Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Guidance for Public Bookings

The Covid-19 vaccination programme is rolling out at pace and we have compiled below guidance on booking a vaccination, to support individuals, organisations and communities across Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

Birmingham and Solihull Vaccination Update

Key messages

The BSol Covid Vaccine Programme is now entering Phase 2 after successfully completing Phase 1 (offering all over 50s, health and social care workers, the clinically vulnerable and carers the vaccination by 15 April). Phase 2 will see age-related cohorts open up, between now and June, to offer the rest of the adult population the opportunity to be vaccinated.


Over 40s now eligible to book


As you will have read, the JCVI has opened up the next cohort (Cohort 10) for vaccinations. All over 40s can now book their vaccinations via the National Booking Service (NBS). Text messages are being send via NHS national team to advise people there are now eligible.


Second doses


Second doses are progressing well across the system however there are a small percentage who have either not attended or have not yet been contacted by their GP to arrange a second dose.

It is important to ensure maximum protect and to reduce the transmission rate in the community that people complete the course and have the second dose. This is particularly important as the lockdown restrictions are further eased and members of multiple households can now mix outdoors.

ACTION: Please share the message that the second dose is vital to ensure maximum protection against the virus and to reduce the spread of coronavirus through your internal and external channels.

Key messages following update on AztraZeneca vaccine (as at 09/04/2021)

As you will have read, the JCVI guidance for the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine has been amended following a small number of rare blood clot complications after the first dose. All vaccinations given at Hospital Hubs in Birmingham and Solihull, except the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust and Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust use the Pfizer vaccine. There is no change to the guidance for the Pfizer vaccine and therefore any of your staff vaccinated should be reassured and continue to uphold their appointments.

This a very rare condition – there is only a 4 in 1 million chance of developing this and to put it into context there is greater risk from other common practice such as using an oral contraceptive or taking a long-haul flight.

Please see below the guidance for service users and any health and social care workers booked at a local vaccination service or vaccination centre.

Guidance on Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Scientists have found a risk of about 4 people in 1 million developing a rare blood clotting disorder; with about  1 person in a million dying. This has now been classified as a very rare side effect of the vaccine.

It is currently unclear whether this disorder affects people of a particular gender or age, or whether it is associated with any under lying health conditions.

It is also important to note that thromboses (blood clots) have been reported with natural COVID-19 infection and more than a fifth of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 have evidence of blood clots.

It remains clear that the Astra Zeneca ­(Oxford) vaccine is very effective against protecting you from becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. Advice now issued reflects the balance of risk and benefit for individuals based on your age and underlying health conditions.

People aged 30 or over or those with health conditions

In this group of people it is believed that the risk associated with the AZ vaccine (which is very small) is hugely outweighed by the benefit of protection from COVID-19 that is offered. Age is a significant factor when weighing up risk with older adults more likely to die from coronavirus due to their age alone – for example the risk of dying in an individual aged 40-49 years is 3 times higher than someone aged 30-39 years and 12 times higher than someone aged 20-29 years – therefore protecting against covid-19 has greater benefit than any potential risk. This benefit is also demonstrated in people under 30 years with health conditions placing them in the clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable categories.

If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you should complete the course. You will protect yourselves and your loved ones against coronavirus.

People under 30 without health conditions

If you are under 30, without health conditions that increase your risk, your risk of serious consequences of COVID-19 vaccination is low. This group includes health and social care workers, carers or people living with immunosuppressed patients who are prioritised for vaccination. In this group, the risk of the rare clotting complication with AZ is estimated as the same as in the rest if the population. The JCVI have advised that this changes the risk/benefit balance of receiving the AZ. If you have not yet had a first vaccine, you can be offered an alternative vaccine. This would be either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

If you have an appointment scheduled for your first dose at a centre using the AZ vaccine, your appointment will be cancelled by the central booking team. You should have a discussion with your GP or other healthcare professionals about the risk benefit balance of receiving the AZ vaccine.

