16 Apr 2021

Please attend when called for your second vaccine and read further information on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and advice from the government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

GP practices in St Helens continue to call back patients for their second vaccine - if you have not heard 11 weeks after your first appointment, please contact your own GP practice if you received your first vaccine at the ground floor GP vaccination clinic.

If you had your first vaccination on the second floor mass vaccination centre, please use the national booking website or call 119 to manage your appointment.  If you are aged 45-49 you can now use this link to book both your first and second vaccine.


Information on risk of blood clots with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Investigations are taking place into whether cases of a rare type of blood clot are connected to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and these rare blood clots found in the brain which travel back to the heart - known as CVSTs - is not yet proven, but is getting firmer.

However, the government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises how vaccines should be used, is now recommending healthy people under 30 be offered a different vaccine.

If you have had the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, please ensure you attend for your second vaccine appointment.  The risk is extremely low and to put into context, the risk of deveoping a blood clot is far higher if you fall ill with Covid and are admitted to critical care:

Intensive care with Covid-19 - 1 in 10

Recurrent flights - 1 in 300

Pregnancy - 1 in 500

Contraceptive pill - 1 in 1000

Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine - 1 in 250,000-500,000

It is usual to experience flu-like symptoms after having the vaccine - these include tenderness, swelling and/or redness at the injection site, headache or muscle ache, joint pain, chills, nausea or vomiting.  Get plenty of rest and fluids and take over the counter pain relief as needed.

However, anyone who has any of the following symptoms four days or more after having the vaccine should seek prompt medical help:

  • A severe, persistent headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Persistent stomach/abdominal pain
  • Unusual bruising or red/purple pinpoint spots beyond the injection site where the vaccine is given
  • Neurological symptoms such as weakness in the legs or seizures.

Most cases have been seen between four days and a few weeks of people having the jab. 

According to the UK medical regulator, the MHRA, 79 cases have been identified, and 19 people have died - this is out of a total of more than     20 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which have been given in the UK.

Though still rare, this risk appears to increase in younger people.

The JCVI has decided that - given that healthy people under 30 are at lower risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid - the balance of risks and benefits means they should be offered a different jab, if one is available.

Data continues to be analysed and there is likely to be more information as time goes on.

For more information, visit: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus