March 17th Covid Vaccination Briefing
AstraZeneca vaccine is very safe
and causes few serious side effects
Professor Jeremy Brown from Public Health England has spoken up amidst reports of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine causing blood clots saying. "Evidence tells us that the vaccine is very safe and causes few serious side effects. The UK has a robust reporting system and after 11 million doses, we haven't seen any association between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots." 

This is one of many voices saying a link between blood clots and AstraZeneca has not been confirmed and that people should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

Dr Phil Bryan Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Vaccines Safety Lead said:
"The benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, far outweigh the risks of side effects. People should go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so."
"It is still the case that it has not been confirmed the reported blood clots were caused by the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon."

European Union’s medicines regulator has also reiterated there is no indication that the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine causes blood clots, after several countries paused their rollouts, with European Medicines Agency (EMA) head Emer Cooke said she remained firmly convinced” that the benefits of the jab outweighed any risks.

The World Health Organization has urged countries not to halt vaccinations, while
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged people to "listen to the regulators" and to "get the jab" as soon as they got the opportunity, insisting the jab is safe.
Update on new mass vaccination site at Madejski Stadium
Lifelong Reading FC fan Michael Hinton, became the first person to get a Covid jab at the mass vaccination site set up at the Madejski Stadium. Since Michael, 69, and his wife Karen, from Woodley visited the site, the clinicians there have jabbed thousands of other local people in the 65–69 years cohort. 
Once people have received an invitation, they can book via the NHS national booking service, either by ringing 119 or visiting the dedicated website here.

Earlier eligible groups who have not yet taken up a vaccination offer, can also book an appointment at the centre. This includes those aged 70/80+, as well as front line health and social care workers and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Dr Abid Irfan Chair of Berkshire West CCG said:
It’s great that we have this mass vaccination centre now up and running in Reading. It means we’ll be able to deliver the jabs at pace and this will play a critical role in the vaccination programme, which has been working so well across Berkshire West since the first sites came on stream in December."
“The Madejski Vaccination Centre also means our primary care teams will now be able to devote more time to the other healthcare needs of their patients. We’ve all worked incredibly hard to make sure our surgeries continue to provide the wide range of health and care services people need at the same time as rolling out the vaccination programme,” Dr Irfan added.
People aged over 50 in England are now being invited to book their appointment for a Covid vaccine

Two million text messages are being sent out to those aged 50-54 in England with a link allowing people to book an appointment through the national booking service website.

People who cannot go online can call the service on 119.

This is the final group on the priority list which covers 99% of those at high risk of dying from Covid-19.

Everyone in the top nine priority groups should be offered a second dose by mid-July, up to 12 weeks after the first.

Nearly half of the UK adult population has had a jab - more than 24 million people.

Around 1.6 million people have also had a second dose.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I'm determined no-one should miss out on the chance to protect themselves and urge everyone who is eligible to come forward." 

Click HERE or on the image above to read further details. 

COVID-19 Vaccinations for Carers
The following carers are currently being invited as a priority for vaccination as part of Cohort 6: 
  •  Carers who are known to GPs and have a ‘carer's flag’ on their primary care record. These carers will be invited for vaccination by their GP practice.
  •  Carers who are eligible to receive carers allowance. These carers will be invited to book a vaccination at one of the mass vaccination centres. 
  •  Carers who are known to Local Authorities who are in receipt of support following a carers assessment. These carers will be invited to book a vaccination at one of the mass vaccination centres.
There are other unpaid carers who are a priority but are not known to the NHS or local authority. A new national process if being set up so that carers can self-declare to confirm they are caring for someone who is vulnerable to COVID-19 leading to a priority vaccine.

HERE or on the image above to read more details. 
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