Covid-19 vaccine

Covid-19 vaccine

Book your Covid-19 vaccine

All those over 40 years are invited to book their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccination centre, Newham at ExCeL London. Please call 07526 971 977 or email the team to arrange an appointment. 

The DLR will be closed from Poplar to Beckton between 1 - 3 May, visit the TFL website to plan your journey.

Covid-19 vaccine

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe, effective and give you the best protection against coronavirus.

The NHS is currently offering COVID-19 vaccines to people most at risk from coronavirus. Guidance on when people will be invited to book an appointment for a vaccine follows the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

In England, the vaccines are being offered in some hospitals, including Barts Health NHS Trust and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres, including The NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre, Newham at ExCeL London.

 

Covid-19 vaccine: key facts translated

To ensure everyone is kept informed about the Covid-19 vaccine, we have translated 6 key facts in a variety of languages spoken in our local east London community.

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Pfizer vaccine: questions and answers

How does the Pfizer vaccine protect against Covid-19?

The Pfizer vaccine can be given to adults and adolescents from 16 years.

The vaccine triggers the body’s natural production of antibodies and stimulates immune cells to protect against Covid-19.

How is the Pfizer vaccine given?

The Pfizer vaccine is given via injection into a muscle in your upper arm. You will receive 2 injections, given at least 21 days apart. You will be invited to your second appointment during your first injection.

What should I tell my doctor or nurse before receiving the vaccine?

You should let your vaccinator know if any of the following applies to you, before you have your vaccine:

  • If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction or breathing problems after any other vaccine injection or after you were given the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in the past.
  • If you are suffering from a severe illness with a high fever however, a mild fever or upper airway infection, like a cold, are not reasons to delay vaccination.
  • If you have a weakened immune system, such as due to HIV infection, or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • If you have a bleeding problem, bruise easily or use a medicine to inhibit blood clotting
  • If you are using, have recently used or might use any other medicines or have recently received any other vaccine.

Who should not receive the Pfizer vaccine?

If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any of the active substances or ingredients in the vaccine, you must not have it. Your nurse or doctor will go through all the safety checks with you, but please ask if you are concerned.

Signs of an allergic reaction may include itchy skin rash, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately or go to the nearest hospital right away if you have an allergic reaction.

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist, doctor or nurse for advice before you receive this vaccine.

Can I drive or use machinery after receiving my vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines. However, some of the side effects mentioned above may temporarily affect your ability to drive or use machines. If you feel unwell, you should not undertake these tasks.

Visit the GOV.uk website for more information about the Pfizer vaccine.

Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: questions and answers

How does the AstraZeneca vaccine protect against Covid-19?

Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca stimulates the body’s natural defences (immune system). It causes the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus. This will help to protect you against Covid-19 in the future. None of the ingredients in this vaccine can cause Covid -19.

How is the AstraZeneca vaccine given?

The vaccine is injected into a muscle (usually in the upper arm).

You will receive two injections, and you will be told when you need to return for your second injection.

The second injection can be given between 4 and 12 weeks after the first injection.

It is important that you attend your second vaccination appointment. If you do forget to return at your scheduled time please ask your doctor or nurse for advice.

What should I tell my doctor or nurse before receiving the vaccine?

You should let your vaccinator know if any of the following applies to you, before you have your vaccine:

  • If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after any other vaccine injection
  • If you currently have a severe infection with a high temperature (over 38°C). However, a mild fever or infection, like a cold, are not reasons to delay vaccination
  • If you have a problem with bleeding or bruising, or if you are taking a blood thinning medicine (anticoagulant)
  • If your immune system does not work properly (immunodeficiency) or you are taking medicines that weaken the immune system (such as high-dose corticosteroids, immunosuppressants or cancer medicines).
  • If you are taking, have recently taken or might take, any other medicines or vaccines.

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to have a baby, tell your pharmacist, doctor or nurse. They can answer any questions you may have and discuss whether you can be given the vaccine.

Can I drive and use machinery after receving the vaccine?

The AstraZeneca vaccine has no known effect on the ability to drive and use machines. However, some of the side effects listed above may impact your ability to do these tasks safely - if you feel unwell please do not drive or use machinery.

Who should not have the vaccine?

If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any of the active substances or ingredients in the vaccine, you must not have it. Your nurse or doctor will go through all the safety checks with you, but please ask if you are concerned.

