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COVID-19 Booster FAQs

Like some other vaccines, the level of protection may begin to wane over time.

It does not mean that your protection from doses 1 and 2 suddenly disappear, just the research shows a booster dose will help extend the protection you have gained from those first two doses, and will give you longer term protection.

The booster will help reduce the risk of you needing to be admitted into hospital due to a COVID-19 infection this winter.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended a COVID-19 booster programme. You can read more about their recommendations here: JCVI statement regarding a COVID-19 booster vaccine programme for winter 2021 to 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Welsh Government accepted that advice, you can read WG’s statement here: Written Statement: COVID-19 Vaccination – JCVI announcement Autumn booster programme (14 September 2021) | GOV.WALES

Following these announcements, here at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, we put our COVID-19 booster programme into action.

The booster will first be offered to those at higher risk of catching COVID-19 and likely to suffer serious complications of the infection.

People in priority groups are:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 50 years and over
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • adult household contacts (aged 16 or over) of immunosuppressed individual

Those eligible for a booster fall into the original priority groups (1 to 9) from the first and second doses.

Please do not worry if you see or hear of someone being offered the booster before you. It may be that they are in a priority group that you are not aware of due to health conditions or their employment.

We will be trying to offer booster appointments in the order of the original priority groups and in the order of when people received their second dose. There will always be some exceptions.

The booster is being offered at least 26 weeks after your second dose.

Protection against severe disease from the first two doses seems to decline very slowly. So please do not worry if your booster vaccine is given weeks after the 26-week time-point. You are not due your booster the day the 26 weeks is up and you are not overdue your booster at that time.

We cannot offer anyone a booster earlier than 26 weeks since you had your second dose.

The booster dose should help to extend your protection into the next year.

We have already offered a booster to all older adults in care homes in Cwm Taf Morgannwg.

As of (01.10.21) we are in the process of vaccinating the following groups:

  • Staff at care homes for older adults in Cwm Taf Morgannwg
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • People aged 75 and over

We are still sending out appointment letters to the above groups, and you should not worry if you have not yet received your appointment.

Once these groups are completed we will move on to the under 75’s, and then continue to move through the priority groups.

We will send you an appointment letter which will invite you into one of our community vaccination centres.

There is no need to contact us, we will be in touch with you, and we do ask for your patience as we move as quickly and as safely as possible through the priority groups.

You cannot book yourself a booster appointment and you cannot walk-in for a booster.

If you are NHS frontline staff and are based at one of our hospitals, we will offer you a vaccination on-site.

Here at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB you will be offered a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine*.

You will be offered the right vaccine for you which may be the same or different from the vaccines that you had before.

*If you were not able to have the Pfizer vaccine for your first and second doses there is more information below for you around allergies.

As with your previous dose, common side effects are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK, and include:

  • having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection for several days after the vaccine
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • general aches, or mild flu like symptoms

A mild fever may occur for two to three days but a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection.

You can take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) and rest to help you feel better. Do not exceed the normal dose.

These symptoms normally last less than a week.

If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111 Wales on 111 or your GP surgery.

Calls to NHS 111 Wales are free from landlines and mobiles.

Serious side effects Worldwide.

There have also been recent, very rare cases of inflammation of the heart called myocarditis or pericarditis reported after Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

These cases have been seen mostly in younger men within several days after vaccination.

Most of these people recovered and felt better following rest and simple treatments.

You should seek medical advice urgently if, after vaccination, you experience:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
   
     
     
     
     

There are very few people who should not have a booster.

If you had a severe reaction after any previous dose you may be advised to avoid or delay further vaccination.

You should discuss this with your doctor or specialist. You can report any side effects online at: Official MHRA side effect and adverse incident reporting site for coronavirus treatments and vaccines | Coronavirus (COVID-19)or via the Yellow Card app.

Further information and patient leaflets can be found at: Immunisation and Vaccines - Public Health Wales (nhs.wales)

All of our GP practices took part, and played a huge role in the original COVID-19 vaccine programme. Between them, they delivered around 235,000 first and second doses to people living in our communities.

Ahead of the winter, and the pressure GPs will be facing, and that they will be administering the flu vaccine, in a joint decision with our GPs, it was decided they would not take part in the COVID-19 booster programme.

We will be inviting everyone into our community vaccination centres (CVCs).

We have five community vaccination centres in Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, spread across our health board’s footprint.

They are:

  • Llantrisant CVC (Llantrisant Leisure Centre, CF72 8DJ)
  • Bridgend CVC (Ravens Court, CF31 4AP)
  • Merthyr Tydfil CVC (Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre, CF48 1UT)
  • Mountain Ash CVC (Cynon Valley Indoor Bowls Centre, CF45 4DA)
  • Rhondda CVC (Rhondda Sports Centre, CF41 7SY)

We carefully selected the location of our CVCs to try and make them as accessible as possible to the widest population. They are all easy to access, have parking and are on public transport routes.

If, however, there is no way you can access transport to get to one of our CVCs, we may be able to help. Please call the booking team (their number is on your appointment letter). The team there will check your eligibility to access our vaxi-taxi service.

We are offering the COVID-19 booster to a large number of people. Added to that we are trying to get people protected ahead of the winter as quickly and safely as possible, and so we would respectfully ask that you try to prioritise your booster appointment.

All employers in Wales have been asked by Welsh Government to be understanding to anyone needing to leave work to keep their vaccine appointment.

However, we do understand there will be occasions when you cannot possibly make your appointment. If this is the case, please ring our booking team, they will cancel your appointment and rearrange a new one for you.

Please keep to the time of your appointment window. Please try not to arrive too early ahead of your appointment as this could mean having to unnecessarily queue. If you arrive late for your appointment, we cannot guarantee you will be offered the booster.

Our walk-in clinics continue to be open for anyone who wants their first dose (16 and over) and for anyone aged 18 and over who is overdue their second dose (more than eight weeks has passed since their first).

There are no booster walk-ins. They are by appointment only.

There is more information on our walk-in clinics on the first and second dose walk-in section.

If you were given an alternative vaccine to Pfizer for your initial doses due to being unable to have Pfizer, then you should contact us (contact number on your letter) when you get your appointment letter.

Please call the booking team and explain that you had an alternative vaccine due to allergies. They will cancel your appointment, and pass your details on to our allergy clinics who will get in touch with you to rearrange a new appointment.

If you, or someone you care for, was given their first and second doses in their own home because they were housebound, then when you/they receive the appointment letter, please contact the booking team (number on your letter) and explain that you/they are housebound.

They will cancel your appointment and pass your details on to our mobile vaccination team who will get in touch with you to rearrange a new appointment.

We are not offering the flu vaccination with the COVID-19 booster.

We would encourage you, if eligible, to get your flu jab. This year it is more important than ever to be protected against flu.

Please get your flu vaccine from your usual source be it your GP or community pharmacy for example.

There is no time gap needed between flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

The contact number on your appointment letter is only for cancelling/rearranging appointments and identifying you as housebound or needing to go to an allergy clinic only.

We have a vaccination advice line for all other enquiries.

It is open seven days a week, 9:00am to 4:30pm.

The number is 01685 726464.

Public Health Wales has dedicated a whole section of its websites to vaccines including frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines and eligibility. Click here: COVID-19 vaccination information - Public Health Wales (nhs.wales)

You will also find accessible information including easy read, British sign language, large print and translations for languages (other than English and Welsh).