have been given details of their second appointment over the phone.
• People who booked online can remind themselves of their place and time of their second dose using the ‘manage my appointments’ section on www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

I was vaccinated at Salt Hill Park but did not receive ‘a ticket’ to confirm I had received the vaccination. How can I obtain a ticket?
There is no need for them to obtain a ticket. When individuals are vaccinated at our main sites their records are sent back to their GP to notify them of this.

Are second doses being done yet for over 75s?
Second doses started at the beginning of March. You can book your 2nd dose directly if you are approaching the 12week window. 

Is there any problem with diary products allergy and vaccine
None of the 3 currently approved vaccines contain any animal product, egg or porcine

Spreading virus - how does a vaccine support this?
None of the vaccine are 100% effective, so there is still a chance that you might get sick from the virus. Transmission is also reduced by the virus, 67% by the first dose of Oxford and 75% by the first dose of Pfizer. Whilst the virus is still circulating in the wider community we need to help minimize any risk of spread as much as possible. It also takes 2-3 weeks for your body to develop an immune response, so you have no/less protection during that period. 

Why should I check for covid , if I do not have any symptoms  I am referring this with the school covid tests
We are trying to understand how the virus is circulating. Testing people in front line jobs that have no symptoms allows us to see whether they are carrying the virus and potentially could spread to more vulnerable people 

A lot of people say they don’t need the vaccine as they will let their immune system deal with the virus as they do okay with flu virus etc - how can we convince these people?
The mortality rate from flu is around 0.1%, whereas with coronavirus it’s nearer 1% which is a large difference. In addition to this, 10% of people that catch the virus end up with long COVID, which is the long term sickness from the virus. 

where are we with providing vaccination to pregnant women ?
There's no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you're pregnant. But more evidence is needed before you can routinely be offered it.

The JCVI has updated its advice to recommend you may be able to have the vaccine if you're pregnant and:

at high risk of getting coronavirus because of where you work

have a health condition that means you're at high risk of serious complications of coronavirus

You can have the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks with you.

You do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

Ever since we started vaccinating nationwide has there been any vaccinated person who has been hospitalised after getting Covid?
Although we don’t have the data yet, there will have been people that caught COVID in the days leading up to the vaccine and in the 2-3 weeks following the vaccine before their immune system developed the immune response. This is why we need to continue following Hands, Face and Space. All current vaccines allay a high level of protection against serious illness and death, but none are 100% effective at preventing COVID entirely.

How do we know a text msg is genuine?
When a GP messages you about the vaccine they will ask you to speak to the surgery directly, to use the official NHS website or call 119.

How long have they been testing for the vaccines?
The currently approved vaccines have all gone through the 3 stages of clinical trials (As with all vaccines) since the beginning of 2020. 10 years of research into coronaviruses (such as MERS and SARS) has gone into the COVID19 vaccine along with 100+ years of work on vaccinology.

If someone has had a serious reaction to a vaccine in the past, can they still receive the Covid 19 vaccine. Is one more advisable than another of the 3 approved ones in that case?
The likelihood is that they will be offered the Oxford vaccine, but should have that conversation with their GP directly.

What is the percentage of BAME healthcare workers that have been vaccinated?
We don’t have access to that level of data yet

Question from carers who are caring for someone, when is it likely they will be called for vaccination as its crucial within their caring role to also be vaccinated when they are caring for their loved one
Unpaid/voluntary carers are being picked up as part of the next cohort of people to be vaccinated (Within cohort 5 and 6).

Somebody who had just been vaccinated asked how much protection the first dose would give her? Can this be quantified?
All 3 currently approved vaccines provide a good level of protection against coronavirus, research indicates around 50-70% against the virus, and up to 90% against severe illness or death. The second dose will provide the higher level protection and for longer.

How will the vaccine be given to people unable to leave their homes?
They are being supported by their GP practice by home visits through practice nurses and GP’s.

Where are the flu numbers? we haven't heard of anything this year. also heard care workers having to put reason for death as covid even though its cancer. and also of which happened to a neighbour. death at home which definitely wasn't covid but they were told if they want the body back within a short time then they have to put covid otherwise will take a very long time for post mortem. doesnt that show you that numbers are being distorted?

The prevalence of flu has fallen substantially this year due to a range of reasons. Better hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing a face covering work better against flu than COVID as flu isn’t as easily transmitted as COVID. We’ve also vaccinated substantially more against flu than ever before (nearly 30million compared to 15million in previous years) which means we’ve protected huge numbers of people against flu.

There’s been no manipulation of deaths for coronavirus, this is some of the “fake news” narrative that has been circulating. There is a useful blog article which explains how we measure coronavirus deaths and that the 28 day method is the most accurate. This is also closely corroborated by our “excess death” data which tracks the number of deaths compared to the 5 year average and shows that our official COVID deaths are correct.

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/08/12/behind-the-headlines-counting-covid-19-deaths/

Is the vaccine going to control my mind?
No. There is no way that the vaccine can control your mind, it works in the same way that all other vaccines do i.e. a dead or weakened version of a germ which your bodies antibodies remember to protect you in the future.

Will the vaccine alter my DNA?
No. There is no way that any of the vaccines can alter your DNA.

Why is a rumour going around that it will affect my DNA?
Potentially because the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology. This is essentially a replicated copy of a single piece of the spike protein from the DNA of COVID-19 so that your body can remember the virus and protect you in the future, nothing to do with your DNA.

Have any deaths been linked to the vaccine
We have not been made aware of any deaths due to the vaccine. In the UK all adverse events and reactions get recorded through the Yellowcard

Has the vaccine been rushed
No. The vaccine has gone through the same vigorous trials and safety assessments as all vaccines do. It’s used 10 years experience with other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS) and 100 years of experience of vaccines. It was also fortunate to have a much quicker sign up to clinical trials, much larger clinical trials (over 100,000 worldwide took part in the  trials for the 3 currently approved vaccines), greater international collaboration, ability to manufacture at risk and an unlimited amount of money.

Aren’t these deaths usual for this time of year from flu and such?
We would expect an increase in deaths over the winter due to flu and cold weather. Unfortunately this winter we have seen a substantially larger number of deaths over the winter (Excess mortality) due to coronavirus. We have seen less flu deaths this year (so far) due to a range of reasons; Flu isn’t as transmissible as coronavirus (It has a lower R0 rate) and therefore the coronavirus restrictions such as social distancing, face covering and hand washing are even more effective against flu. We have also vaccinated substantially more people than ever before i.e. there are less vulnerable people susceptible to flu than previous years. The COVID restrictions and travel restrictions across the southern hemisphere have contributed towards less flu circulation in the northern hemisphere.

Why is there not a choice in the vaccine one can take?
It’s based on the vaccine that is available at time of administration.  Some vaccines are more suited to GP sites and others to the mass vaccine sites.  Essentially, they all provide a high level of protection against the virus, so people shouldn’t be concerned about having one over the other.

Can you have the vaccine if you have already tested positive?
You will have to wait until 30 days after your positive test or your sickness before you can get vaccinated.

Does one get tested before given vaccine?
No.

If someone refused the vaccine, can they change their mind at a later date?
Yes.

What happens if you miss the 12 week window between the second dose?  Will it still work or be less effective?
The vaccines show high level of effectiveness with the current 12 week period. Missing the 12 week period doesn’t mean it’s dangerous, or that you stop being protected, it might mean that your immunity starts to fall over time. The best thing to do is to get the second dose when it’s offered to experience the full protection offered by the vaccine.

What material do we have in different languages that we can share out?
There is a range of material available on https://covid19graphics.info/  and we can create bespoke material when needed or asked for.

How are you reassuring people who have significant allergies that have been instructed not to be vaccinated with the vaccines from Pfizer & Oxford?
Individual conversations are being had between the GP and the patient around which vaccine of the three might be suitable.

