Covid-19 vaccinations in Somerset
Last updated: 24 September 2021
Update on COVID-19 Booster Programme
We are now rolling out the COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Programme across Somerset to those who are eligible. We will be following the guideline in the order and eligibility given. You do not need to contact the NHS to arrange your booster vaccine. Once you have received the national invitation you will be able to go on the National Booking site: nhs.uk/CovidVaccination or call 119
It is important to note that even if you fall within one of the early cohorts (due to your age or existing health conditions) you will only be eligible for your COVID-19 booster vaccine at least 6 months after your second vaccine dose.
The booster programme will be delivered through existing and additional vaccination sites including pharmacies, hospital hubs, some GP practices and vaccine centres. We will be prioritising care home residents and staff ensuring they are offered a vaccine by the beginning of November
There are a wide range of locations where you can get your COVID jab across Somerset, by using the National Booking Service to book both your first and second doses online: nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by phoning 119, there’s no need to contact your GP practice.
Current walk-in clinics available
|Venue||Address||Accepting age 16 & over||AZ|
|Clinic Date||Clinic Times|
|Winchester Farm||Draycott Road, Cheddar, BS27 3RP||Yes||yes||yes||Every Wednesday||9am – 4pm|
|The Gateway||Addlewell Lane, The Gateway, Yeovil, BA20 1QN||Yes||yes||yes||Monday 27, Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 & Thursday 30 September||8.30am-12pm / 12.30pm-4pm / 4.30pm – 7.30pm|
|The Shape||District Council Offices, Cannard’s Grave Rd, Shepton Mallet BA4 5BT||Yes||yes||yes||Saturday 25 September||8am-1pm|
|The Shape||District Council Offices, Cannard’s Grave Rd, Shepton Mallet BA4 5BT||Yes||yes||yes||Saturday 2 October||8am – 1pm|
|Taunton Racecourse||Shoreditch, Taunton,TA3 7BL ||Yes||yes||yes||Every day||8.30am -7pm|
|Haynes Motor Museum||Sparkford, Yeovil, BA22 7LH||Yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||Monday-Friday||9am – 5.00pm|
Walk-in clinics offer both first and second doses, but you need to wait eight weeks in between your first and second dose. To check availability and the nearest location to where you live, visit the National Booking Service website: Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination –
Don’t forget – if you haven’t yet booked your appointment or had your first dose of the COVID vaccine, please go online or call 119 to confirm your booking dates – there’s no need to worry there are plenty of slots and you haven’t missed out!
Who are we vaccinating?
Vaccinations continue to be available for everyone in priority groups 1-12 who have not yet taken up the offer of a vaccine, by booking an appointment through the National Booking Service, or using one of the walk-in clinics.
All Somerset vaccination sites are following the latest JCVI preference to provide an alternative to the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for adults under the age of 39, without underlying health conditions.
If you already have an appointment over the coming weeks, whether for your first or second dose, it’s really important that you attend it as planned. If we need to make any changes to appointments, we will contact you directly.
Please be aware that some operating days and times at our vaccination sites will flex up and down in line with vaccine supply and bookings, following the JCVI guidance on priority cohorts and when to administer second doses. A small number of appointments may also be rescheduled to alternative days.
Guidance on vaccinating children and young people
At this time, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that all 16-17 year old should be offered a first dose of Pfizer-BNT162b2. This is in addition to the existing offer of 2 doses of vaccine to 16 to 17-year-olds who are in ‘at-risk’ groups
On Monday 13 September it was announced that people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs). You can read the information on the government website here
On Tuesday 14 September it was announced that the booster programme will be rolled our to the same priority group as previously. This means 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 will be prioritised. More details on this programme will be announced shortly and the website will be updated with the relevant information for residents of Somerset.
Where in Somerset are vaccinations being delivered?
Vaccinations are currently being delivered through:
- A range of GP-led community sites
- Large vaccination centres located at Taunton Racecourse and Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford. (Last jabs were delivered at the Bath and West Showground site on 1 August. The vaccination team will move to Haynes from 5 August) The vaccination team at Taunton Racecourse will move to a new site in Taunton, at Firepool at the beginning of October.
- Pharmacy- led sites located in Taunton, Bruton, Burnham on Sea, Bridgwater, Alcombe, Glastonbury, Wedmore and Morrisons in Yeovil
- A range of weekly walk-in and pop-up clinics
Our GP-led sites are being organised by primary care networks (PCNs), which are groups of local GP practices in an area working together to deliver vaccinations in community locations. All our centres are staffed by vaccinators and clinical supervisors, as well as administrators, staff and stewards to ensure that the centre runs smoothly for those attending.
