COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic FAQ
In order to be able to offer a more flexible booking process for the COVID-19 vaccination program, we are now sending a text message to patients who have a mobile phone listed on their records.
This page has some Frequently Asked Questions about this process.
For an update on the overall progress for Hampshire & Isle of Wight, please go to the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme and roll-out – Hampshire and Isle of Wight update website.
Last Updated: Wednesday 17th February 2021
(video created and shared from Hedge End Medical Centre)
Who does the text come from?
The text will come from “BlackthrnHC” or "BursledonS" and will invite you by name.
How do we know the text is genuine?
The text will include a link to this page, and also the booking link includes “nhs.uk”. If you do receive a link you’re unsure about, please remember, we will never ask for your bank details or take payment for the vaccine.
I share a mobile number with my partner and children – how do I know who the invite is for?
The invite will say your name, but if there is more than one person with that name and the incorrect person tries to book, they will not be able to get through security.
What if I can’t click the link, or don’t have internet access?
Don’t worry, we can also book you by talking to you. If you receive a text but cannot book using the link, please call the practice. If you cannot call the practice, we will be running searches to see who hasn’t yet booked, and we will call people. Don’t worry – you won’t miss out.
Where are the clinics?
The clinics are still being held at Bursledon Surgery and Blackthorn Health Centre. When you book, you will get a confirmation text with the address details. Please make sure you make a note of which vaccination clinic your appointment is taking place at.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes, please wear a face-covering if you are able to. If you have a medical exemption, please wear a face shield instead. This is for your protection, as well as other patients and staff on site.
What if I get a temperature, a cough or loss of taste or smell?
If you are currently isolating, please do not book an appointment yet, wait until you have a negative test result.
If you develop symptoms after booking, you can cancel your appointment using the same link.
What if I’ve had COVID-19 recently?
Current advice is not to have the vaccine if you’ve had a COVID-19 positive test in the last four weeks. You can use the link to book once this period has expired.
What if there are no appointments when I click the link?
We are trying not to let this happen as we are only sending out texts for the appointment availability, but if you do find this, you should keep trying every day or two over the next week as new appointments will be added as we get new vaccines delivered.
What about my second vaccination?
The current guidance is your second vaccine will be 12 weeks after your first. You will be invited to book this in the week or so leading up to the 12th week.
I've recently had the vaccination but still got a text invite, is this an error?
It can take upto 48 hours for the system to record your vaccination onto your medical record. As a result, you may receive an SMS invite following your vaccination appointment. If this is within the 48 hours, please ignore the SMS invite. If this was longer than the 48 hours, please contact us via the Contact Us form here (for Blackthorn) or here (for Bursledon).
What if I’ve booked through the National Booking Centre or a Local Pharmacy Service?
That’s fine – we are just pleased you are getting vaccinated! There is no need to tell us, we will get notified automatically.
What if I can’t make any of the appointment times offered?
You will be offered a range of appointment times, but if you can’t make any of them, check back in a day or so for the next release of appointments.
Can my partner use my text link to book?
The link is only valid for the person it is sent to. Your partner will get a text of their own, or a telephone call, to book them in.
My partner is in the same cohort as me, why haven’t they had a text?
The most likely reason is that we are sending text invites out in batches as we only have a certain amount of vaccines to give at once, they will get an invite when their batch has been included. It could also be because we have the wrong number recorded on their medical records. If you think this might be the case, please update your mobile number here (for Blackthorn patients) or here (for Bursledon patients).
Do I need to bring anything with me on the day?
As well as a mask, please make sure you wrap up warmly as the queue starts outside the practice. We hope not to keep you waiting for too long. If it is raining, please bring your umbrella.
Is there parking on site?
Yes, there is a car park, and marshals to help keep traffic moving.
I need a carer to support me in accessing the appointment – am I allowed to bring them?
Yes, please ask them to wear a mask.
I have a carer and want them to have the vaccine with me – can they book?
Carers come in to cohort 6, so will be invited when we get to this group.
I struggle with stairs – is there a lift?
Yes, there is a lift available at both sites. However, appointments at Blackthorn Health Centre are taking place on the ground floor.
I am a single parent and don’t have childcare for my children, can I bring them with me?
We encourage everyone to come on their own where possible for everyone’s safety. If this is not possible, you can bring your child(ren) with you, if they are able to wear a mask, please do get them to do so.
I have a question about side effects – who can I ask?
All the up to date information about the vaccines can be found here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine.
I want to choose the vaccine I have – how do I know what is being given?
At the moment, we have been allocated both the Pfizer and the Astra Zeneca vaccines, and each clinic will have one or the other. We do not offer the choice of the vaccine. If there is a medical reason why you cannot have one of the vaccines, please ring the practice.
I cannot get to the vaccine sites as I don’t drive – how can I get help?
If you have no one who is able to take you, you have a couple of options: If you are over 70 or high risk, Radio Taxis are offering free transport to have the vaccine – you will need to show the driver proof of the booking – your text confirmation is ideal. More information is here http://radiotaxisonline.co.uk/radio-taxis-free-vaccination-taxi.
I am housebound and not able to get to the vaccine sites – can I have the vaccine at home?
If you are genuinely housebound, please call the practice to discuss.
How can I be confident that my data is secure using this link?
The system we are using to offer these appointments is called “accuBook” which is run by “accuRx”. This is the same company we use to send text messages to our patients. accuBook is an NHS Digital assured appointment management solution, and more information on this service can be found at https://support.accurx.com/en/articles/4794856-i-have-been-invited-to-book-my-covid-19-vaccination-through-a-book-nhs-me-link-is-this-legitimate?.