COVID Vaccination FAQs


How will I be contacted about making an appointment?

If you have a mobile phone number registered with us, you will receive a text from “NHS-NoReply”. If not, you will receive a letter.


How do I book an appointment?

If you are texted, the text will include a website link you can use to book an appointment directly online. If you are sent a letter, the letter will also include this link. If you do not have access to the internet or do not feel confident about making an appointment online, you can ask a family member or friend to help you. Please book online if you can. Alternatively, you can call a booking line phone number (an 01473 number). This phoneline may be very busy, so please be patient. Whichever way you book, you will have to provide some basic information, including the unique booking reference contained in your text or letter.


Which locations can I choose from?

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


I have already been vaccinated (eg at the hospital). Do I need another jab?

If you have already had two doses of the vaccine elsewhere, eg at a hospital or pharmacy, you will not need another jab.


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 four 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.


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

Twenty-eight GP practices in Suffolk are working collaboratively with the Suffolk GP Federation to vaccinate patients from different practices at the same time.


Can I choose which vaccine to have?

All of the vaccines that have been approved provide effective protection from COVID-19 so you will not be given a choice. The only exception to this will be in cases where your GP advises that you should have a particular vaccine for clinical reasons.


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 if two people in the same household share the same mobile phone number?

Only one of them will receive a text message inviting them to book an appointment to be vaccinated. The other person will be contacted by letter.


I’m aware from the news that there have been some scams regarding the COVID-19 vaccination programme. How will I know that the text is not a scam?

You can be assured that the text you receive is genuine if it comes from “NHS-NoReply” and includes an 01473 (Ipswich) booking line phone number. The vaccination is free of charge so you will not be asked for payment or to provide bank details etc.


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 or family member, 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. Suffolk on Board may be able to help but has very limited availability. You can access this here:


Can I be accompanied at my vaccination appointment?
You can be accompanied inside the vaccination centre by only one person.


What happens if I do not respond to a text message sent to my mobile phone inviting me to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination?
You will receive a letter.


I have recently removed my mobile number from my health record. How will I be invited for vaccination?
Our systems inform us when a mobile number is removed so in these cases you will be sent a letter in the post, first-class.


When I tried to book an appointment via the web link, it did not let me progress and said my code had expired. What do I do now?

Please wait – we will send you another text and also a letter.


My appointment has been cancelled but my friend has just been texted and can book an appointment for later today. Will I be overlooked?

Please don’t worry – we will send you another text and also a letter.


Sorry, but I forgot to attend my first appointment. What happens now?

Please don’t worry! We are aware of this and will contact you within a fortnight of your original appointment to make a new one.


I accidentally deleted the text. What should I do?

We will send you another text and also post you a letter.


If I become ill, how can I cancel my appointment?

If you booked your appointment by text, please cancel it via the confirmation text you received. Otherwise, please phone the booking line number, which is an Ipswich (01473) number. This is usually less busy in the afternoon.


Can I choose to bring forward the timing of my second dose, for example, because I want to visit family outside Suffolk, go on holiday etc?

No. We are working to the NHS England guidance and cannot change this.


I had my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at hospital. Can I have the second dose at one of the five vaccination centres run by the Suffolk GP Federation?

No. If you had your first dose at either Ipswich Hospital or West Suffolk Hospital, the hospital will give you your second dose.


If patients who have not yet been vaccinated have appointments coming up at Ipswich Hospital or West Suffolk Hospital, should they have a jab before they attend?

No, this is not necessary. However, if you are invited to be vaccinated at one of our five centres before your appointment, we strongly encourage you to take up that opportunity.


Should patients undertaking a course of chemotherapy or who are about to start chemotherapy be vaccinated at the hospital where they are being treated?

If your consultant recommends you are vaccinated on a  particular date or less than 12 weeks between doses, you will be vaccinated at hospital. Suffolk GP Federation can vaccinate only in line with the national programme, which means two doses 12 weeks apart.


How can I prepare for my vaccination appointment?

A short film (4½ minutes) has been made for people who have an appointment at The Mix in Stowmarket. Although it has been made specifically for that venue, much of the information and advice applies to all five of our vaccination centres. To watch the film, click here


How long will the appointment take?

We anticipate no more than 45 minutes.


What should I do 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.


How can I prepare for my vaccination appointment?

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.



If you have a fear of needles or feel anxious, try to stay calm and tell the person who will vaccinate you. 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, a slight headache or you may experience flu-like symptoms. 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.