Pier Health
COVID-19 vaccination programme

The NHS is vaccinating people in Weston-super-Mare, Worle and surrounding villages at Riverbank Medical Centre, Weston-super-Mare.

Here at Pier Health, we’ve transformed Riverbank Medical Centre into your local dedicated COVID-19 vaccination hub. You can download directions here.

NHS

Our booster campaign

The government has now given approval for an intensive booster campaign from 16/09/21. Here at Pier Health we have started offering booster vaccinations from 24/09/21.

Detailed below is all the information you need to know about how this part of the vaccination programme will work.

Who will get a Covid-19 booster vaccine?

Everyone over 50 or who has a health condition that puts them at higher risk from Covid-19 will be offered a booster.

When will I get a booster vaccine?

If you are eligible, you’ll be invited to get a booster vaccine when it is your turn and at least six months after your second dose. The booster programme started on September 16 and is likely to last at least throughout the autumn.

Boosters will be given in the same order of priority as for the initial vaccine, as follows:
  1. Care home residents and staff
  2. People aged 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers
  3. People aged 75 and over
  4. People aged 70 and over, and adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  5. People aged 65 and over
  6. Adults who are at higher risk from Covid-19, including people with heart and circulatory conditions
  7. People aged 60 and over
  8. People aged 55 and over
  9. People aged 50 and over
Pier Health - Doctor

More about our booster campaign

Why might I need a booster vaccine?

The booster vaccines are being recommended in order to give longer-lasting protection. We still don’t know how long protection from the Covid-19 vaccines lasts, but there is some evidence that protection declines over time and has started to decline within six months from the second dose. Because the vaccine has not yet been available for long enough, there are no large studies of effectiveness beyond six months from the second dose.

So a booster dose will help to ensure those at higher risk from coronavirus, who were prioritised at the start of the vaccine programme, have enough protection going into winter.

We know that as coronavirus spreads and mutates, it can start to resist vaccines. A booster programme could offer extra protection against variants that have resistance to existing vaccines.

Many coronavirus vaccine manufacturers are in the process of developing and testing new booster vaccines targeted at different coronavirus variants. For example, Moderna has developed a version of their coronavirus vaccine to target the Beta variant more specifically.

What about people who have a weakened immune response?

The JCVI and UK government have recommended that everyone over 12 with a severely weakened immune system is offered a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, which is separate from the booster programme.

A third dose is being offered to up to 500,000 people in the UK whose immune systems do not work properly or who are taking immune suppressant medication – including people who have had a heart transplant or are on certain types of steroid medication. The NHS is contacting people who are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine to arrange an appointment as soon as possible, if they haven’t already had their third dose.

The JCVI have said that this recommendation is an update to the standard dosing schedule for people in this at-risk group, and that they will also be offered a booster vaccine, at a later date.

The recommendation follows early findings from research carried out by the University of Glasgow, showing that 40% of people who are immunosuppressed or immunocompromised do not have a strong enough immune response after two doses of the vaccine.

Read the official government advice for people who are eligible for a third dose

Which vaccine is being used for the boosters?

The Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine are the most likely vaccines to be offered for booster doses, as evidence shows that this type of vaccine will work well as a booster. A half dose of the Moderna vaccine may be used, as this has been shown to be very effective.

The Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have all been approved for use as booster jabs by the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has only been approved as a booster for use in people who had it as their first and second vaccine.

More research is currently under way to look at other options for use as Covid-19 booster vaccines.

Will I need to be monitored after my booster vaccine?

You will be asked to wait for 15 minutes after your booster vaccine. This is so that in the very unlikely event of a severe allergic reaction, help will be at hand.

Will the booster vaccine be given at the same time as the flu jab?

The flu jab and Covid-19 booster vaccine can be offered at the same appointment. The medicines regulator the MHRA has reviewed the evidence and decided that it is safe to do so. While this will be done wherever practical particularly around those patients living in care homes or requiring a home visit because the guidance from the government was so late in being issued local practices have had to press on with delivering their flu vaccinations as per usual, so this year sadly most patients will not be able to have their vaccinations at the same time

This year it’s extra important to get your flu jab if you’re offered one. There are concerns that flu levels could be very high this winter. Thanks to social distancing and other measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19, flu levels were extremely low last winter. As a result, it’s expected people will have a lower level of immunity against the flu this winter. Precautions such as washing your hands can limit the spread of many infectious diseases, including flu.

