COVID-19 Vaccination Programme 2021


The Covid vaccination programme started in January. We are working with 27 other practices and Suffolk GP Federation to deliver the vaccination programme.  The Federation is owned by the GP practices in Suffolk.

The next cohorts of patients being invited for Covid vaccination include carers and ‘at risk’ patients aged 16-65.  The ‘at risk’ include:

  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic heart disease and vascular disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic neurological disease, including severe or profound learning disability
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppression
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • Morbid obesity
  • Severe mental illness

Patients ‘at risk’ are defined by NHS England.  This group is very large and it will take several weeks for everyone to be invited to book an appointment for vaccination.  The Federation will only invite patients when they know we have vaccine available.

Over the next few weeks the Suffolk GP Federation will be sending out a combination of text and letter invitations to the patients of the 28 GP practices we are working with.  Until you receive this invitation please do not contact us at Burlington Road or the Federation.

If you have not received an invitation please do not call the booking line as they cannot assist you and you will not be able to make an appointment. 

What to do when you receive an invitation

  • If you have a mobile number registered with us you will receive a text from (NHS-Noreply).  Please make sure your mobile is switched on.  If you do not have a mobile, you will receive a letter.
  • The invitation will include a unique booking code and a web link.  If you or a family member click on the link, it allows you to book an appointment directly online.  Please book online if you can. 
  • If you do not have internet access there will be a booking line number.  This will be very busy so please be patient.   
  • To book, it will need you to confirm your name, date of birth, postcode and a mobile number (can be a family member or someone in your bubble) which it will use to confirm the appointment time and place.  If you don’t have this, please just write down the appointment details.  Appointments for both doses will be booked at the same time.
  • You will have a choice of venues and times (8am to 8pm):
    • Trinity Park (IP3 8UH)
    • The Mix in Stowmarket (IP14 1BB).
    • Debenham Community Centre (IP14 6BL).
    • Woodbridge Community Hall (IP12 4AU).
    • The Epic Centre in Haverhill (CB9 7LR).
  • If you receive an invitation and want to be vaccinated with a partner/friend/family member etc, you will need to wait until they also receive an invitation.  You will then be able to book appointments at the same time.

We have been informed that due to high demand, you may experience a few technical issues booking your appointment.  Please try again a bit later on.  If you are unable to book online, the appointment helpline is 01473 921821 Monday to Sunday 8:30am to 6:00pm.


Commmonly asked Questions and Answers

General questions


I have already been vaccinated (e.g. at the hospital) do I need another?

No. Please follow the online booking instructions and decline the invitation.


Will the vaccine protect me?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine.


I have already had COVID. Do I need the vaccine?

Even if you have already had coronavirus, you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of another infection and the seriousness of your symptoms if you do get it again.


I have recently had COVID – what should I do?

If you have recently tested positive for coronavirus – even if you have no symptoms – you should wait until 4 weeks after the date you were tested before getting the vaccine.  After four weeks, use your unique booking code to book online.


I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?

The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week.


Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.


Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus


Questions about booking an appointment


What locations can I choose from?

  • Trinity Park (IP3 8UH). 
  • The Mix in Stowmarket (IP14 1BB).
  • Debenham Community Centre (IP14 6BL).
  • Woodbridge Community Hall (IP12 4AU).
  • The Epic Centre in Haverhill (CB9 7LR).

Why is my GP practice not vaccinating as they do the flu?

The Pfizer vaccine comes in units of 975 doses, has to be used within three and a half days and there is a strict priority list starting with over 80s.  This means most GP practices are working collaboratively, with the Suffolk GP Federation, to vaccinate patients from different practices at the same time.  It also means we have to have a smaller number of venues.  


Can I choose which vaccine to have?

We are being supplied with the Pfizer vaccine for the foreseeable future.  This may change but we have no information about when this might happen.


What if I want to wait a few more weeks and have my vaccination later?

That is fine.  Please book online when you are ready.


Can my carer be vaccinated at the same time?

Only if they also have received an invitation and have a unique booking code


What are your opening hours?

8am to 8pm


What if I do not have a mobile or email?

We ask for a mobile number or email to confirm your appointment time and location.  If you do not have a mobile or email, please make sure you write down the details of your appointment.


Can I be vaccinated at the same time as my partner/friend/family member who has not received an invitation?

If you receive an invitation and want to be vaccinated with a partner/friend/family member etc, you will need to wait until they also receive an invitation.  You will then be able to book appointments at the same time.


I do not have transport

Please try to arrange transport with family, friends, neighbours or local community groups – this is allowed under Covid lockdown regulations.  Suffolk On Board may be able to help but have very limited availability.  You can access this here


Can I bring a friend or relative with me?

You can transported to the vaccination site by a member of your household or by someone within your support bubble. You can only be accompanied inside the vaccination centre by one person.


At your vaccination appointment


How long will the appointment take?

We anticipate no more than 45 minutes


If I feel unwell on the day of my appointment

Do not attend if you feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus.

If you have a minor illness without a fever please still attend.

If you feel very unwell do not attend until you have fully recovered.


Preparing for the vaccination

On the day of your vaccine, wear practical clothing so it’s easy to access your upper arm.  Bear in mind you may need to spend some time queuing outside. 

Remember to use the lavatory before attending.


What time shall I plan to arrive?

Please arrive at your appointment time.


The Vaccination

If you have a fear of needles or feel anxious, try to stay calm and let the person giving you your vaccine know. They will be understanding and can support you.

The vaccine will be given as an injection in the upper arm.

You will have been given an appointment for the second dose. Please attend as the second dose completes the course. It's important to get both doses to protect yourself.


What symptoms may I experience?

Some patients have reported a sore heavy arm for a day or two and a slight headache.  These symptoms are perfectly normal. Many people experience no after effects.


Can I go back to normal activities after having your vaccine?

You should be able to resume activities that are normal for you as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.


Please see the priority order for the vaccination programme as of 15th January

picture demonstrating the order of priority for the covid vaccine programme: 1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers 2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers, 3. all those 75 years of age and over, 4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, 5. all those 65 years of age and over, 6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality, 7. all those 60 years of age and over, 8. all those 55 years of age and over. 9. all those 50 years of age and over

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