29 Mar 2021

GP practices in St Helens are now in the process of calling back patients in order of when they received their first dose of the vaccination at the GP-led clinic on the ground floor at Saints.

GP Practices will contact patients by phone or text message to book their appointment in line with national NHS guidance which says this should be at 10-12 weeks after the first dose.  Please be patient and only contact your practice if you haven’t heard from them by 11 weeks after your first dose.

Dr Michael Ejuoneatse, local GP and Medical Director for St Helens CCG, gave some advice to patients:  “It is really important that people attend for their second dose of the vaccination when their GP gets in touch to make an appointment.  Though the first dose gives a level of immunity after about 12 days, the best protection comes after the second dose with a higher level of immunity and protection against serious illness.  

“The first dose primes the immune response and the second dose then gets the cells again to respond even more strongly – the result being a much better and hopefully prolonged immune response that retains memory

“And if you’re concerned about having a sore arm or feeling ill with flu like symptoms, this is completely normal and means that the vaccine is taking effect .  Take paracetamol and get plenty of fluids and rest and any symptoms should pass after a day or two.  Side effects tend to be mild and are much less serious than developing Covid-19 or complications associated with the virus.”

The MHRA have confirmed that the vaccine is completely safe so please don’t put off returning to have your second dose as we all need to keep on protecting each other and getting both doses of the vaccine is a key part of this.

If you had your first vaccine at the mass vaccination at the mass vaccination centre on the first floor at Saints, you should have been given your appointment date/time for your second dose at your first vaccine - please keep this appointment.  You can use the national booking service system (or call 119) if you need to check or change it.