If one has anti bodies already is it OK not to have the vaccine?
You’ll still need the vaccine to prevent the virus from mutating.  Also having already had COVID doesn’t guarantee immunity, and immunity is stronger and longer with the vaccine compared with natural immunity.

Are the homeless getting the vaccine?
Yes, they will be. The council is working with the CCG to ensure they are registered with their GP and can get the vaccine.

How long does the Covid vaccine can last?  Will everyone get vaccine every year?
This still isn’t fully clear. The Moderna vaccine states one year, but we don’t know about the other two yet.  If they need another vaccine then they will be offered that next winter.

Can I get tested without symptoms?
Yes,  www.publichealthslough.co.uk/campaigns/lft

What has been the uptake from the BAME community now with the initial vaccine rollout?
We don’t have the full ethnicity breakdown.  Indications from staff at the site seem to be positive and reflect the local population.  More info to follow when available.

Which of these are true?
The chance of having a severe reaction to the MMR vaccine is around one in one million – True.

Children still need to be vaccinated even if all the other children around are already immune – True.

The HPV vaccine is not suitable for certain people because it contains gelatine – False

Vaccine-preventable diseases are just part of childhood.  Natural immunity is better than vaccine acquired immunity – False.

Vaccinations can overload a baby’s immunity system – False.

There is an HPV vaccination available that does not contain gelatine – False.

Vaccine’s cause autism and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – False.

Are there any leaflets going to households regarding the information on the vaccine?
The next edition of the Citizen magazine includes info and FAQ on the vaccine.  All residents getting tested will also receive all the vaccine info.

Any information on vaccine in Hindi language?
There is a range of material available on https://covid19graphics.info/  and we can create bespoke material when needed or asked for. Please also remember you can translate this page by clicking on the flag and choosing a different language.

How are you capturing anyone who is outside the system ie: the homeless and asylum seekers?
This is being picked up by the council’s Rough Sleeping Team, and the CCG partnership.

What is the length of clinical trial
The initial phases of the clinical trials for the new COVID vaccine (and the various versions being developed) happened over a period of month, but will continue over the coming months and year to gauge effectiveness and whether there is lasting immunity. Current trials of the 3 main contenders are being done with over 100,000 people worldwide.

Is the vaccine completely free?
Yes 

Is there any trial with BAME population
Yes, the clinical trials for the leading 3 contenders of the vaccine are being trialed with a diverse sample of 100,000 people across the world. There is an additional clinical trial happening in the USA which is specifically targeting the BAME population.

What happens with children under 16.  
At this time there are no plans to vaccinate children

I have long health condition it’s possible to me to have vaccine
People with long term health conditions and those vulnerable to COVID will be prioritized as part of the national roll out. 

Have a concern that businesses are not following rules - and allow customers into premises without masks etc...when challenged they shrug shoulders and say they cant enforce wearing of masks? this is most evident with fastfood takeaway places....needs to be addressed from SBC how can this be better done?
Yes this is being picked up by our dedicated environmental services team and the 8 COVID wardens. Residents can also help out by letting us know of particular issues by emailing coronavirus@slough.gov.uk

How do you check someone is exempt from wearing a mask?
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Is there any animal extract in the vaccine
No – Further information available at www.publichealthslough.co.uk/campaigns/covidvaccine

What are the side effects?
Local reactions at the injection site are fairly common after Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, primarily pain at the injection site, usually without redness and swelling. Systemic events reported were generally mild and short lived (Walsh et al, 2020). In the final safety analysis of over 21,000 participants 16 years and older, the most common events were injection site pain (>80%), fatigue (>60%), and headache (>50%). Full information is available in the Greenbook - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/941450/Greenbook_chapter_14a_v2.pdf

What is it made from?
With the Pfizer/BioTech vaccine the ingredients are:

  •  - The active substance is BNT162b2 RNA.
    •  - The other ingredients are:
      - ALC-0315 = (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate),
      - ALC-0159 = 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide,
      - 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine,
      - cholesterol
      - potassium chloride,
      - potassium dihydrogen phosphate,
      - sodium chloride,
      - disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate,
      - sucrose

Full information can be found here- https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/940566/Information_for_UK_recipients_on_Pfizer_BioNTech_COVID-19_vaccine.pdf 

If I have it, will I be immune immediately?
With both the Pfizer/BioTech vaccine and the Oxford/Zeneca vaccine you will require 2 doses. It takes your body 2-3 weeks following a dose to build up an antibody response. 

