Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination FAQs

Surrey Heartlands Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Logo

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Questions

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. An effective vaccine is the best way to protect you and your family from coronavirus.

Please find details of pop-up and walk-in vaccination clinics on our vaccination centres webpage.


First doses

You do not need to wait to be contacted before booking your vaccine appointment if any of the following apply:

  • you are aged 18 or over

You can book your appointment near to where you live. When you receive a text inviting you to book your vaccination appointment, just click on the link and you will be given a range of dates and times to choose from.

You can also attend a larger vaccination centre or a pharmacy that provides COVID-19 vaccinations via the online coronavirus vaccination appointments facility now.

The local NHS will be inviting those aged 16+ to have their first vaccination in the coming weeks. 
Texts will be sent initially with details on how to book an appointment. Please help us by being patient, you or your child will be contacted.

Please note if you are aged 39yrs and younger you will be offered either Pfizer or Moderna as an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine unless there is a strong clinical indication otherwise. This is based on guidance issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) on 7 May 2021.


Second doses

Appointments for a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will be brought forward from 12 weeks to eight to nine weeks for the remaining people aged 18+ who have yet to receive their second dose in line with government guidance. This is to ensure people across the UK have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity.

How will I be contacted for my second dose appointment?

Local GP-led vaccination sites will contact individuals by text or by telephone with appointment details. You do not need to contact the NHS. Or you can take advantage of one of our walk-in services that are advertised on our website.

If you attended one of the national mass vaccination sites, you should already have your appointment for your second dose and will be contacted if you are eligible for it to be brought forward.

Please call 119 if you have any issues relating to your second dose appointment in a mass vaccination centre.

If you have any issues relating to your second dose you can contact the Local Vaccination Service where you had your first dose appointment as follows:

  • East Surrey - Alliance for Better Care (ABC)
    • 0333 370 4110
  • Guildford and Waverley - ProCare
    • 01483 362522
  • North West Surrey - North West Surrey Integrated Care Service (NICS)
    • 0300 561 1324
  • Surrey Downs - please contact the CCG Vaccination Enquiry Service
    • see details below

Please do not call the above numbers for any other enquiries about the vaccination programme or to ask when you will be contacted for your first dose vaccination. We ask everyone to be patient.

Please note that second doses cannot be brought forward beyond existing timeframes due to travel plans, whether for work or for leisure. Please do not contact the CCG asking for appointments to be amended for this reason.


Help us to help you

  • Please attend your booked appointments

  • Please do not arrive too early for your vaccination appointment to help us maintain social distancing

  • Please continue to follow all the rules to control the virus and save lives.

COVID Booster Vaccinations

The Booster programme will be rolled out to the same priority groups as previously for the first dose COVID vaccination. This means priority will be given in the first instance to:-

  • Care home residents, health and social care workers
  • People aged over 50
  • Those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • Adult carers, and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.

Those who are in these priority groups for the booster will be contacted to come forward for their Booster. Please note there must be at least a six month gap from your second vaccination to becoming eligible for a booster. 

Those people who are currently on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list will also be given priority for the COVID Booster Vaccine Most vulnerable to be offered COVID-19 booster vaccines from next week - GOV.UK (



Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year-olds


Following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced that healthy children and young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

FAQs specific to 12 to 15 year-old vaccinations can be found below.



Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Questions

Below are a series of Frequently Asked Questions to help you in making an informed decision about the Coronavirus vaccine. 

Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Updates page to find out the latest news and updates about the Vaccination Programme in Surrey Heartlands.

You cannot chose which vaccine you will have. Vaccines provided by the NHS have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy.

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. Please be assured that whichever vaccine you get, it is worth your while.

When will I be offered a vaccination?

We are following the guidance issued by the JCVI (Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation) and vaccinating people in a priority order based on the JCVI’s determination of risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19.

The following groups are now eligible for vaccination:

  • Young people and adults aged 16 years and over

  • Children aged 12 to 15 years with specific underlying health problems. This currently includes children with:

    o severe neuro-disabilities,

    o Down’s Syndrome,

    o underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression,

    o profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD),

    o severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register.

  • Children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of persons (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed.

I have a question about the NHS App
  • The NHS Digital Support Centre has lots of useful informaation about how the NHS App works and how it shows your vaccination status.

Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year-olds

Who will be responsible for giving the COVID-19 vaccine to healthy 12 to 15 year-olds?
  • Vaccination will be carried out by school-aged immunisation service (SAIS) providers, a group of provider organisations such as NHS community trusts who are contracted in local systems to provide routine immunisation services such as flu.

Vaccination safety

Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe?
  • Yes. The NHS will not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have confirmed they are safe.  

    The MHRA, the official UK regulator, has said that the vaccines currently provided – Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneka - and the newly approved vaccine – Moderna - are very safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

  • As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once they have been authorised and are being administered to the public.

Fertility, pregnancy, and the vaccines

Should I receive the vaccine if I am of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • There's no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine has any effect on your chances of becoming pregnant. They do not affect fertility and there's no need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination.

  • If you're pregnant, you will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine when you're eligible for it (when it is the turn of your age group).

  • If you're pregnant, you will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. They have been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and have not caused any safety issues. You will not be offered the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • You can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines if you're breastfeeding. If you are 39 years or younger, you will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine as with all patients in this age group.

  • The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

  • Read the latest COVID-19 vaccine advice if you’re pregnant, may get pregnant or are breastfeeding on GOV.UK

Existing health conditions and the vaccines

I’ve had my flu vaccine, do I need a coronavirus vaccine?
  • The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19.

  • As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but they should be separated by at least a week.

The vaccines and suitability

Do the vaccines contain animal products?
  • No, the approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg. The COVID-19 vaccine ingredients are available on the GOV.UK website.

How effective are the vaccines?

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?
  • The 1st dose of an approved 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.

  • There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have been vaccinated but the chance of serious illness is lowered. This means it is important to continue to follow social distancing guidance and wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people.

Booking your vaccination appointment

How will I know where I have to go for my vaccination?

Help with your vaccination appointment

I don't have transport to get to my vaccination appointment. What should I do?

Attending your vaccination appointment

What do I need to bring to my appointment?
  • You'll need to bring:

    o A face covering, unless you cannot wear one for an age, health or disability reason.

    o Your booking reference number.

    o If you are a health or social care worker, eligible because of your workplace, you will need to bring proof of your work identity such as a work ID card, wage slip or official letter from your employer.

After your vaccination appointment

Will I be protected from the virus straight after my first vaccination?
  • No. For both vaccines you get the vast majority of your protection from two weeks after the first dose. It is therefore extremely important that you continue to adhere to all current rules to minimise infection.

Vaccination locations

Where are the Surrey Heartlands vaccination sites?
  • Go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Centres page to find out where services are located in Surrey Heartlands.

    There are different types of sites operating in Surrey Heartlands:

    1. Sandown Racecourse and Community Pharmacies, which are sites coordinated by NHS England.
    2. GP-led Local Vaccination Sites.
    3. GP-Led Pop-up Vaccination Sites.
Review Date: 2021-07-19
Review Due: 2021-09-20
Model Publication Scheme Class: Class 9: Services Commissioned