Covid-19 vaccine FAQs

This page will be updated whenever we have more information about the vaccine programme.

For more information, please see these slides from the NHS England webinar – 12 November 2020

Why one site per PCN grouping?

  • The manufacturing process for these vaccines is not the same as for other common vaccines (e.g. flu), therefore there are logistical constraints which will be more significant than we are used to.
  • It is essential to ensure that the final number of designated sites can be supported by the supply chain. The best way to do this is to limit the number of sites, to ensure the integrity of the supply chain and work within the delivery constraints of the vaccine.
  • Additionally, vaccines are likely to come in bigger packs (of 975), with more challenging handling and cold chain requirements.
  • Ensuring quick deployment by working at scale will mean we are able to make best use of the resource with a minimum amount of wastage. Designated sites will need to work in partnership with others to ensure successfully delivery.
  • As vaccine supply generally increases over time, we anticipate expanding the number of sites and PCN groupings may subsequently be invited by the commissioner to nominate additional premises

Vaccine characteristics

We are awaiting final confirmation from manufacturers on the specific characteristics of each vaccine; however we are preparing to work to the following principles:

  • That everyone will need two doses of the same vaccine, within a specified interval.
  • That all vaccines will need to be stored at 2-8°C once received by the site and that there will then be a timeframe within which they’re safe to be delivered. Once vaccines are at 2-8°C there will be a short timeframe within which they’re safe to be delivered.
  • That there will be specific requirements around, dilution and transport of the vaccine which may differ between products.
  • That, at least in the initial stage, there are only limited circumstances in which stock will be permitted to move between sites.
  • That no observation period will be required post-vaccination, but that patients should wait 15 minutes before driving.