COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – SARS-CoV-2

In December 2019 an novel coronavirus was reported among patients in China. The virus has since been named SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome- Coronavirus- 2). The disease it causes is named COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 19 (’19’ after the year 2019 in which it was first discovered). This virus causes, like other coronaviruses, causes common cold like symptoms cough and fever in the majority of sufferers. A minority of people, especially the elderly or those with underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk severe disease when they contract respiratory infections, may go on to develop pneumonia, sepsis and some will sadly die. This virus has now spread to many places around the world. The situation and advice regarding the containment, delay and mitigation of the virus in the UK is ever changing. It is important to use reliable sources of information, since misinformation and disinformation can cause distress and damage confidence in healthcare efforts to control and treat the disease. Further comprehensive and frequently updated information is available at and NHS website COVID-19 vaccinations became available in the UK in December 2020. Since that time there have been changes to eligible groups, doses, vaccine types and booster recommendation. Most recent information can be found here COVID-19 Vaccination programme.

Complete Routine Immunisation Schedule

The complete routine immunisation schedule is updated whenever changes are made to the national programme. It is vital that all staff involved in advising or giving immunisations is aware of the current schedule and has a copy of this to hand. The latest version can be accessed here.

Vaccination of individuals with uncertain or incomplete immunisation status

It is not always possible to know a patient’s previous immunisation history however it is important to ensure that they are fully protected against vaccine preventable diseases.
This document, created by Public Health England, is invaluable in assisting immunisers in their decisions regarding which vaccines to give to individuals who have uncertain or incomplete immunisation records. This document is updated regularly as changes or additions are made to the schedule. The latest version can be found here.