You can read the latest news and updates on the vaccination programme on our news pages here: Somerset CCG news pages
Need a vaccination buddy?
Are you, or someone you know worried about having the COVID-19 Vaccination?
Spark Somerset’s team of Vaccination Buddy volunteers can offer 1-2-1 support over the phone to anybody in Somerset who is worried about having the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccination Buddies come from all walks of life and can speak a range of languages. They have undergone full training from Public Health at Somerset County Council. Although they are knowledgeable , they cannot offer medical advice.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know the Covid-19 vaccine is safe?
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.
- Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine
- Oxford University/ AstraZeneca Vaccine
- Moderna Vaccine news release
- MHRA guidance on coronavirus vaccine safety
- Covid vaccine information – NHS
- Green Book – provisional guidance – Provisional guidance has just been added to the Green Book, which has the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures in the UK.
- Vaccine Knowledge Project website – This website provides independent information about how vaccines are tested licensed and monitored and meets the World Health Organisation’s criteria for providing high quality information.
On 7 April 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new advice, concluding a possible link between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and extremely rare, unlikely to occur blood clots. It concluded that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but advised careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition. Please see the information above for further details.
What is the recent change in guidance with respect to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine?
On 7 April 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new advice, concluding a possible link between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and extremely rare, unlikely to occur blood clots. It concluded that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but advised careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and advise that:
- the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
- It is preferable for adults aged under 30 years without underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine, if available. People may make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to receive earlier protection.
What should I do next?
Public Health England has provided advice.
If you are over 50 years of age or have underlying medical conditions
The MHRA and the JCVI advises that you should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.
You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose. If your first dose was with AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you should have the second dose on time as you may still be at high risk of the complications of COVID-19. Having the second dose will give you higher and longer lasting protection.
If you are a healthy person between 30 and 50 years of age
The MHRA and the JCVI advises that all adults in this age group (including health and social care workers) should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.
If you are a healthy younger person aged 18 to 29
The MHRA and the JCVI continue to monitor the benefits and safety of the AZ vaccine in younger people. You should carefully consider the risk to both you and your family and friends of COVID-19 before making a decision. Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.
What about the second dose?
If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed. It is expected that the first dose of the vaccine will have given you some protection, particularly against severe disease.
Worried about pregnancy and the vaccine?
We understand women may be concerned about the effect on their fertility or having the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnant women can now book on the National Booking Service – when you book you will be directed to a centre(s) which hold the type of vaccine you require.
The JCVI updated their advice on 16 April 2021 and are now advising that all pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group. Previously their advice was that pregnant women at high risk of exposure to the virus or with high risk medical conditions should consider having a COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy (priority groups 1, 2, 4 and 6).
This latest advice means that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group. Women can discuss the benefits and risks of having the vaccine with their healthcare professional and reach a joint decision based on individual circumstances.
We have included a few useful links to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists which provides more FAQs (updated on Friday 7 May) around the vaccine and vaccine safety for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding as well as information on COVID, pregnancy and Women’s healthYou can also find Public Health England advice and guidance here
Does the vaccine contain animal or egg products?
The approved vaccines do not contain any animal or egg products. We have included links to the most relevant information on this subject.
Can I choose which vaccination I have?
You cannot choose which Covid-19 vaccine you receive. The vaccines have been tested extensively in thousands of people and are highly effective in providing protection against coronavirus. You can read more about the vaccines and their safety in our other FAQs.
Who will receive the vaccine – what is meant by priority groups?
The NHS is currently in the process of offering the vaccine to people aged 34+ as well as continuing to offer vaccines to those in priorities groups 1-9 as set out by the JVCI
The JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.
So how do I book my vaccination?
There are a number of ways in which you might be offered to attend your vaccination – we are encouraging those who have received a letter inviting them to book through the National Booking Service to use this route and book their appointment.
The letter /text you receive will provide you with everything you need to book these appointments. The link to booking online is here
I can’t seem to book a local vaccination centre – what can I do?
Vaccinations centres are incredibly busy and slots are being booked as soon as they become available. If you have tried to book a slot at a local centre and are finding that you are only given slots for locations much further away, please keep refreshing. Slots and availability will flex based on current vaccine supply and to take into account second dose vaccinations. This means slots and availability will vary on a daily basis to account for these factors. Please be aware it may not always be possible to get a slot at a vaccination centre closest to you, but there are plenty of opportunities through the National Booking Centre for you to get vaccinated.
Why is my local GP practice not providing the vaccination?
Our GP practices are working together as Primary Care Networks. Currently all vaccines are being delivered from local vaccination centres, within each primary care network.
