Vaccinations

Here you will find some of the latest information and news about vaccinations.


Who can have a vaccine? 

People aged 16 and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of a vaccine. Most children aged 12 to 15 are currently only being offered the 1st dose. Some children who are at high risk of Covid-19 may be offered a second dose. 

People with weakened immune systems are being offered a 3rd dose of the vaccine, the NHS will be in contact with those people with information about when and where to get their 3rd dose. 

Boosters are being offered to people over 40 to strengthen the protection offered by the second dose. More information about boosters can be found below. 

You can find more information about who can have a Covid-19 vaccine on the NHS website


Types of Covid-19 vaccine

The Covid-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK are:

  • Moderna vaccine
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
  • Janssen vaccine (available later this year)

Which vaccine will I get?

You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. When you book, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you. Most people can have any of the Covid-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines.

For example:

  • if you’re pregnant or under 40 you’ll usually be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
  • if you’re under 18, you’ll only be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

You should have the same vaccine for both doses unless you had serious side effects (such as a serious allergic reaction) after your 1st dose.


How effective are the vaccines?

Anyone who gets Covid-19 can become seriously ill or have long-term effects commonly known as Long Covid. You can find more information about Long Covid on the NHS website

Covid-19 vaccines give all of us the best protection from the virus. Research has shown that they:

  • reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from Covid-19
  • reduce your risk of catching or spreading Covid-19
  • protect against Covid-19 variants

There is a chance you might still get or spread Covid-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it’s important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading the virus. 


Booster vaccines 

Over time the protection offered from the vaccine will reduce – this is natural and normal, it is why we get colds and flu more than once in our lives.

You can get a booster dose if you had a 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago and:

  • you are aged 18 or over
  • you are aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
  • you are a frontline health or social care worker
  • you live or work in a care home
  • you are aged 16 or over and are the main carer for someone at high risk from Covid-19
  • you are aged 16 or over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose

You will find information and links to book your booster in the “How to get your Covid-19 vaccine and booster” section on this page. 


Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility

You can get vaccinated against Covid-19 if:

  • you’re pregnant or think you might be
  • you’re breastfeeding
  • you’re trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future

The vaccines you’ll be offered depends on if you’re pregnant and how old you are. The vaccines cannot give you or your baby Covid-19.

You can find more information about pregnancy, breastfeeding, fertility and Covid-19 vaccinations on the NHS website.


Covid-19 vaccine ingredients

The Covid-19 vaccines do not contain egg or animal products.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a tiny amount of alcohol, but this is less than in some everyday foods like bread.

You can find out about the ingredients in the vaccines currently available in the UK:


Side effects and safety

The Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety. Like any medication, they can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Side effects are usually mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

More serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting, are very rare.

You can find more information about the side effects and what to do should you experience them on the NHS website.


How to get your Covid-19 vaccine and booster

The below information can be used to book your vaccines or your booster.

If you’re aged 16 or over you can:

  • book your Covid-19 vaccination appointment online here
  • find a walk-in Covid-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment here
  • wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book your appointments with them

If you cannot book appointments online, you can call 119 free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.


Vaccine information in additional languages:

Vaccine invites in various languages 

Vaccine information in various languages (videos)


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