Updated 20/7/2021

NHS Message

Help protect the things we love. Get the jab. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus.

Get a jab this week

More walk-in centres are open across our area this week. Anyone over 18 can have their first vaccination by using the NHS walk-in centres to get their jab.  No appointment needed.

Drop in opening times – Pfizer vaccinations only

The second dose can only be given to those who have waited a minimum of eight weeks from their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

  • Watling House, Dunstable, 9am-5pm every day
  • Biggleswade Hospital 9am-3pm every day

Drop-In opening times – AstraZeneca vaccinations only

Please note: the first dose of AstraZeneca is for over 40s only. The second dose can only be given to those who have waited a minimum of eight weeks from their first dose of AstraZeneca.

  • Rufus Centre, Flitwick 8.30am-5.30pm Wednesday, Thursday and 10am-5.30pm Sunday

Drop-In opening times – Moderna vaccinations only

  • Rufus Centre, Flitwick 8.30am-5.30pm Wednesday and Thursday; 10am-5.30pm Sunday

Book an appointment

Across our area there are vaccination centres that are available to book through the national booking system and there are vaccination centres run by local GPs.

There are vaccination centres in Flitwick, Biggleswade, Shefford and Dunstable as well as in Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes.

You can also get the COVID-19 vaccine through your GP or from pharmacies across our area including in Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Woburn Sands, Biggleswade and Stotfold as well as Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes.

  • Book through the online National Booking Service or
  • Call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

Vaccines are safe and effective

Approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have gone through the same clinical trials and safety checks that other licensed medicines go through.

Over 40 million people in the UK – including two thirds of adults in Central Bedfordshire – have had at least one dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and the safety of the vaccines continues to be monitored. Reports of serious side effects are very rare.

To find out more watch this BBC video

Video capture

Side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine

Like all medicines, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them. Any side effects are usually mild and go away within a few days.

Common side effects

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

You may also get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery one or two days after your vaccination. You can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to. If your symptoms get worse or you’re worried, call 111.

If you have a high temperature that lasts longer than two days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have COVID-19. Stay at home and get a test.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine, but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

Blood clotting

The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is investigating reports of an extremely rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

It’s not yet clear why it affects some people.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. For people aged 40 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

For people under 40 without other health conditions, it’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting on GOV.UK

What is the impact of Covid-19 vaccines on fertility?

Statement

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said: “ We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.”

Further information and more detail on this can be found on their website.

COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, or think you might be, you can have the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll be invited when your age group are offered it or earlier if you have a health condition or reason that means you’re eligible.

It’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because they’ve been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and have not caused any safety issues.

You can book your COVID-19 vaccination online. During the booking process, you’ll be asked if you’re pregnant. This is to make sure you’re offered an appointment for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

COVID-19 useful information

Further Support

Our local carers organisation, Carers in Bedfordshire, also continues to provide support, information and advice for carers.  Further information on their services can be found on their website or by calling 0300 111 1919.

Help with transport to vaccination appointments

If you don’t have your own transport, and are unable to use public transport, to get to your vaccination appointment, you may be able to get some assistance from local organisations.

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