Will I be forced to have it?
No. There are no plans to enforce vaccination uptake. However, in order to see an end to the COVID pandemic and to ensure that the most vulnerable and immunosuppressed are protected we must support everyone to get vaccinated.

I need to isolate, what support is available to me? 
The One Slough partnership is offering support for Slough residents. Those who continue to shield or are self isolating because they or someone they have been in contact with has Covid-19 symptoms can still get help and support with deliveries of medication, wellbeing calls as well as help with other areas of their life. One Slough can be contacted on 01753 944198 or by visiting www.sloughcvs.org/covid19/

What if I need further support with physical or mental health? 
The public health team offer a range of resources and services for Slough residents. This includes tailored mental health support tools, smoking cessation services, weight management programmes and a range of other support tools. We also have bespoke support for residents having to spend large amounts of time at home through the “Health at Home” programme.

For more information visit: www.publichealthslough.co.uk 

Don't they want to test asymptomatic carriers?
Yes www.publichealthslough.co.uk/campaigns/lft

Is it likely that another delivery method will be available for those people who are needle phobic?
At the moment they are focusing on releasing as many vaccines as possible but all needle based. This might change in the long term but that is not clear yet.

Is there any truth in that the companies who have produced the vaccines are taking no responsibilities if there are any adverse side-effects?
As with the majority of vaccines and vaccine manufacturers the UK government protects against adverse side effects and not the manufacturer themselves. This is not unusual and is the same for other vaccines.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-add-covid-19-to-vaccine-damage-payments-scheme

Are you collecting statistics about % of people who are offered the vaccine who turn down the opportunity?
As with all vaccinations the NHS locally (Through GP’s) collects the data on who has and hasn’t had specific vaccines. We are not aware of any plan to use this information yet.

Are you experiencing the type of resistance to vaccination as some community groups in USA who have been said that there has been historical abuse & therefore refuse point-blank?
There is certainly an underlying concern that certain groups will be less likely to get vaccinated. Research done by UK:PHR suggested that 76% of the public will have a vaccine if offered (79% White and 57% BAME) – Significant difference and challenges within different ethnic groups and socio-economic groups. (One possible reason was lower trust)

Is there any truth in that the companies who have produced the vaccines are taking no responsibilities if there are any adverse side-effects?
Already answered above i.e.

As with the majority of vaccines and vaccine manufacturers the UK government protects against adverse side effects and not the manufacturer themselves. This is not unusual and is the same for other vaccines.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-add-covid-19-to-vaccine-damage-payments-scheme

What targeting in terms of communications is taking place in the parts of Slough where the rates are the highest?   Also is there any data on where people may have caught COVID-19 i.e. school, home, hospital etc.
The council and OneSlough partnership is continuing it work on informing and engaging with residents. We get the data in specific settings where there has been an outbreak (i.e. 2 or  more linked cases) and this is used to help with contact tracing and infection control. Unfortunately general community transmission is high, which means all areas of the town have been affected and we can’t easily pin down to specific sites or locations.

Will there be mass vaccination in Slough/Berkshire and if yes where/how?
Yes there will be two main mass vaccination sites (Langley and Salt Hill Activity Centre). You will be contacted by your GP when it’s your turn

After the high risk groups what order will the rest of the community be vaccinated?

    1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
    2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
    3. all those 75 years of age and over
    4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals[footnote 1]
    5. all those 65 years of age and over
    6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
    7. all those 60 years of age and over
    8. all those 55 years of age and over
    9. all those 50 years of age and over

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