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Weekly news from our vaccination programme and our wider Covid-19 response
9 April 2021

Progress at a glance

Reassurance on use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine

People are being encouraged to continue to attend their vaccination appointments and make sure they receive this vital protection against coronavirus. 

As you may have heard in the news this week, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency 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. 

The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it's not yet clear why it affects some people. Key advice to remember is:
  • For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.
  • For people under 30 without other health conditions, it's currently advised that it's preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Those under 30 who have already had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and who haven’t had any adverse reaction, are recommended to have their second dose. 

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:

  • 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
Find out more about the vaccination and blood clotting

The headlines

Muslim youth group team up with local GPs to run pop-up clinic

AMYA, the International Muslim Youth Organisation arranged a ‘pop-up’ vaccination clinic for members of the local Muslim community last Saturday in Farnham.
The one-day clinic was aimed at members of the wider Muslim community who are eligible for the vaccine to improve access and uptake. This was a great opportunity for those who have found it difficult to access vaccinations in a way they feel comfortable with. Supported by Procare, the GP Federation in Guildford and Waverley, this was via appointment only and for Muslim community members throughout Surrey, Hampshire and South East England who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. 
Staffed by a multicultural workforce including native Urdu speakers, the project delivered over 500 first dose vaccines in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way. It replicated the success of similar ventures in mosques in London and the G Live model of care in Guildford. 

Vaccinations were delivered on the community’s terms by providing women only and men only streams, private areas for vaccination and healthcare professionals from their own community.

To date Procare have vaccinated 76,000 patients across Guildford and Waverley and this clinic will help to increase access to those that need to be vaccinated.
Philip Kemp, Associate Director for COVID Response for Procare, said: "We are delighted to be working with the Management Team at AMYA to support this venture. We have been able to promote vaccination uptake amongst people who have traditionally felt uncomfortable with the way in which services have been provided and we look forward to working with them in the future".   

Almost time for your second dose? Here's what you need to know...

Second doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are routinely offered around 11 weeks from when the first dose was given. A local GP-led vaccination site will contact you by text or by telephone to arrange an appointment to receive your second dose. In exceptional cases some people will be invited earlier. Please don’t contact the NHS Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group or your GP practice about your second dose appointment except if you have not been contacted by the 11th week. We are asking people to be patient, you will be contacted.

Reminder: road access to Superdrug vaccination service, Guildford

Up until and including Sunday 11 April, anyone with restricted mobility who has a booked vaccine appointment at Superdrug can access the High Street and is permitted to park outside the store while they get their vaccine. This is for access is to Superdrug only and Support Officers will be located at the barrier to ensure the High Street is open to those who need to get to their vaccination appointment.

From Monday 12 April, as lockdown measures are eased and the High Street opens up, anyone who has an appointment at Superdrug will no longer be able to access by car or park outside the store. Find out more about alternative parking

If these changes to accessibility give you an issue attending your appointment for your second vaccination at Superdrug, please contact our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Enquiry Service so that we can support you to find an alternative venue.

Islamic scholars and health professionals encourage Muslims to have Covid vaccine in Ramadan

Ramadan is due to start on the evening of Monday 12 April 2021 and Islamic scholars and NHS leaders are urging Muslim residents not to delay having their Covid-19 vaccine – first or second dose – during the holy month.

The religious guidance from Islamic scholars and the British Islamic Medical Association backs having the vaccine in Ramadan and stresses that having the vaccine does not invalidate the fast. We’re urging all partners to help us by sharing some key resources.
  • Statement about Covid-19 not invalidating the fast
  • Infographic confirming there is no pork or animal ingredients in the vaccines
  • Myths answered in different languages including Arabic and Urdu
Locally our successful pop-up vaccination service at the Shah Jahan mosque in Woking continues this month with regular Sunday sessions. The service offers booked appointments and our local teams are contacting eligible patients.

From the frontline

More teams celebrate passing half a million jabs milestone

Many more of our frontline teams momentarily paused for a well earned slice of cake this week to celebrate delivering over 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses across Surrey Heartlands. 

Here's some of the First Community Health and Care team who have played a pivotal role in helping to reach this target by supporting the housebound vaccination work in East Surrey. Picture: Rosane Bustarde, Annette Davis, Carol Sheppard, Sylvia Grey, Fiona Burke, Michelle Lownes, Hayley Clark, the Community Matrons, Angie Clarke, Rebecca Smith Sam Perry and Caroline Burns.

Media round up

In the news this week...

  • BBC Surrey - On Tuesday morning’s breakfast show, Dr Charlotte Canniff, Sunbury GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group, talked about hitting the 500,000 vaccine milestone, thanking our staff and volunteers as well as the future of the vaccination programme as lockdown restrictions ease. Listen from 1:08:38.
  • The Guildford Dragon ‘Second vaccinations accelerate’. The rate of second vaccinations has taken off in Surrey Heartlands while the infection rate in Guildford borough and across Surrey continues to fall. 
MTA News speak to former UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, MP, and Jonathan Lord, MP, as they praise for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association UK's efforts to fight coronavirus at the Farnham pop-up clinic last weekend. 

Your questions answered

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

It is not possible to choose between different vaccines as the healthcare professional vaccinating you will have to use the vaccine that is available at the time of your appointment. If there is a medical reason to have a specific vaccine (for example the new advice that people under 30 should have an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine) you can discuss this with your GP or the healthcare professional at your vaccination appointment. 

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. 

Your feedback
Please send us your feedback. If you want to share your ideas for improving services across Surrey Heartlands then we’d love to hear from you. Or if there’s more you’d like to see covered in our newsletter, please let us know:


See our vaccination FAQs 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination FAQs (

If you can’t find the answer to your question you can all us on 0300 561 2500 (lines are open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday) or email us at

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Published by Surrey Heartlands, a partnership of health and care organisations across Surrey.
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