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Patients reassured that vaccine appointments can be rearranged

Patients in the Vale of York are being reassured that they can rearrange their COVID-19 vaccine appointments by contacting their surgery if they are unable to attend.

Health care professionals advise that the jab is safe for people who are observing a religious festival, such as Ramadan, but people who are unwell should wait until they have fully recovered before having it.

The date of the first or second dose can be rearranged to either bring it forward or move it back, and GP surgeries have been asked to show some flexibility where this is needed.

Vaccination remains the most effective form of protection against the virus and everyone is recommended to get it when they are invited. Having both doses increases the effectiveness of the vaccine and reduces the spread of COVID-19.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of the virus should not attend a vaccination appointment and instead should self-isolate and book a test immediately.

"A more accessible patient experience."

Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical Chair of NHS Vale of York CCG, said: "We encourage all of our patients to have the vaccine, but we also understand that some people may need to rearrange their appointment. It's our goal to vaccinate everyone who is eligible, so we have taken this step to create a more accessible patient experience."

"If you need to rearrange your vaccination, please get in touch with your GP surgery as soon as possible."

Councillor Carol Runciman, City of York Council Executive Member for Health and Social Care, said: “It has been fantastic to see the number of people answering the call, rolling up their sleeves and getting a vaccine in York. They are safe and effective and making a real impact in the fight against coronavirus. We want to make the experience as easy as possible and I would encourage everyone to have the vaccine when they can and are eligible.”

Ramadan

With Ramadan starting on either Monday 12 April or Tuesday 13 April, many people who follow the Muslim faith in the Vale of York will be fasting. While the Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed that the vaccine can still be administered during the fast, people could be experiencing low energy and hydration levels.

Muslim faith patients may wish to rearrange the date of their vaccination, having it outside of Ramadan, if they are concerned about the mild side effects of the vaccine.

Side effects caused by the vaccine are much less serious than developing the virus or complications associated with it and usually go away within a few days.

Azhar Iqbal, Treasurer of the York Muslim Association, said: "We are keen to support the efforts of the vaccine programme. This kind offer is welcomed by everyone who will be fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and much appreciated."

Patients who have had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated so that they have the best possible protection against the virus. This should take place at least 28 days after a positive test result or 28 days since first developing symptoms.

The vaccination roll out in the Vale of York is continuing at pace and the NHS continues to invite eligible people in a phased basis as supplies of the vaccine allow, with everyone being offered a vaccine in due course.

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