Vaccine types and patient choice - Frequently asked questions
What vaccines for Covid-19 are currently available?
Following extensive trials, four vaccines, Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen, have been approved by regulators. The first three are available in England now; Janssen will be available later this year. Availability of the different types of vaccine may vary according to different locations and at different times. In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, we currently have Pfizer, Moderna and and a limited supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines available.
Which Covid-19 vaccine will I get for my booster dose?
Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine. This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses. Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
Can I choose the type of vaccine I have?
All Covid-19 vaccines provided by the NHS have been approved and they have passed the Medical and Health Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA’s) very strict tests on safety and efficacy.
You can’t choose which type of vaccine you have; you will have the vaccine that is available in your location at the time when you are eligible. There are a certain number of exceptions to this and the latest national guidance advises under 40 year olds, pregnant women and people with a small number of very specific conditions* to have an alternative to the Astra Zeneca vaccine where possible. In certain cases, people who are at high risk within the groups mentioned above might decide, after discussion with their GP and weighing up the benefits and the risks, to go ahead with the Astra Zeneca vaccine if they are able to have this more quickly in their local area.
More information can be found here:
The COVID-19 vaccine should not be given to those who have had a previous serious allergic reaction to:
- a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine
- any of the vaccine’s contents.
For those patients requiring a second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine:
A small number of people in the county still may require a 2nd dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. These people need to contact their GP surgery who will arrange for them to receive their 2nd dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Unfortunately, this may mean that the patient may need to travel to another GP surgery/Primary Care Network (but within the county) to receive their vaccine, depending on where the AZ vaccine supply is. Alternatively you can book an appointment via the National Booking System.
*The Astra Zeneca vaccine should not be given to those with a history of a previous episode of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (HITT or HIT type 2) or to those who experience a clotting episode with concomitant thrombocytopaenia following the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine.