COVID Vaccination FAQs


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

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 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.


I am over 80 and housebound. Can I still be vaccinated?

Please do not worry! Your GP practice will vaccinate you and they will contact you before the end of the month (Jan). Please do not contact them as timing depends on vaccine delivery.


Why do I have to travel to a vaccination centre? Why can’t I be vaccinated at my own GP practice.

The main vaccine being supplied to the Suffolk GP Federation (Pfizer) is arriving in large batches and needs to be used quickly.

Questions about booking an appointment


What 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)


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

Th Pfizer vaccine comes in units of 975 doses, has to be used within a few days and there is a strict priority list starting with people aged over 80.  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?

All of the vaccines that have been approved provide effective protection from COVID-19 so you will not be given a choice.


What if I want to wait a few more weeks and have your 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.


I am over 80 but I do not have a mobile phone or an email account. When can I expect to receive a letter inviting me for vaccination?

These letters will be sent out the week commencing Monday 18th January.


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.


I am concerned because when I try to book a vaccination appointment online, the earliest date offered is March. What should I do? 

Our aim is to offer appointment slots at relatively short notice, in 2-4 days’ time. If you cannot book an appointment until a period of several weeks has passed, it means we are waiting for the delivery of new vaccine supplies. Therefore, please wait a few hours and try again and, depending on the availability of the vaccine, you will be able to book an appointment for within the next few days.


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.
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.



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.



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.


You say you are inviting people over the age of 80 for vaccination. I am in that age group but have not yet been contacted whereas my 78-year-old neighbour has. Why is that?

You’re right; we are currently prioritising patients aged over 80. However, on a limited number of occasions, we have been unable to fill appointment slots with people from that age group so, in line with NHS England guidance, we have been filling them with patients aged 70-79. This means we have been able to use the vaccine and not waste it.


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.