Will I get a Covid booster vaccine every year?

The current advice on boosters is for the coming months. The situation will be kept under review, depending on what happens with Covid-19. It’s possible that a Covid booster jab will be offered every year, like the flu jab.

1. When it is your turn the surgery will contact you

When it is your turn the surgery will contact you either by text message, phone call or mail. Don’t worry if you don’t have a mobile phone, we’ll either ring you or write to you.

2. We will then book your appointment

It is our intention to give you your second appointment in exactly 12 weeks to the day at the same time and the same place as before.

3. Your appointment will be at Riverbank Medical Centre

This is our dedicated vaccination centre for Pier Health Group, nothing else happens here apart from COVID-19 vaccinations.
Riverbank Medical Centre

Great news: Riverbank Medical Centre is now included on the national bookings service

This means when you receive the national booking letter from the government to get your COVID-19 vaccination you can now choose Riverbank Medical Centre for your first or second vaccination.

We’re open from 08.30 to 19.30 on the days we have had the vaccine delivered

We have seven vaccinators working at the centre every time we’re open

We can deliver up to 1,000 vaccinations a day to those who need it

Pregnant

I’m pregnant – what should I do?

The COVID-19 vaccination is being offered to some pregnant women including health and social care workers and those with high risk medical conditions.

For more information, please read the following:
Pregnant

I have allergies – what should I do?

Please find information for patients with reported allergies here.

What will happen when your time comes to have the vaccine

Beforehand

1. When it is your turn the surgery will contact you

When it is your turn the surgery will contact you either by text message, phone call or mail. Don’t worry if you don’t have a mobile phone, we’ll either ring you or write to you.

2. We will then book your appointment

Your booster vaccination will be booked at least 6 months after your second initial Covid vaccination.

3. Your appointment will be at Riverbank Medical Centre

This is our dedicated vaccination centre for Pier Health Group, nothing else happens here apart from COVID-19 vaccinations.
Beware of scammers

The COVID-19 vaccination is free and you never should have to pay for it. We use texting as it contains a link for you to book into the appointment system at Riverbank Medical Centre. We will never ask for personal details or bank details.

On the day of your appointment

1. Please arrive no more than 10 minutes early

This is to ensure we safely vaccinate as many people as possible. There is a sizable car park and plenty of parking on the roads around.

2. Our car park marshals will ensure traffic flows freely and that you’re there at the right time

You will be asked for your appointment time and if you are unreasonably early the marshals will have to ask you to leave and come back again at the correct time.

3. You’ll be greeted at the door to the centre

We aim for no queuing outside but if you do, there is a marquee set up to keep you dry. You will be met at the door and asked to sanitise your hands and wear your mask.

4. You will be booked in

Once inside, you will go to the reception desk to be booked in to say you have arrived.

5. The reception team will let you know where to go

You’ll be directed to stand outside one of the seven vaccination rooms (there are footsteps on the floor to indicate where you need to stand).

6. You’ll then be called in and asked some questions

The vaccinator (usually a nurse or doctor) will explain about the vaccination and ask you some questions, most specifically about previous allergies. They will also answer any questions you have.

7. Make sure you are dressed correctly

Make sure you’re dressed in a way that allows you to easily present your left upper arm for the injection.

8. Once you have had the injection you will be given two things:

  1. A vaccination card specifying which vaccine you had and the batch number with the date.
  2. Detailed information about the vaccine plus more about the vaccination process in general.

9. You will wait 15 minutes If you are given the Pfizer vaccine

If you are given the Pfizer vaccine you will need to wait for 15 minutes before you leave the centre. There are three waiting rooms to do this in.

10. If you are given the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine you can leave immediately unless you have driven to the centre

If you have driven, you still need to wait 15 minutes before you leave the centre.

11. Notify your GP if you are troubled by side-effects

If you are troubled by any side-effects after you leave the centre, please contact your GP surgery for help.

Afterwards

Attend your second appointment

It is our intention to give you your second appointment in exactly 12 weeks from your first vaccination at both the same time and the same place as before.

More information about your second vaccination can be found here.

Remember, the vaccine is only part of the solution

HANDS

FACE

SPACE

Will I be able to pass on the virus to others if I’ve been vaccinated?

We don’t know the answer to this quite yet. It could be possible for you to pass the virus on even if you have had the vaccine.

The vaccines work by causing your body to create a rapid immune response to the virus so it doesn’t make you unwell, but it may not stop you from passing the virus on to somebody else.

