The COVID vaccine and Surrey carers

The COVID vaccine and Surrey carers

The mass vaccination programme continues in Surrey. You can still get vaccinated if you haven't already, and we'll all now qualify for booster jabs.

Vaccinations in Surrey

The COVID vaccine roll-out has been a huge success in Surrey, but anyone who hasn’t had their first or second jab is encouraged to make a vaccination appointment. And boosters will now be available for everyone, three months after the second jab (see below).

The vaccination programme is open to everyone aged 16 or over, and now 12-15 year olds as well.

The next stage in the plan will be:

  • a booster dose to everyone aged 18 years old and over
  • a booster dose to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system
  • booster doses from 3 months after the previous dose – currently it’s from 6 months after the previous dose
  • a 2nd dose to all children aged 12 to 15 years old who are not already eligible

Details of these new jabs will be announced shortly, and those eligible will be contacted. The availability of jabs is being increased, with more places to get your vaccination, and longer opening hours.

Getting the vaccine in Surrey

If you haven’t already, please ensure that you are registered with your GP as a carer. It’s a good idea for all carers anyway, but even more important now.

Register with your GP

Under 18s

This new website helps answer any questions you may have about testing and the vaccine.

Vaccinations are now being offered to all 16 and 17-year-olds, and now 12-15-year-olds have been added to this list.  This age-group can also now book via the national booking system (see below), so that’s the quickest way if you’d like to get your child vaccinated this half term.  You can also get a vaccination in some centres and pharmacies without making an appointment, sometimes as ‘Grab a Jab’ pop-ups on specific days.

Teenagers aged 16-17 can now have a second jab: they can book or go to a walk-in centre for their second dose.

See the Surrey Heartlands website  and Frimley Health and Care website for the latest locations and times.

Two paths to vaccinations

Via the national booking system

You will receive a letter from NHS England inviting you to book for a vaccine through the NHS’s national booking system. That letter will explain how to book, but you can make an appointment without a letter now.  It’s still worth making sure you’re flagged as a carer with your GP, so you are invited for any future boosters or other vaccinations. Find out how on our GP page here.

You can contact the NHS to book an appointment online or by calling 119 free of charge. It helps if you have your NHS number to hand (which will be on any letter or appointment you’ve had from a GP or hospital). Of course, as a carer, you can make the booking on someone else’s behalf, if they can’t go online or call themselves. Online or by phone, you’ll be offered a range of locations and times to choose from.

Via your GP

You will also be contacted by your local GP Network. It’s important to register as a carer with your GP, as this will help them is assessing any priority for you or the person you’re caring for. More on how to do this here.

These appointments will be available in a range of settings arranged by local GP surgeries and could be closer to home. In Surrey, these include Artington Park and Ride, Guildford; United Reformed Church, Woking; Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green; Farnham Health Centre; Chertsey Hall; Woodhatch Place, Reigate, and certain GP surgeries. There’s even a mobile unit in Merstham: a bus which will be popping up at various sites in the area. The surgery will let you know your nearest venue when they get in touch.

Walk-in vaccinations (no appointment needed)

Some centres offer vaccinations without an appointment; for the latest list  of places, times, and which age-group they are covering see the links below. You should also be able to get a jab even if you’re not registered with a GP at all.

FAQs on getting the vaccine in Surrey: Surrey Heartlands areas

FAQs on getting the vaccine in Surrey: Surrey Heath

How the vaccination centres work in Surrey

surrey-vaccination-centreThere are now many centres, all extremely well organised, with helpful staff, clear signage, limited waiting times and of course COVID-safe set ups, including hand-sanitiser and distancing.

You’re encouraged to arrive at your booked time (not early!) and it should take between 30 and 45 minutes.

If you book online, you can specify any special provision (such as disabled parking) and if you book in person via a surgery, of course you can discuss it with the caller.

Some areas (such as Mole Valley and Surrey Heath) can help with getting you safely to the vaccination venue using their community transport service; you can find out more when you book your jab.

It’s not too late

Don’t forget that if you or the person you’re caring for didn’t take up the initial offer of a vaccine, you can still have it now. If someone was uncertain or perhaps weren’t well, it’s not too late. Just contact the NHS central bookings by phone or online, or your GP surgery, or go to one of Surrey’s many walk-in sessions.

Booster jabs

There’s a national programme of booster vaccinations: the priority groups are the same as in the initial vaccination programme. This will include carers of any age (from 16 years old upwards) and people over 50. The age-range is currently 40 upwards, but it will, in due course, be extended to all adults.

You can currently only have a booster jabs six months after your second vaccination, but we’re expecting that to be reduced to three months and you will be contacted by your GP as you reach that date. We’re all encouraged to get the booster vaccination as soon as we qualify, so when it’s five months from your second vaccination, you can get in touch with the national booking system (by phone or online as above) to make an appointment. The actual date of your appointment will be not less than six months after your second jab.  See here for details and how to book.

More about Surrey Heartlands boosters

Boosters for carers – a Surrey GP explains

In this new video, Surrey GP Dr Pamit Patel, explains the importance of boosters, how they work, and the benefit to unpaid carers.

Flu vaccinations

We’re also encouraged to get flu vaccinations more than ever this year, and carers of any age in Surrey (registered with Action for Carers) will qualify. Find out about the flu voucher scheme here.

Explaining more

To find out more about the vaccines approved in the UK, see:

For Nepalese speakers, there’s also this helpful video explaining the vaccine. Surrey’s Muslim Association has also given a Statement on the vaccine.

Easy Read information about the COVID and the vaccine is here. There’s a new Easy Read booklet on getting your vaccination.

Surrey Heartlands NHS have further information and links on alternative formats and languages giving information on the vaccine.

Scams – take care

Unfortunately, there is some ‘scamming’ around vaccinations, with people receiving fake phone calls and text requests, including some where you’re asked to enter bank details. Please note you will only be contacted for the vaccine by the NHS, in the priority order, and the vaccine is FREE. Please read this guidance from the NHS in Surrey, and keep up to date on scams generally here.

Surrey NHS vaccination scam warning

More helpful information

Carers UK has this helpful information and also outlines its requests for further clarity and next steps in its Policy Plus guidance.

If you care for someone with autism, the National Autistic Society have this helpful guidance.

Register with us

To get free support with your caring role, register with us (also free). We can help you in lots of ways.