private covid vaccine is not yet available hdr

Private COVID Vaccine is Not Yet Available

The of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK has got off to a fantastic start. This is thanks in large part to the hard work of our NHS colleagues. Staff at Coyne Medical have also been working tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic treating COVID-19 patients face to face following telephone triage. Our team have been very fortunate to be amongst the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Private COVID Vaccination

Since the beginning of the vaccination programme, we have been inundated with questions regarding the availability of private COVID-19 vaccines from concerned patients. Private Coronavirus vaccination is not available at the present time.  

Which vaccines are available on the NHS?

Currently, there are 3 vaccines authorised for use in the UK; Pfizer, Astra Zeneca/Oxford and Moderna. The NHS is already offering the first two and expecting to have supplies of the Moderna vaccine in March 2021. Other vaccines are expected to be approved in the coming months.

Pfizer was the first vaccine authorised in the UK. It was made by a collaboration between the US pharma company Pfizer and German company BioNTech. The vaccine contains particles called mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid). When injected into the body it tells cells to make a spike protein. This spike protein is the same as the spike proteins found on the Covid-19 virus surface. Your immune system will see the spike protein and make immune cells called T and B cells. These T and B cells will then become part of your immune system memory. So that if it sees the virus again is it already primed and ready to make a quick response. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended, currently, in the UK these are being offered 12 weeks apart. In trials, it has shown to prevent 95% of symptomatic cases of Covid-19 infection. 

AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine carries DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) for the Covid-19 spike protein. The viral DNA is carried within another type of virus called ‘adenovirus.’ These viruses can illnesses such as the common cold. When the vaccine is given the adenovirus is able to enter your own body cells and the DNA tells the cells to make the spike protein. Your immune system will then make T and B cells that target the spike protein. These will be part of your immune system memory and ready if you are again exposed to the virus. Two doses are given at least 4 weeks apart. DNA based vaccines are easier to store so they can be stored in a standard medical fridge and is able to be given by some NHS GP surgeries. The vaccine was shown to be over 70% effective at preventing Covid-19 infection. 

Moderna vaccine is manufactured in Boston and works similarly to the Pfizer vaccine. It also uses mRNA to provoke an immune response to the spike protein. It is easier to store though requiring only over – 20 Celsius. It is also given in 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart. The UK government has ordered doses and these are expected to arrive in the UK by March 2021.

Vaccines made by Novavax and Janssen will hopefully gain approval for use soon. Currently, it is not possible to choose which vaccine you are given.

Common side effects seen after vaccination are headache, tiredness, local reaction at the injection site, and fever. Thankfully serious reactions are very rare.

Who is eligible for the vaccine currently?

The UK government has set out its priority list for vaccination, it started in December with people living or working in care homes and people over 80 years of age. Currently, the vaccine is being offered to:

People aged 55 and over

People who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19

People who live and work in care homes. 

Health and social care workers.

People who have a learning disability

People who are the main carer of someone at high risk of COVID-19

Can I have the COVID vaccination privately?

The NHS is currently giving all Covid-19 vaccines in the UK. It is likely at some point that there will be options to have the vaccine privately whilst NHS supply remains protected. This would be in a similar way to how we usually give flu vaccination each winter privately at the clinic. This is not likely to happen until later in the year when there will be many more vaccines available.

Presently, vaccine production has been based on orders from Governments or International partnerships. Hence, in the short term, it is unlikely that vaccination will be available privately until these contracts have been fulfilled by manufacturers. 

Please be aware there are sadly already scams asking patients for payments or bank details, these are not requested by the NHS. These should be reported by forwarding suspect emails to or text messages to 7726.

There have also been reports of private firms offering COVID vaccinations abroad. People should be cautious about the provenance of such vaccines. Concerns have been expressed that there is a requirement to prioritise mass vaccination at a time of global crisis. 

We have always encouraged patients to register with the NHS in addition to having a private GP. In the UK you are able to have both options as long as you are entitled to NHS care. If you have not visited your NHS GP surgery for some time it is worthwhile checking that you are still on their register. You should also check with the NHS that your contact details are up to date. As many surgeries are dealing with lots of Covid-19 related queries it is best to do this by contact through your NHS surgery website or email address rather than the telephone. When you are eligible for Covid-19 vaccination then you can book this online but will need your NHS number, so if you do not know this it is good to request this and keep a record. You can ask your NHS surgery, or check online here.

Should I take the vaccine?

We would strongly advise those who are offered the Covid-19 vaccine to go ahead and take the vaccine provided they have not contraindications. We know that there has naturally been some anxiety that the vaccine. This is understandable as the vaccines have been made and approved quickly. But none of the usual steps have been missed in its approval and we are confident it is safe. Indeed when our team was lucky enough to get our first doses of the vaccine it really felt like something to celebrate. We were delighted to be able to protect ourselves and our patients. Trials of the vaccines have shown they are very effective at preventing serious illness and hospital admissions due to Covid-19. A single dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine was shown to prevent 76% of symptomatic infections in the 3 months following the first dose. The Pfizer vaccine was over 94% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 infection. There are concerns about how effective the vaccine will be at preventing cases caused by new variants, especially the new variant first found in South Africa. It is unlikely a new variant will make the vaccines completely ineffective but they may not work as well. We anticipate that booster doses of vaccine will be needed in the autumn. Vaccine manufacturers are already working to make these more effective on new variants.

Private COVID-19 Testing

While private COVID-19 vaccinations are currently not available we are very pleased to be able to offer a full range of private COVID-19 testing to keep you and your family safe. Indeed, we are a Government approved clinic for COVID-19 testing. 

Same-day appointments are available 6 days a week. We have two convenient locations in Fulham, plus we can drop off and collect swab kits from your home. Get test results in the clinic or by phone, text or email. Our experienced doctors will guide you and give you their advice at every step. 

Covid-19 Rapid Antigen test offers a result within 15 minutes. It can be a useful screening tool for people who have no symptoms. It is useful for mild symptoms e.g. fatigue, headache, sore throat, rashes and stomach upsets. We can offer the Covid-19 Rapid Antigen test at our GP consultation appointments. Or if you have no symptoms then you can have the test alone. 

A Covid-19 PCR Swab test is essential for anyone with a fever, new persistent cough or loss of sense of smell or taste. A negative PCR test certificate means you can get back to work or school. It can also allow the whole family to stop isolating, as per the government guidance. We have a great system to combine a video consultation with same day swab drop off and collection to get you fast results.

‘Test to Release’ is a scheme for testing travellers arriving in England from countries on the government travel corridor list. We are a government registered provider of Covid-19 PCR swab testing. This includes the test to release scheme and we are able to offer these tests at home or at our clinics. Detailed information is available on our Test to Release page here. 

Most people with Covid-19 will make a full recovery. We have seen that patients can become sicker in the second week of symptoms from 5 to 10 days and even later. Ongoing fever and shortness of breath are especially worrying. If you’re concerned then please call us to arrange a phone or video consult. We can see you in the clinic or visit at home if needed – for example, to check oxygen levels.

Antibody tests can confirm a previous infection. This can especially be helpful if you were not able to have a swab test at the time or have long term symptoms. We also have the very latest test for “spike” antibodies. This shows antibodies produced from either infection or vaccination. 

If you would like to read in more detail about the tests then read more detail in our blog here.