Sheffield residents are being invited for their second Covid-19 vaccine - as hospitals allow one visitor to see patients

Sheffield residents are now being invited for their second Covid-19 vaccine, as city hospitals also start to allow visitors back in.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 1:00 pm
John Burkhill, known as the man with the pram, has had his second Covid-19 vaccine

Patients in Sheffield who received their first vaccine in January are due for their second dose and are now being contacted and invited to an appointment.

This follows earlier recommendations from UK Chief Medical Officers to give second doses up to 12 weeks after initial vaccination.

Patients who received their vaccine at a local vaccination centre in Sheffield will be contacted by their GP practice to arrange their second dose when it’s their turn, this will typically be at week 11 - but are advised not to contact their GP practice.

Those that booked through the national booking service booked their first and second appointments at the same time and will not be called.

John Burkhill, well known in the city as ‘the man with the pram’ for his fundraising efforts for Macmillan, recently received his second vaccination.

He said: “I’m feeling great and really grateful to have been vaccinated against Covid.

“If I can encourage one person to have the vaccine I’ll be happy, it’s the best chance we’ve got in getting our lives back after such a terrible year. If you’re due to have your second jab, don’t put it off.

“I’m looking forward to when social distancing is over and being able to get back out again, doing what I love and fundraising for charity. Let’s get vaccinated and get back out there Sheffield.”

Alun Windle, chief nurse and Covid Vaccination Lead at NHS Sheffield CCG, added: “To give yourself the best protection and to protect those around you, you need to have both doses of a Covid vaccine.

“Don’t skip your second dose, if you experienced side effects with your first vaccination please don’t let it put you off having your second. It’s important that you still return for your next appointment. You may experience side effects from your second dose but these are mild and will last for 2-3 days. If you don’t have both doses, this may put your health at risk and at risk of complications from Covid if you catch it.”

Appointments for the first doses are still available for the rest of March, but they are filling up fast.

So if you are in an eligible group – meaning you are 50 or over, have a health condition that puts you at greater risk, or are a health or social care worker – and you haven’t booked your first dose yet, the time to do so is right now.

Book at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by phoning 119.

Meanwhile, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has announced that one named visitor per patient will be allowed to visit their loved one for one hour a day at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals from Monday March 29.

After carefully considering a number of factors including the decline of community COVID-19 cases, Sheffield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has decided to ease visiting restrictions to enable limited visiting in its hospitals.

One named visitor per patient will be permitted to visit for an hour each day. The person visiting must remain the same person for the duration of the patient’s hospital stay and where possible the visitor will need to book a time to visit by calling the ward. This will enable social distancing and infection risks to be kept to a minimum.

If there are exceptional circumstances such as a person being at end of life, then the ward staff will of course discuss the appropriate alternative arrangements for visiting.

Maternity visiting arrangements are that a partner or nominated support person can visit the antenatal and postnatal wards for one hour per day, in a nominated time slot. They will be provided with PPE to wear and will need to follow social distancing rules. Unfortunately children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit.

For safety reasons visiting will not be allowed on COVID-19 wards or wards where patients are having planned surgery.

Anyone visiting the hospitals will be asked to follow the rules below to ensure their own safety and that of patients and staff:

Do not visit if you have any symptoms or COVID-19 or indeed are unwell at all.

You must wear a mask at all times when you are in the hospital.

You must wash your hands upon entry and exit from the hospital.

Please do not move around different areas of the hospital or ward unless absolutely necessary

Children under 16 years of age are not permitted to visit

Professor Chris Morley, Chief Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We understand how challenging it has been for friends and family not to see their loved ones over recent months and so we are pleased that current circumstances mean we can partially ease the restrictions and allow one visitor to visit for an hour each day.

"We do need to stress that COVID-19 has not gone away and is still in our hospitals and the community so ensuring visitors stick to the rules is essential.”