Shielding: Covid-19 Vaccine




Vaccinations for people on the shielding list

Vaccine invitations have been issued this week to groups considered clinically extremely vulnerable people (excluding any individuals who may have already received their vaccination due to their age group).  The current expectation is that everyone considered extremely vulnerable should receive the first dose of the vaccine by mid-February. The second dose of the vaccine will be given up to 12 weeks later. This is to ensure that the maximum number of people possible are protected.

Making alternative arrangements for vaccination

People on the shielding list who are housebound or unable to leave their home or would prefer not to visit a vaccination centre can make alternative arrangements. If you are shielding or housebound, please call 0800 030 8013 for information on how to arrange your appointment.  The 0800 030 8013 COVID-19 Vaccinations Helpline is open every day between 8am and 8pm and will put callers through to National Services Scotland to arrange this.

Getting to vaccination appointments

People that are shielding are advised not to use public transport including taxis in level 4 or lockdown areas to attend a vaccination appointment. 

If you do not have your own transport or support with transport, we have made local arrangements.  Please contact Transport to Healthcare Information Centre (THInC) on 01467 536111 who will be able to assist you in attending your vaccination appointment

Providing support with transport

If you are shielding, and where it is necessary for someone to drive you to your appointment, we advise that:

  • The use a car or vehicle that is as large as possible
  • Occupants should sit as far apart as possible, ideally the passenger should sit diagonally opposite the driver.
  • Windows in the car must be opened as far as possible taking account of weather conditions to maximise the ventilation in the space.
  • Occupants in the car, including the driver, should wear a facemask
  • Occupants should perform hand hygiene using an alcohol-based hand rub before entering the vehicle and again on leaving the vehicle. 
  • Wiping down and cleaning the vehicle 
  • Making sure vehicles are equipped with hand gel, waste disposal bags, and suitable products with which to wipe down and clean the vehicle (The vehicle’s passenger compartment, handles, seat belts and touch points will require cleaning using detergent cleaning products between each journey, ensuring thorough wipe down of all exposed surfaces and contact areas with detergent or specialist cleaning products, such as disinfectant wipes or similar, with disposal bags.
  • Occupants should avoid eating in the vehicle
  • Keep the volume of any music/radio being played to a minimum/ off to prevent the need to raise voices in the car

Picking up the person

If you are providing travel to someone who is shielding, or seeking support with transport due to shielding, please consider the following:

Ideally, no direct assistance should be provided by the driver to the person Shielding, where physical distancing is not possible.  The person shielding should be able to get in and out of the vehicle unaided or with a family member or carer from the same household.  The driver can help fit ramps to enable wheelchair access. 

If more direct assistance is needed, a home appointment may be more suitable for you, if you are shielding.  A home appointment may be more suitable for you if you: 

  • are housebound or unable to leave their own home
  • would prefer not to visit a vaccination centre
  • face challenges in using the recommended travel options  

Using a taxi company

If you choose to use a taxi, use a taxi fleet that has suitable arrangements in place regarding cleaning/sanitising vehicles after each journey as well as any other necessary adaptations e.g. cough guards, sanitising units for their fleet ( a device that is activated in the vehicle), cleaning and waiting between passengers.  The taxi company should be able to advise you of the measures they have taken to protect their customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines have been created to help protect people against falling seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. The vaccines work by building up your immunity to the virus, so that if you contract the virus your body will be able fight it off more easily if it affects you. 

Yes. The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Each vaccine goes through a rigorous and independent three-phase testing process long before it can be licensed as safe and effective for use. 

During a pandemic, the timeframes can be compressed, but never at the expense of safety. This will be the case for all other COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK.

The MHRA keep the safety of all vaccines under close and continual review, and would take appropriate regulatory action if new evidence emerged which called into question the safety of any vaccines currently in use in.

Further information on the JCVI priority list can be found on the UK Government website

No. You will be contacted by your local NHS health board or GP to arrange an appointment as soon as is possible and in line with vaccine supply.  We ask people for their patience and to take up their appointment when they are called. 

During your vaccination, strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place. This means that every precaution has been taken to ensure that you will not contract coronavirus whilst attending your appointment. 

However, if you are very concerned about going to a vaccination site, you can call the Scottish COVID-19 Vaccinations Helpline on 0800 030 8013. This is run by the NHS and they will be able to talk you through the options, including the possibility of getting the vaccination at home.  If you are housebound or unable to leave your own home you can receive the vaccination at home.  The helpline is open from 8am to 8pm every day.

The advice is that you shouldn’t use public transport, so if you don’t have a way of getting to the vaccination site, we can help arrange a way to get you there.  Each local area will have its own local arrangements in place to help transport people to their vaccination.

Please call the Vaccination Helpline and you will be directed to the local contact for transport support. 

Transport to Healthcare Information Centre (THInC)  01467 536 111 

Our current guidance is that once you have received the first dose of the vaccine you should continue to follow the shielding advice. 

We will let you know if this advice changes as we learn more about the impact of the vaccination. 

To find out more about these measures, visit the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support.

You can still receive the coronavirus vaccine if you are immunocompromised or if you have disorders of the immune system. The effectiveness and immune response is being monitored throughout the rollout of the vaccine. 

No, but we recommend that everyone should get the vaccine unless there is specific risk, such as women who are pregnant or people who are allergic to the ingredients within the vaccines. It  is especially important to get that vaccines if you are on the shielding list, this is because you are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus.

If you have any concerns about receiving the vaccine you can call the Scottish COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 (open daily, 8am to 8pm) or visit NHS Inform.

In some cases people may experience side effects after receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Most side effects are mild and may include:

  • tenderness, swelling and/or redness at the injection site;
  • headache;
  • muscle ache;
  • feeling tired;
  • fever/ high temperature (37.8°C or greater).

A less common side effect is swelling of the glands which could start a few days after the vaccine and may last for up to 2 weeks.  This is to be expected and is a sign of the immune system responding to the vaccine.

Although, the vaccines have been through rigorous testing and large scale trials, these may not have included people with your condition. However, the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the vaccines for use based on all the data they currently hold. This means that the vaccines have reached the required standards of safety and effectiveness. 

If you are worried about receiving the vaccine you can visit NHS Inform or call the Scottish COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 (open daily, 8am to 8pm).

There's no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you're pregnant. But more evidence is needed before you can be routinely offered the vaccine.
The JCVI has updated its advice to recommend you may be able to have the vaccine if you're pregnant and:

  • at high risk of getting coronavirus because of where you work
  • have a health condition that means you're at high risk of serious complications of coronavirus

You can have the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccine with you.

Further information about the vaccination programme if you are pregnant or breastfeeding can be accessed on the Public Health Scotland Website: COVID-19 vaccination pregnancy advice.

You should not get the coronavirus vaccine if you have ever had a severe anaphylactic reaction to any ingredients in the vaccine or a previous dose of the vaccine.

This will only affect a small number of people, but you will be able to ask any questions when you attend your vaccine appointment. 

If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. The people giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

If you think you are at higher risk of coronavirus due to an underlying health condition, then you can speak to your clinician or health care professional about being added to the list. People aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions will be offered the vaccine as part of group 6. 


If you want to find out more information on the coronavirus vaccine, you can visit NHS inform.

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