Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and publications

Thank you for your interest in COVID-19 vaccination in Devon.

This page brings together the latest news on mass vaccination, including frequently asked questions and our press releases.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for patients

How will patients be invited for a vaccination?

People will receive an invitation to come forward. For most, this will be in the form of a letter either from their GP or the national booking system; this will include all the information they need, including their NHS number.

We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we are asking people not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they get their letter.

Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe?

Yes.  The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said the vaccines are very safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.

How long does the vaccine take to become effective?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of your suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.

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

If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work.

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.

Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly?

Yes, the Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.

If, and when, further vaccines are approved we will publish information about known allergens or ingredients that are important for certain faiths, cultures and beliefs.

Who cannot have the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

People who are suffering from a fever-type illness should also postpone having the vaccine until they have recovered.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

This is all included in the information published by the MHRA, and Public Health England will also be publishing more resources for patients and professionals. People can be assured the NHS will ensure that they have all the necessary information on those vaccines that are approved by the MHRA before they attend for their vaccination.

Is the NHS confident the vaccine will be safe?

Yes. The NHS would not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until it is safe to do so. The MHRA, the official UK regulator authorising licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has made this decision, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process.

What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for BAME communities?

The phase three study of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated a vaccine efficacy of 95%, with consistent efficacy across age, gender and ethnicity. Overall, among the participants who received the COVID-19 vaccine 82.1% were White, 9.6% were Black or African American, 26.1% were Hispanic/Latino, 4.3% were Asian and 0.7% were Native American/Alaskan.

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.

Do 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 when it is their time to do so.

Are there any known or anticipated side effects?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.

Very common side effects include:

  • Having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1-2 days after the vaccine
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache
  • General aches, or mild flu like symptoms

As with all vaccines, appropriate treatment and care will be available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following administration.

How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?

You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 21 days apart. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of vaccine.

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.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family and patients from flu this winter.

Which members of the public are being offered the Covid-19 vaccine at the moment?

The NHS is currently in the process of offering the vaccine to people aged 80 and over, those who live or work in care home, and frontline health and social care staff.

When everyone in these groups has had the chance to get their first dose of the vaccine the programme will expand to other people that are at risk either due to their age group or medical condition in line with the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations.

I’ve already had my first jab, how do I get my second?

If you have had your first jab already through a hospital or GP services, the local NHS will contact you about getting your second.

If you have received a letter from the national booking service and you have already had your first dose of the vaccination, please ignore the letter. This service will require you to book appointments for both doses of the vaccination at the same time.

What are the different ways members of the public might be contacted to get their vaccination?

  1. Local hospital services – you might be contacted either to have the vaccine as an inpatient or at an outpatient appointment.
  2. Local GP services – practices in your area are working together to contact and offer the vaccine to as many people as possible. This may be at a different surgery than you usually go to, or at a venue we have set up specially to deliver vaccines.
  3. Through your care home – GPs and their teams are also arranging to vaccinate care home residents directly, in their homes.
  4. A letter from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service to book online or by phone. Booking through this service will give you the option of having the vaccine at a special Vaccination Centre, or potentially a community pharmacy depending on whether these are available locally.

Where are the vaccination sites in Devon?

All four of the county’s main hospitals are giving the vaccination to priority groups.

Name of site Serving patients from
North Devon District Hospital Northern Devon
Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Eastern Devon
Torbay Hospital Southern Devon and Torbay
Derriford Hospital (Plymouth) Plymouth and western Devon

As of 6 January 2021, the full list of 16 GP-led sites, and the practices they service, is below.

GP-led facilities are delivering the vaccine to residents and staff in care homes.

Name of site Serving patients from these GP practices
Abbey Surgery, Tavistock Abbey Surgery

Tavyside Health Centre

Yelverton Surgery

Exmouth Tennis and Fitness Centre



Coleridge Medical Centre

Honiton Surgery

Sid Valley Practice

Budleigh Salterton Medical Practice

Claremont Medical Practice

Haldon House Surgery

Imperial Surgery

Raleigh Surgery

Rolle Medical Partnership

Woodbury Surgery

Limes Surgery, Exminster Cranbrook Medical Centre

Ide Lane Surgery

Pinhoe & Broadclyst Medical Centre

Topsham Surgery

Westbank Practice

Okehampton Medical Centre Chagford Health Centre

Moretonhampstead Health Centre

Okehampton Medical Centre

Black Torrington Surgery

Riviera International Centre, Torquay Croft Hall Medical Practice

Chelston Hall Surgery

Brunel Medical Practice

Southover Medical Practice

Chilcote Surgery

Pembroke Medical Group

Corner Place Surgery

Old Farm Surgery

Mayfield Medical Centres

Compass House Medical Centres

St Boniface House, near Buckfastleigh Leaside Surgery, Totnes

Catherine House Surgery, Totnes

Buckfastleigh Medical Centre

Ashburton Surgery

South Brent Medical Centre

Redfern Medical Centre, Salcombe.

Chillington Health Centre

Modbury Health Centre

Norton Brook Surgery, Kingsbridge

Dartmouth Medical Practice, Dartmouth

Seaton Community Hospital Axminster Medical Practice

Seaton & Colyton Medical Practice

Townsend Hose Medical Centre

The Staddy function centre, Plymouth Church View Surgery

embury Surgery

Dean Cross Surgery

Yealm Medical Centre

Beacon, Plympton Beacon Medical Group
Clare House, Tiverton Amicus Health
Dawlish Community Hospital Channel View Medical Practice

Teign Estuary Medical Group

Dawlish Medical Group (known as Barton Surgery)

Holsworthy Medical Centre Bradworthy Surgery

Ruby Country Medical Group

St Leonard’s Practice, Exeter Barnfield Hill Surgery

Clocktower Surgery

Southernhay House Surgery

St Leonard’s Practice

Whipton Surgery

Wonford Green Surgery

Plymouth Pavilions Devonport Health Centre

St Levan Surgery

Adelaide Surgery

West Hoe Surgery

Stoke Surgery

Peverell Park Surgery and University Medical Centre

St Neots Surgery

North Road West Medical Centre

Roborough Surgery

Knowle House Surgery

Wycliffe Surgery

Lisson Grove and Woolwell Medical Centre

Budshead Medical Practice

Elm Surgery

Estover Surgery

Friary House Surgery

Oakside Surgery

Southway Surgery



Beaumont Villa Surgery

Barnstaple Leisure Centre Castle Gardens Surgery

Hartland Surgery

Northam Surgery

Wooda Surgery

Torrington Health Centre

Bideford Medical Centre

Brannams Medical Centre

Fremington Medical Centre

Litchdon Medical Centre

Queens Medical Centre

South Molton Medical Centre

Lyn Health

Combe Coastal

Caen Medical Centre

Mount Pleasant Health Centre Mount Pleasant


South Lawn


Hill Barton

Publications and media