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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Vaccine information

Information alert box Last updated: 10 August 2021

This is a fast moving situation and we will try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible.
Please continue to check national guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your question is not answered below, and you are a member of staff, please speak to your line manager or email

If your question is about an OUH HR matter that isn't addressed here, please discuss this initially with your line manager who can then raise it with the HR consultant for your Division.

Some links are to documents on the OUH internal staff intranet: if you are a staff member and cannot access the intranet, please email and we will send you the document you need.

Please remember guidance is likely to change rapidly, so check back to see if you have the most up-to-date version of a document.

Different vaccines

Where can I find information on the vaccinations?

Information is available on the Government website at:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine - NHS website

Vaccine safety

Where can I find more information about the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots?

The MHRA has some useful information on their website:

Vaccines and vaccine safety -

How can I find out if what I have been told is just a myth?

There is an excellent myth-buster available online.

What would you say to people who are reluctant to have the vaccine because they are concerned about long-term side effects?

COVID-19 is a terrible disease, so if you are offered the vaccine, please have it.

Are there any contraindications to receiving the vaccine if you are on medication already prescribed for high blood pressure and thyroid problems?

No. There are no contraindications to receiving the vaccine if you are on medication prescribed for high blood pressure and thyroid problems.

Can you have the vaccine if you take Warfarin?

Yes, with the most recent result of the INR which should be within the range for you.

Vaccine effectiveness

Why is it important to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can, should protect you and may help to protect your family and those you care for.

The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.

Practical vaccine questions

How do I book an appointment?

Staff are able to book appointments via the National Booking Service.

Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS website

How is the vaccine given?

The vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

Please see 'Coping with your COVID-19 vaccination' (pdf, 106 KB)

How long does the vaccine take to become effective?

While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long-term protection from the virus, you will still have a significant level of protection at 22 days after you received the first dose.

Do I need to continue to social distance and wear a face covering after receiving the vaccine?

It is important to note that even when you have received both doses of the vaccine, you must continue the Government's recommendation on social distancing and wearing a face covering when you are in public places.

You must also to continue to follow the Trust's PPE guidance when you are at work.

If I've had a positive antibody test, should I still get vaccinated?

Yes, the vaccine can be given if you have had a positive antibody test.

I'm currently ill with COVID-19, can I get the vaccine?

People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered.

You can have the vaccine 28 days after you had a positive test for COVID-19 or 28 days after your symptoms started, so you may need to wait.

Should people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?

Yes, they should get vaccinated. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

You can have the vaccine 28 days after you had a positive test for COVID-19 or 28 days after your symptoms started, so you may need to wait.

If I decline to get have a vaccine now, can I change my mind later?


I developed COVID infection three weeks after my first dose. Should I repeat my first dose or should I just take the booster dose after three months from the first dose?

There is no need to repeat your first dose. We suggest that you attend as planned for your second dose.

It is recommended to delay any dose of COVID vaccine until at least four weeks after the onset of COVID symptoms or a COVID diagnosis.

Who cannot have the vaccine?

People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated.

Can I have the vaccine if I'm already taking medication, for example for high blood pressure or asthma?

Only anticoagulant (blood thinning) medication may affect your ability to have the vaccine because of the injection. If you are taking Warfarin please check your INR is within range.
If you are taking other medication it should not affect your ability to receive the vaccine.

After vaccination

Can I go back to work after having my vaccine?

Yes, you should be able to work 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.

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. However, you will need to continue to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct PPE and taking part in the lateral flow testing programme.

What do I do if I have any side effects to the vaccine?

Mild side effects such as pain at the injection site and symptoms such as headache and tiredness for a day commonly occur.

If you have more serious symptoms that you are worried about please seek medical advice from your GP or 111 as you would normally, as they may be unrelated to the vaccine.

For more acute side effects you can attend your nearest walk-in centre or Emergency Department.

I received my vaccination yesterday and have woken up with a fever, what should I do?

If you develop any of the main COVID-19 symptoms such as a high temperature (≥37.80C), a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste, ensure you self-isolate and arrange for a test. Please see the Staff Testing page.

There is a flow chart at the link below advising what to do if you have a fever within 48 hours of your COVID-19 vaccination:

Actions to take only if fever within 48 hours of COVID-19 vaccination (pdf, 47 KB)

Second dose appointments

Is the vaccine effective if I have only one dose?

A single dose of the vaccine does provide a good level of protection from COVID-19, but the second dose is important to ensure lasting protection.

I've received the first dose of my COVID-19 vaccine and have my second booked soon. However I had a fever last night and the PCR swab for COVID-19 is reported positive. Should I still have my second dose? If yes, can I receive it on the day it is booked?

People who have had COVID-19 previously can have the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, you should wait 28 days before the next dose of vaccine can be given to you.

Please do not attend your appointment as booked and we will contact you to reschedule your second dose.

Staff testing after being vaccinated

I had my vaccine yesterday. I did my lateral flow testing today and it has turned positive. Is this as a result of the vaccine?

No. The vaccine will not cross-react with the lateral flow device (LFD). Therefore if your LFD is positive it is very likely that you have the COVID-19 infection.

You should arrange for a PCR swab to confirm the result of LFD. The vaccine takes one or two weeks to generate immunity therefore it is possible to contract the infection within two weeks of the vaccine.