Signs of an allergic reaction may include itchy skin rash, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately or go to the nearest hospital right away if you have an allergic reaction.

Is the AstraZeneca vaccine linked to increased blood clots?

On 7 April 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises the UK Government on immunisation, released a statement on use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

JCVI has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks and advise that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease. 

To date, there are no reports of the extremely rare thrombosis/thrombocytopenia events following receipt of the second dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. All those who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should continue to be offered a second dose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, irrespective of age.

Visit the GOV.uk website for more information about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Staying healthy during Ramadan

Staying healthy during Ramadan

At Barts Health, WeCare about Staying Healthy during Ramadan. In 2021, Ramadan will take place between the evening of Monday 12 April and end on the evening of Tuesday 11 May, and will be followed by the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr.

The British Islamic Medical Association has reviewed the evidence from Islamic scholars and confirmed that having the vaccine does not invalidate the fast. In addition, the vaccine does not contain pork or other animal, foetal or alcohol products – this reflects the advice of the majority of Islamic scholars that it is permissible. 

Senior NHS figures, including our Head of Chaplaincy, Imam Yunus Dudhwala have also stressed the importance of getting the vaccination. The safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk from the virus is by having a vaccine when you are offered it by the NHS.

Muslims should not to delay having their Covid-19 vaccine – first or second dose – during the holy month of Ramadan.  

People are also being reminded to continue to take prescribed medicines during Ramadan, but to check with their GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times they take them changed.  

The practice of fasting is an important part of Ramadan. This involves the complete abstinence from food, drink and smoking between dawn and sunset over the month. It’s also a time for self-reflection and evaluation. 

The Covid-19 pandemic will mean what is traditionally a communal time when families can come together will again be different this year. With such congregational acts of worship again limited this year to combat the spread of the virus.  

It’s important to remember that there are several exemptions allowed to fasting. Those with increased risk of contracting COVID-19 should consider alternative options. These include those who are unwell due to conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or those who are on medication, pregnant or elderly. 

People who have diabetes and want to fast should speak to their GP or diabetes nurse about the safest way to do this. There is an exemption for people with diabetes, especially if they’re on insulin or have any medical complications. 

Eid Al-Fitr 

The month will end with the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr which is due to be marked on the Wednesday 12 May, and ending at sundown on Thursday 13 May, subject to the sighting of the new moon. It's traditionally a celebration involving meals, parties, and visiting family and friends and attending special prayers in mosques.  

The Covid-19 pandemic and measures such as social distancing will mean that again this year alternative celebrations are being organised.  

NHS services are operating both online or over the phone instead of face to face. Please don’t hesitate to contact NHS 111 online or over the phone if you are a member of your family are unwell.  It’s important that you don’t delay seeking treatment. 

Speak to your clinical team if you or a member of your family is receiving treatment at this time and you have any questions. 

The Trust aims to encourage people to fast safely, our Muslim chaplains are on hand to support, educate and advise patients and staff.  

If you need to speak to an Imam for specific advice, please contact our Muslim Chaplaincy Service

  • The Royal London and St Bartholomew's hospitals on 020 3594 2070 

  • Newham and Whipps Cross hospitals on 020 7363 8053 

Further resources 

Ramadan and the vaccine  - North East London Health & Care Partnership (eastlondonhcp.nhs.uk) - guidance in a number of different lanaguages.

Advice for people with diabetes on how to stay healthy during Ramadan can be found on the Diabetes UK website. There are also factsheets available in several different languages.  

Please see the following Clinical Commissioning Group  websites for more information: Barking & DagenhamCity & HackneyHaveringNewhamRedbridgeTower Hamlets and Waltham Forest

Ramadan and Eid Guidance 2021 for staff 

 

 

Got questions?

We understand that you may have questions about the Covid-19 vaccines. That's why we've pulled together lots of information about these vaccines and testemonials from people who've had one. 

Yunus in coversation with Dr Anna and Dr Theresa

Dr Anna Riddell and Dr Teresa Cutino-Moguel answer our head of chaplaincy, Yunus Dudhwala's questions about the Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Covid-19 vaccine - it's your choice

Dr Vanessa Apea, a sexual health and HIV doctor at Barts Health discusses the importance of taking part in clinical trials as part of the black, asian and minority ethnic community. Make an informed decision that is entirely your choice.

 

More information

  • The East London Health & Care Partnership website has a number of resources explaining Covid-19 vaccines in various languages