Watch our COVID-19 Vaccine Q and A

A panel of health and care experts from across Plymouth chaired an online question and answer session to help provide reassurance and the facts around the Coronavirus vaccine to local people. 

Hosted by Emi Dowse, the Vice President for Education from the University of Plymouth Students Union, the event took place virtually on 10 June. On the panel was: 
•    Dr Alex Degan, Medical Director for Primary Care for Devon
•    Sue Wilkins, Associate Chief Nurse and Director of Mass Vaccination
•    Ruth Harrell, the Director of Public Health at Plymouth City Council. 

If you missed the event, you can watch it online here. 


All adults aged 18 or over can now get vaccinated against COVID-19. You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS. If you were contacted but have not booked your appointments, you're still eligible and can book your appointments anytime.

More information is available on the NHS website and from the Clinical Commissioning Group for Devon.

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

They can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Any side effects are usually mild and should not last longer than a weekMore information on safety is available on the NHS website.

You can read about the regulatory approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZenica vaccine on GOV.UK.

There are several ways people in Devon are accessing vaccination services. Many operate a walk in service now whereas some require you to book an appointment, Please check

  • Hospital hub -  The vaccination centre at the Derriford Centre for Health and Wellbeing has now closed. For details of vaccination clinics operating in Plymouth, visit:
  • GP-led local vaccination services - the county's GP practices are working together in groups (called primary care networks (PCNs)) to set up local vaccination centres. Across the county, 20 centres are now in operation, serving all of Devon practices. In Plymouth these include The Staddy Function Centre, Glenside Surgery and Plymouth Pavilions
  • In the Plymouth area, the Pavilions, the Staddy and Glenside Medical Centre will not be vaccinating the 18-49 age group but local people can continue to access the large vaccination centre at Home Park and Devonport Pharmacy through the National Booking Service.
  • Care homes and people who are housebound - The GP-led centres have now visited all the care homes in Plymouth to vaccinate residents and staff. They continue  to work across communities nursing to vaccinate people who can't leave their house to be vaccinated.
  • Large-scale vaccination centres at  Plymouth Argyle's Stadium (Home Park) in Plymouth PL2 3DQ. See for opening times
  • Selected pharmacy sites - Several pharmacies across Devon are offering appointments for coronavirus vaccinations to people  For local residents these are available at  Plymouth Cricket Ground, Devonport, run by Devonport Pharmacy More information is available on the NHS website and Devon County Council’s vaccination centres page


From 19 July most coronavirus restrictions will come to an end. There will be no legal requirement to socially distance or wear a face covering except in certain situations such as where due to high rates of prevalence. Local restrictions are reintroduced. This does not mean the pandemic is over and and it is thought many people will still exercise a certain degree of caution over the coming weeks. The wearing of face coverings and keeping a distance from others will likely continue for many.  

The NHS in Devon is reminding people today that everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.

Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors. That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, masks and other personal protection equipment.

The COVID-19 vaccination programme has been underway since December 2020. More information is available from:

While the vaccine protects you from getting sick from COVID-19, you may still be able to carry the virus and pass it on to others. Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine it is important to self isolate if you begin to show symptons and to take a covid test to confirm.

More information on testing is available on Get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (

Most vaccines can be easily transported which means it is now possible to administer the vaccine in people’s homes. Initially, over-80s will be prioritised and GPs will work with community nursing teams to put arrangements in place.

The Government has now announced that vaccinations centres can start to call people over the age of 45 for a vaccination. You can book your vaccine here. The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine. It is important to wait to be contacted by the NHS. Please do not to contact the NHS to ask about vaccination before then. 

More information is available on the NHS website and from the Clinical Commissioning Group for Devon.

The full priority list is available on the GOV.UK website.

The NHS need volunteer marshals and stewards to help delivery the vaccinations locally. If you are interested in support the vaccine roll-out please contact Our Plymouth who are coordinating volunteers.

An NHS COVID Pass shows your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details or test results. This is your COVID-19 status.

You may be asked to show your pass to get into some events, where the COVID Pass is being trialled, or to travel abroad.

Always check the entry requirements for the venue or the country you're visiting.

Information about the NHS Covid Pass can be found here

More information on travel vaccinations can be found here

Yes, the vaccine contains less than 1 mmol of sodium per dose of 0.5ml, which is essentially classed as ‘sodium-free’. The vaccine also contains a very small amount of ethanol, 0.002g of alcohol per dose of 0.5ml which is not enough to cause any noticeable effects.

For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.

Neither Pfizer/BioNtech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines contain any products derived from animals. The British Islamic Medical Association, Hindu Council UK, and the Board of Deputies of British Jews [BA3] are in support of the vaccine roll out and are encouraging their communities to be vaccinated.

One 0.5ml dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine contains:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S* recombinant) 5 × 10^10 viral particles
  • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • L-histidine
  • L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate
  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Ethanol
  • Sucrose
  • Sodium chloride
  • Disodium edetate dihydrate
  • Water for injections

For more information, visit the GOV.UK website

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine contains inactive ingredients such as:

  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Monobasic potassium
  • Phosphate
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
  • Sucrose

For more information, visit the Pfizer website.

Yes the vaccine is free, the NHS will contact you when it is your turn to have the vaccine but the NHS will never:

  1. Ask for your bank details or bank card
  2. Ask you for your PIN or banking password
  3. Ask you for proof of identity by sending personal documents such as a passport or bills or pay slips
  4. Arrive at your home unannounced to administer the vaccine

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives. The MHRA (UK regulator) has undertaken a thorough review into UK reports of a very rare and unlikely to occur specific type of blood clot in the brain, following vaccination with the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. Up to and including 31 March 2021, the MHRA had received 79 UK reports of blood clotting cases alongside low levels of platelets following the use of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

Following a review, the MHRA - the UK's independent regulator - and the JCVI have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.

Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experience blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.

The Government has also set out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible.

When people are called forward, they should get their jab. Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against COVID-19.

If I am fully vaccinated will I have quarantine on arrival in the UK?

From 4am, Monday 19 July, the government will no longer recommend against travel to amber list countries. People covered by the amber list rules, who have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, will not need to quarantine on arrival in England or take a COVID-19 test on day 8.