Updated 13/4/2021

A leaflet explaining more about the vaccine and answering some of your questions, is available to download here.

Further to recent reports of withdrawal of Astra Zeneca vaccine from some countries, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency have issued this statement –

Geraint Davies, Strategic Vaccination Lead for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes said:

“Some of our residents have received letters informing them that their second vaccination has been rescheduled.

We want to give our residents assurance that they will receive the second dose of their vaccination within the recommended 11-week period.

Some residents were booked in to receive their second dose slightly earlier than 11 weeks, so that we could maximise our workforce and vaccinate as many of our residents as possible. With vaccine supplies now being constrained for the next four weeks, we have amended some appointments so that residents will be vaccinated within the 11-week window.

This will allow us to schedule in second doses and continue to deliver first vaccinations to people in the first 9 cohorts.”

Dr Phil Bryan, MHRA Vaccines Safety Lead said,

“Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and we continually monitor the safety of vaccines to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

It has not been confirmed that the report of a blood clot, in Denmark, was caused by the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

The Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic authorities’ action to temporarily suspend use of the vaccine is precautionary whilst they investigate.

Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK.

Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.

The safety of the public will always come first. We are keeping this issue under close review but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause.

People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”

If you are aged 50 or over

Patients aged 50 or over will now start to receive letters from the NHS England National Booking Service advising that they are able to book covid vaccination appointments.

Patients in this age group are being asked to book through the national booking line for an appointment at a vaccination centre.

To arrange your vaccination appointment:

Across BLMK there are vaccination centres that are available to book through the national booking system and there are vaccination centres run by local GP’s.

For more information about the Covid-19 vaccination and blood clotting, please read the guidance from Public Health England.

Further Support

If you have any queries or concerns about the vaccine or the booking process you may find this FAQ useful.

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.

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Attending your appointment

Please do not attend any of the vaccination centres unless you have booked an appointment.

When it is time for your appointment, please don’t turn up early. We need to keep everyone safe by socially distancing in waiting areas, so they are limited to the numbers they can hold.

Please remember to take your booking number with you when attending a vaccination appointment. Those who arrive at the centres without their booking number will be turned away.

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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What to do at your vaccination appointment

When you do get a time for your vaccination, on the day of your appointment please turn up on time. Don’t come early as there are limited waiting areas and people will be asked to leave and come back.  This is important to ensure that social distancing is observed at all times and we want everyone to stay safe.

Frequently asked questions

We know that while you are waiting to hear about an appointment you may have some questions. Most of these can be found here on the BLMK CCG’s FAQ page, which is constantly updated.