COVID-19 (Cantab PCN) and Flu Vaccinations

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Everything we know about the COVID vaccination programme is written on this page. 


If you have questions which are not answered on this page, you can find more information about COVID vaccination on the NHS covid vaccination pages or by calling the COVID vaccination hotline on 119. The number is free to call and translating services are available. 

Please do not contact us

We do not know any more information

We cannot change the order in which patients are invited

We cannot make exceptions in any circumstance

We are unable to offer advice about the vaccine.   These questions should be discussed with the clinician at the time of your vaccination.  You can always choose not to have it.


Unfortunately despite our requests many patients are contacting us asking questions about vaccinations.  We are concerned that the pressure on our systems might prevent unwell patients from accessing help when they need it.  We have over 800 incoming calls a day (not to mention >800 emails a day) and we need to be sure to notice the ones from patients who need us.

Therefore for patient safety, we will not enter into any discussion about vaccinations.

If YOU contact us about vaccination, we will reply once with a copy of this text.  There will be no further reply.  

Looking for a COVID vaccine? Primary course (Doses 1+2) or Booster (Dose 3)

The COVID vaccination is now available to anyone in England over 16years of age.  You do not need to be registered with a GP (though you should be!) and you do not need to be resident/living in the England, you just need to be in the England to have the vaccination.

All versions of the COVID vaccine need 2 doses for the primary course.  Second doses are only given 8 weeks or more after the first dose.  If you book too early for your second dose, you will be turned away.  Ideally both doses of the primary course should be of the same vaccine.  If that is not possible, switching vaccine is better than only having 1 dose.

3rd ("booster") doses are now advised for:

Everyone over 16y of age

People aged 12-15y who have a condition which puts them at risk of severe COVID infection (the "clinical risk" groups)

People aged 12-15y who are household contacts of patients of any age who are severely immunosuppressed (so do not have such good protection from the vaccine - see opposite)

Booster doses are given at least 12 weeks after the 2nd dose.  It is not important to have the same type of vaccine as your primary course.



To book an appointment

Most people have already had these vaccinations, but they remain available under the programmes "Evergreen" offer.

You can book an appointment at one of the Mass Vaccination Centres (there are several in Cambridge) through the National Booking Service.


Prefer a walk-in?  

There are several centres offering a walk-in service where no appointment is needed. 

3rd doses for the immunosuppressed

The NHS has now written to (and texted) some patients who actually require an extra dose as part of their primary course.

These are patients who are immunosuppressed due to a condition (such as some blood cancers), or due to immuno-modulating treatments (such as some forms of chemotherapy). 

The immunesuppression means that their immune system does not respond in the same way to the vaccine and they are not as well protected by the standard course.

These patients need 3 doses for the primary course (rather than the usual 2 doses) and will then need another (4th) dose as a booster 3months after the 3rd dose.



If you are one of these patients you will already have had a letter.  The letters say to contact and discuss with your GP - please don't as that would massively overload our system. 

We have a list of all our patients who we know to need a "3rd dose" and have contacted and vaccinated everybody.

However we know that there will be a small number of patients we don't know need a 3rd dose.  These are patients who have become eligible for this due to ill health in the last few months. 

If you have been told by your specialist that you need a "3rd dose" (4 doses in total), your specialist should make it clear in your clinic letter. You can use that letter to obtain the extra dose at one of the vaccination centres (see opposite).  Or you can email us.

Had vaccinations abroad?

The NHS recognises COVID vaccinations given in some countries, but not in others.  There is a list of "allowed" countries on the government COVID webpages.  

  • If you have not been vaccinated yet, you can have the vaccination as soon as you are in England, if you are over 16years of age (see above).
  • If you have been vaccinated in a country which has not been approved, you should have the course of 2 vaccinations (and booster) again, under the NHS, once you are in England.
  • If you have been vaccinated in an "approved" country, you do not need to have the vaccination again, but you do have the option of doing so if you wish.  However, the NHS advises against doing so, as there is a risk of side effects with every dose. 

Tell the NHS about vaccinations done abroad (NHS app, COVID passport)

Until recently, patients who had COVID vaccinations done abroad had no way of making them appear in the NHS App (and therefore in the NHS COVID passport).  The NHS has finally come up with a solution, which is explained on the NHS COVID vaccination webpages.

Please do not contact us about this as we cannot help.


Patients who are currently abroad

We are not able to offer clinical advice to patients who are outside of the UK.  That includes advice on vaccinations.  We do not knowingly enter into communication with anyone who is currently outside the UK.  If you are outside of the UK and need advice, you must contact services in your area. 

It is not our responsibility to decide whether your vaccination will be recognised in the UK.  It is YOUR responsibility to check on the government website (see above).

Everything we know about the vaccination programme is written on this page.  If you contact us about the vaccination programme we will reply once with a copy of this text and we will delete the information you have sent us.  There will be no further reply.


Vaccinations for Children aged 12-15years

The majority of patients aged 12-15years will be offered the vaccination through their school.  If you have any questions please speak to the school.  The school vaccinator will be responsible for all the clinical aspects including counselling and consent. 

If your child has missed the vaccination at school you need to speak to the school about it - please do not contact us.


The NHS is only giving COVID vaccinations to children at higher risk:

patients aged 12-15years who are themselves clinically extremely vulnerable (see above for the definition)

patients aged 12-15years who live with someone who is clinilcally extremely vulnerable (see above for the definition)

You can either book an appointment at a vaccination centre or go to a walk-in centre.  

You will need to contact us by email to obtain a letter from the GP confirming that the child is eligible (because they are in one of these two groups).  Remember to give the child's full name, date of birth and reason you believe them to be eligible.

The vaccinator will be responsible for all the clinical aspects including counselling and consent.  However in order for the vaccination to be given: 

a person with parental responsibility, or legal guardian must be present 

you must take the letter with you


The COVID pass - Travel, Nightclubs and more

You can download the NHS app free from any app store.  Once you have registered, you will be able to use the app to get proof of your vaccinations and your "COVID pass".

The COVID pass will only show vaccinations done in England, unless you have contacted the NHS about vaccinations done abroad.



Can I have my second dose before 8 weeks?

The NHS COVID vaccination programme is not able to give 2nd doses early, even if you are due to travel.  The second dose must be given at 8 weeks or more.  It is of course extremely frustrating if you are prevented from travelling because you have not had both vaccines, but you should be aware that no exceptions are allowed, even if this means you cannot travel and lose money/miss an important appointment.

Some countries are giving the 2nd dose as early as 3 weeks after the first.  This is particularly frustrating if you are <8weeks yourself and cannot return home.  Unfortunately however, there are no exceptions. 

NHS vaccination centres can see the date of your first vaccination and will turn you away if you arrive for your second before 8 weeks.



Cantab PCN

The COVID vaccintion centre is brought to you by Cantab Primary Care Network (PCN).  

Cantab PCN in Cambridge is a collaboration between

Huntingdon Road Surgery

Red House Surgery 

Bridge Street Medical Centre

The vaccination centres are run by all three practices working together.

Eligible patients who are registered at any of the three practices will be able to book appointments on any day we are open.