Even if you’ve been vaccinated it’s still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • Follow the current guidance

We have given

vaccinations against Covid-19

Last Updated 27/10/21

Frequently asked questions

I’ve received a letter about booking my vaccination appointment - what should I do?

When you receive the national booking letter from the government to get your COVID-19 vaccination, the sites run by your local GP practices don’t appear on your letter and can’t be booked through the national booking line. This doesn’t mean you can’t use Riverbank, just that our centre isn’t included in this list. We have capacity to vaccinate you and we will contact you when it’s time for you to have your vaccine with us.

Why haven’t I had my vaccine when others the same age already have?

This is because there are several thousand individuals in each cohort (grouping) and we have to systematically work our way through so that everyone is included. This can take a few weeks depending on how quickly the vaccine is supplied to us.

If I’ve already had COVID-19 do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes. Whilst you may have some level of immunity if you’ve had coronavirus, this varies and may not last long. It’s still really important for you to get the vaccine. The MHRA has

considered this issue and decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those

who have already had COVID-19 as it is for those who haven’t.

When will the next cohorts (groups) be vaccinated?

We are making great progress in vaccinating our patients in the first four cohorts. This includes patients who can visit the practice, as well as some who we need to vaccinate in their home or care home. 

When it is time to move onto the next cohort, we will be told by the government and they will arrange for us to get a vaccine delivery. Once this happens, we will contact you. The government ambition is to offer vaccines to everyone in the first five groups (13 million people) by the middle of February.

Which vaccine will I get?

You won’t be given a choice about which vaccine you get.

Recommendations on which groups get the vaccine are made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunology – an independent group of scientists.

How quickly does the vaccine work?

As your immune system needs to generate a response, generally speaking, the protection from the virus starts after about 7-10 days. 

The Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford vaccines both need to be given in two doses. In both cases, it is our intention to give you your second appointment in exactly 12 weeks from your first vaccination at both the same time and the same place as before. You will still have a good level of protection after the first dose, but the second dose is more important for longer-lasting protection. This means it’s really important to go back for your second dose when we book you in.

How long does the vaccine last?

At the moment, we don’t yet know how long protection will last. This is because the vaccines haven’t been around for long enough, but researchers are studying this closely. The length of protection may vary between different vaccines but it is likely to last at least several months, but repeat vaccinations may be needed.

Will I be able to pass on the virus to others if I’ve been vaccinated?

We don’t yet know whether the vaccine will stop you from catching and passing on the virus to somebody else, but we do expect it to reduce this risk. So, it is still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current guidance

If you develop symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has, you will still need to self-isolate.

Do I still need to shield if I’ve had the vaccine?

Yes, even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to shield until further notice. This is while we continue to assess the impact of vaccination among all groups. The people you live with should continue to follow the public health rules and guidance as long as they are in place, including if you have received the vaccine and also if they have received the vaccine.

I am a frontline health and social care worker. I haven’t been called yet, how do I know when and where I will get vaccinated?

There are more than 50,000 frontline health and social care staff in this priority vaccination category for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area. Your employer will have been contacted by now by the local NHS to ask for details of staff.

As a result of the numbers involved, further prioritisation within this group had to be made to ensure a safe, effective and fair approach to staff vaccination as possible. The aim is that every member of this valued frontline workforce will be vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Initially, the first group invited to book their appointments will be:

  • Frontline staff whose role involves either providing direct personal care, or having direct contact with people receiving care, AND:
  • Who are in the high risk category in relation to COVID-19 due to their personal characteristics e.g. medical history, OR
  • Who are providing care to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable or are in a high risk category for COVID-19

Once these staff have been vaccinated, vaccination appointments will be offered to any remaining frontline staff whose role involves either providing direct personal care or having direct contact with people receiving care.

There are various places that staff can be vaccinated, including the vaccination centre at Ashton Gate stadium in Bristol and several hospital sites across BNSSG.

Please wait to be contacted. We will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine so you don’t need to contact us. Don’t worry, you won’t be forgotten.

You can find out more information about protection for healthcare workers here.

Testimonials

Other vaccination centres

Our vaccination hub at Riverbank Medical Centre is your local choice to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Other vaccination centres near you are:

  • Bristol Vaccination Centre
    Ashton Gate Stadium
    Ashton Rd
    Ashton Gate
    Bristol
  • Local pharmacies will be offering the vaccine in due course