At the moment no GP practices have been able to vaccinate within their own practice unless they have been designated as the ‘local vaccination centre’ for their PCN.
The programme is evolving all the time and locations may change, but we urge those who have been invited attend an appointment to go where possible.
I am a health and care worker – who do I need to speak to?
We recognise the importance of providing protection to all health and social care workers across the county who are at increased, personal risk of exposure to infection.
Health and care workers can now book their vaccination appointments through the National Booking Service. This will allow you to attend one of the large vaccination or pharmacy-led centres listed.
You should be told what you need to take with you when you attend your vaccination, please remember to take your identity card or proof of your employer with you when you attend.
I’m under 65 and have been offered a Covid-19 vaccination by my local GP-led vaccination hub – is this right?
Our GP-led primary care network hubs are now inviting those in priority group six to come forward for vaccination at a GP-led hub. People in this group will be aged between 16 and 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.
Our GP teams are working through their lists of patients to identify those in this group and invite them to book an appointment as quickly as they can.
If you receive an invitation for vaccination from your local GP-led hub, we encourage you to take up the offer.
I am an unpaid carer. When will I be offered a Covid-19 vaccination?
We are currently inviting people in priority group six to come forward for vaccination at a GP-led hub. Priority group six includes those carers who are:
We are currently inviting people in priority group six to come forward for vaccination at a GP-led hub. Priority group six includes those carers who are:
- Eligible for a carer’s allowance and/or
- The sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and, therefore, clinically vulnerable.
Therefore, if you receive carer’s allowance and/or are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who fits the JCVI guidelines below, you should receive an invitation for a Covid-19 vaccination. Our GP teams are working through their lists of patients to identify those in this group and invite them to book an appointment as quickly as they can.
JCVI guidelines for those who are identified as clinically vulnerable for the purposes of priority group 6:
- children with severe neurodisabilities
- those who are designated as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
- those who need care because of advanced age
adults who have underlying health conditions (such as diabetes, serious mental illness or chronic heart disease). Table 3 in the Green Book gives more information on the identified underlying health conditions and can be viewed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/961287/Greenbook_chapter_14a_v7_12Feb2021.pdf
When will I get my second dose?
Information on Second dose vaccination appointments can be found on the main section of this site – guidance has recently changed, so make sure you have fully read the information and are clear on what this means for you.
I am not registered with a local GP – how will I get my vaccine?
Everyone is encouraged to register with a GP; this is the best way to access NHS care. If you are temporarily staying in Somerset, for example with family members you can register as a temporary patient at a local GP surgery.
If you think that during the time you are registered you are likely to be invited for your vaccination that you discuss with the surgery whether it would be more appropriate to register as a permanent resident as you will need to receive your second dose of vaccine from the same site as you receive your first dose.
This gap between the first and second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is currently twelve weeks.
You can re-register with your normal GP when you finally return home. Any treatment or details of any visits/vaccinations will be recorded and added to your medical records, which will be shared with your regular practice on your return.
For more information registering as a temporary resident/permanent resident and support on finding a local GP please visit the NHS website for further information
Everyone is entitled to NHS care; this includes members of traveller communities. If you have any difficulties with registering with a GP surgery, please contact the Somerset CCG Patient Advice and Liaison team.
Other useful links include:
I would like to volunteer to help the vaccination programme – how do I offer my support?
It has been truly inspiring to see just how many people are wanting to provide their support for the COVID -19 vaccination programme. There are a number of ways in which you can get involved.
- You can contact visit the Covid-19 vaccination programme pages on Somerset Foundation Trust’s website to find out what they are looking for and then email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit the Spark Somerset website for information on ways to get involved including becoming a COVID Community Champion to volunteering to become a steward and help out at vaccination sites across the county.
Many people are also getting in contact to provide buildings and venues as suitable locations for vaccination clinics. We really appreciate all of your support and offers of help. The vaccine needs to be carefully managed in controlled conditions – for a number of reasons. For the majority of cases this will mean that certain locations may not be suitable. We are still happy for you to get in touch with these offers – you can email email@example.com
Covid-19 vaccine fraud – be aware!
We are aware that there are a number of criminals harnessing the vaccination programme and using it as a way to target member of the public and tricking them into handing over cash or financial details.
There are a number of ways in which this is being done including:
- Convincing looking text messages
- Phoning people directly pretending to be from the NHS or from a local pharmacy
The NHS will never ask for the following:
Please review this helpful information and share with friends and family who may not be alert to these scams.
- Payment – the vaccine is free
- Ask for your bank details
- Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccines
- Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of your personal documents, such as your passport.