After this conversation:

  • You may choose to go ahead and have the AZ vaccine
  • You may choose to have a different vaccine

You will be guided on how to book to receive your vaccination.

If you have already had a first vaccine with no clotting side effects then you will be offered the second vaccine as AZ.

People aged 18 to 29 years including health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed can still choose to have the second AZ dose if they have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects. If you have had a history of bloods clots that have required treatment with blood thinning medication, please seek advice from a medical professional before having your jab.

Pregnant women and those with blood disorders

Pregnant women and people with blood disorders that leave them at risk of clotting, should discuss the benefits and risks of vaccination with their doctor before going for a jab.

If you have experience unusual/serious side effects following your first dose

Anyone who experiences the following symptoms for four or more days should call 111;

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that's unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

Further information regarding the vaccine and blood clotting is available here:

Public Health England Covid Vaccine resources:

**Communications resources – please use**

Please take a look and use the additional resources that are now available for Ramadan, learning disabilities, and tackling false information in ethnic minority communities.

There are also a range of communications toolkits to support consistent communication for the vaccination programme, again, please make use of these.

Access the resources here

Further information and queries
For general information about the vaccine including directions to the Vaccination Centres, please visit the Birmingham and Solihull Covid Vaccination website here.

Black Country and West Birmingham NHS Covid-19 Vaccination update

The national booking system is hibernating during April while our vaccination providers carry out second doses for local people. If you haven’t had your first dose yet – and are in an eligible group – there is plenty of vaccines available for you so please come forward and make an appointment.

If you are over 50, work in health or social care or have an underlying health condition, simply contact your GP and they can make you an appointment, even if you’ve previously declined and have changed your mind.

You can read detailed information about local vaccination services below. Please note some sites may not be available for first doses during April.

No appointment needed at the Saddlers Centre, Walsall

People in an eligible group who have not yet had their first dose can go to the Saddlers Centre in Walsall without an appointment, any time between 8am and 7pm, up until 14 April. Please remember to take your NHS number, date of birth and any booking letter if you have one.

Special Clinics at Tipton Sports Academy

During April there will be a number of dedicated vaccination clinics, including for people who need some adjustments, either to help them understand the vaccination process, or to make them more comfortable.

These are for people in eligible groups, who have not yet received their first dose

The clinics will take place on the same day each week, from 6 April to 30 April, for people who have and are as follows:

  • Mondays: People who require an interpreter in community languages or British Sign Language
  • Tuesdays: People with learning disabilities and their carers
  • Wednesdays: Women-only clinics (all staff and volunteers will be women)
  • Thursdays: People who have been shielding or are clinically extremely vulnerable, and their carers
  • Fridays: Health and social care staff, and eligible carers.

To book an appointment call 0121 796 1504, or you can walk in without an appointment between 8am and 7pm on the relevant day of the week, with your NHS number and proof of eligibility.

Please read further updates here.

Vaccination Centres FAQs

A list of Frequently Asked Questions has been provided through Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, as part of the Black Country and West Birmingham communications.

Vaccination Centre FAQs can be viewed here

Public Questions for the local COVID Outbreak Engagement Board

The Local COVID Outbreak Engagement Board, at Birmingham City Council, is a sub-group of the Health and Wellbeing Board and is focused on supporting oversight and public engagement with the local response to COVID-19 outbreaks in Birmingham.

The Health and Wellbeing Board and its sub-groups are keen to address community concerns and welcome community engagement in the form of questions to be submitted as per the guidance on the Question Page. 

Please note that individual questions will not be responded to. Lines of questioning will be grouped into themes and discussed at meetings.

Questions should relate to the specific focus of the Local COVID Outbreak Engagement Board, questions about other aspects of COVID and other areas of health and wellbeing can be asked through the Health and Wellbeing Board itself and other relevant sub-groups.

Give Us Your Question

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