What is happening now
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine to all eligible people as defined by the Joint Committee on vaccinations and immunisations.
The vaccination is available from a number of locations in the county, to enable easier access for as many people as possible. Locations include large county sites, community sites, hospital hubs, some GP surgeries and using teams of mobile vaccinators for those who cannot leave their homes.
Council staff are joining the NHS to phone Somerset residents to let them know when it is their turn to be immunised.
Please be aware that the vaccine is free to those eligible and that we would never ask you for payment or for you to give your card details to us.
The vaccine is designed to prevent serious illness and death from Covid-19. Even if you’ve had the vaccine, please remember that you can still catch it and might still be able to pass it on, so the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance must still be followed to protect yourselves and others.
Please do not contact us or visit any of our sites to ask about your vaccine, someone will contact you.
When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments.
How you can support the NHS
You have an important part to play to help the NHS’s largest vaccination programme in history:
- please do not contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, the NHS will contact you;
- when the NHS do contact you, please attend your booked appointments;
- and please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives such as ‘hands, face, space’
You’ll need to be registered with a GP surgery in England (to get a vaccine).
Help with getting to vaccination appointments
If you have not yet had your vaccination, it might be worth preparing in advance how you will get there. If you are not able to drive yourself, but you have a family member or friend who might be able to support you – it’s always worth having that conversation now.
While many older and more vulnerable people will be able to attend a location close to their home, some will be relying on public transport.
We are working with bus operators and community transport providers to help vulnerable residents to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
- A free Somerset County Council Taunton town centre shuttle service has been launched to get people straight to their vital vaccination slot. The Covid vaccination shuttle bus service runs every 30 minutes from Castle Way in Taunton town centre to Taunton Racecourse. The seven-day a week service uses one of the Council’s fleet of minibuses and will help to support those who don’t drive and will link easily with other operators coming into the town centre. The shuttle service is set to run every day throughout March and April except for the following dates when the vaccination centre is closed for race days: 4, 15 and 23 March; 8 and 21 April.
The new Taunton service starts at 8.20am each day, and will also serve bus stops along South Road and Shoreditch Road on route to the Racecourse. The last bus each day is 6.05pm from the Racecourse. There will be capacity for a maximum of four passengers on each journey due to the need for social distancing. The service is reserved for those who have a pre-booked vaccination appointment at the Racecourse and this will be verified before passengers board the bus. It’s recommended those using the service catch a bus to arrive approximately 10 minutes before their vaccination slot. You can view the timetable here
- First West of England provides a bus service every 30 minutes from Wells Bus Station stopping at Shepton Mallet. The bus service terminates at the Bath and West Showground and operates seven days a week. The service provides connections to and from other bus services at both Wells Bus Station and Shepton Mallet Cenotaph. This service is free for bus pass holders. If you plan to use this bus service, please make sure that you take your appointment letter with you and try to use the timetabled journey which arrives at the Bath and West Showground as close to your appointment time as possible. This will avoid waiting time on site. You can view their vaccination centre travel guide here
- Current concessionary bus pass rules have been suspended so that bus passes can be used on all public services before 9.30am. This came into effect from February 1.
- We are working with Community Transport and Slinky Demand Responsive Services across Somerset to allow free travel for bus pass holders when attending vaccination appointments. You can find information and contact details for Community Transport Services on Travel Somerset
If you are concerned about getting to an appointment, or need other help or support during the pandemic, please phone the Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275. Lines are open from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week.
NHS: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine – Find out about the vaccination, including who will get the vaccine first and information about vaccine safety
After vaccination information – This short NHS Public Health England video explains that although the vaccines show extremely good protection, no vaccine is 100% effective and that it is possible to still get COVID-19 infection or pass it on despite having two doses of vaccine. It is still not yet known whether the vaccine can stop the transmission of the virus to others.
COVID-19 vaccination programme – Documents relating to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.
COVID-19 vaccination: why are you being asked to wait – Information about COVID-19 eligibility and vaccine supplies.
COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults – Information for eligible adults on COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination: what to expect after vaccination – Information for people who have had their first COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination: easy-read leaflets – Easy-read guides providing information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination: British Sign Language resources – British Sign Language (BSL) videos on COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 Vaccination Fraud – Please be aware, criminals are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them to hand over cash or financial details.
Somerset County Council
COVID-19 Dashboard – The latest statistics and trends for COVID-19 (includes COVID-19 vaccination statistics)
If you need Coronavirus help or support, contact Somerset’s Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275