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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Preparing for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline health and social care workers FAQs

1. Who will receive a booster vaccine?

JCVI advises that for the 2021 COVID-19 booster vaccine programme individuals who received vaccination in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme (priority groups 1 to 9) should be offered a third dose COVID-19 booster vaccine. This includes:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (footnote 1)
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years (footnote 2) to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality (footnote 3)
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

Further details about the booster vaccination

JCVI advise that the booster vaccine dose is offered no earlier than six months after completion of the primary vaccine course (first and second dose) and should be deployed in the same order as during Phase 1 with operational flexibility to maximise delivery and prioritise those most vulnerable.


  1. See description of clinically extremely vulnerable individuals. This advice on vaccination does not include all pregnant women or those under the age of 16 years (see above).
  2. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorised in those aged 16 years and over. The AstraZeneca vaccine is only authorised for use in those aged 18 years and over.
  3. This also includes those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

2. Who is an eligible frontline health and social care care worker (HSCW) in England?

Frontline HSCW
This means you currently work in a care home for older or working age adults or you provide face-to-face care or support to individuals at higher risk from COVID-19 (adults or children who are clinically extremely vulnerable or those over the age of 16 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19).
For example:

  • you are employed to provide personal care or work in any support roles (cook, housekeeping, cleaning, maintenance) including as a volunteer in a residential care home
  • you are a registered professional in social care (such as a social worker, therapist or nurse)
  • you work providing care for people in their homes or in community services such as home care, supported living, shared lives, extra care and day care services or you are employed as a personal assistant.

Please speak to your employer if you’re not sure. If you are a personal assistant and you need help or a proof of employment letter you can speak to your local authority point of contact who can help you.

3. Are HSCW aged 16 – 17 ¾ years able to receive Pfizer booster vaccinations?

As outlined in the Green Book and protocol for the administration of Pfizer vaccine HSCW aged 16 -17 should receive the two dose primary course of the Pfizer vaccine. Frontline HSCW aged 16 and over who have direct contact with patients, clients or service users are eligible to receive a third dose booster vaccination as heath and social care worker.

4. Which vaccine will frontline HSCW receive?

Most frontline HSCW will receive a further dose of the Pfizer vaccine irrespective of the vaccine that was previously received although in some circumstances individuals may be offered a half dose of Moderna.

Where the above vaccines cannot be offered due to allergies, AstraZeneca booster vaccinations may be considered for those who received AstraZeneca in their primary course.

5. How long after the second dose can frontline HSCW have the booster?

The booster vaccination will be administered no earlier than six months after the second dose vaccination. You will not be able to book your vaccination until six months since your second dose appointment has passed.

6. How long after a positive COVID-19 test can frontline HSCW have the booster?

The booster vaccination can be administered four weeks after a positive COVID-19 test result.

7. Is it mandatory for frontline HSCW to have their booster vaccine?

Not at present but we anticipate it may be deemed mandatory in future.

8. What if a frontline HSCW reacted to their last injection?

If a frontline HSCW had a severe anaphylactic reaction to a previous COVID-19 vaccination or are allergic to any of its ingredients, they should not have the booster. Other reactions are usually mild and self-limiting and do not stop them being vaccinated again and they may not react even if they did last time.

The risks of COVID-19 infection tend to far outweigh risks associated with the vaccine. We advise them to take some paracetamol at the time of their injection to reduce the risk of side effects.

9. What if someone is allergic to the ingredients of the Pfizer jab?

Please discuss options with your GP before booking your booster vaccination.

10. How and when will frontline HSCW receive their booster vaccinations?

Frontline HSCW can book a COVID-19 booster vaccination through the National Booking Service by self-declaring as frontline HSCW when booking their appointment: Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS or by ringing 119.

Please note
If you try and book an appointment less than six months from your second vaccination you will not be able to self-declare as a frontline HSCW and book a booster appointment. Please try again once six months since your second dose has passed.

Check-in and ID requirements for frontline HSCW arriving for their appointment at a community pharmacy or vaccination centre site

Frontline HSCW should verbally declare at check-in at the vaccination site that:

  • they are a HSCW, as identified by the Green Book and the Social Care Worker Standard Operating Procedure and outlined in the eligibility overview Table 1 (see question 1 above)
  • the type of role / work they do and
  • the name of their employer.

They are asked to provide as proof of employment as a HSCW one of the following:

  • A workplace photo ID
  • A recent letter from their employer (last 3 months)[1] or
  • A recent payslip which shows their employer (last 3 months).

The recipient should be informed that their employment as HSCW will be recorded in the point of care (PoC) system together with their vaccination.

[1] The employer letter is locally implemented. Local authorities have been asked to produce a letter template for personal assistants.

11. Will the flu vaccinations be offered at the same time?

You will not be able to book a flu vaccination via the online booking system. Please contact your GP for details about the flu vaccination roll out in your area.

12. What if a resident or staff member can’t remember the date of their previous COVID-19 vaccinations?

Please contact your registered GP practice or download the NHS app which will contain the dates of your vaccinations. If the date of your previous vaccination is incorrect on the NHS App please call 119 or email your local authority and they will look to see if your record can be updated.

If you require further support please contact your local authority via the following mailboxes.

13. What information will be required for the booster dose vaccination visit?

Frontline HSCW will be asked ‘further screening questions’ when they attend for their appointment therefore please ensure that they take a work ID or something that proves they are a frontline HSCW.

If you require further support please contact your local authority via the following mailboxes:

14. How do I record booster vaccinations for staff?

Please let your employer know when you have received the booster vaccination.

For regulated health and social care services, the capacity tracker will allow you to record both service user and staff COVID-19 booster and flu vaccinations from September 2021. Please do update the system so we can understand progress and gaps.

15. Who should I contact if I have any queries about the booster vaccinations?

If you require further support please contact your local authority via the following mailboxes:

16. Useful links

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