Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres.
People in the groups below can get the vaccine now.
- people aged 25 and over (people who will turn 25 before 1 July 2021)
- people at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people with other conditions that put them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people who are carers
- people who live or work in care homes
- frontline health and social care workers
If any of the above apply, you can book an appointment through the national booking service at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service. You can use this service for someone else.
If you cannot book 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.
The vaccine will be offered more widely as soon as possible. If you are not eligible yet, wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.
You need to:
- have 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at 2 appointments
- get the 2nd dose 8 to 12 weeks after getting your 1st dose
If you’ve had a positive COVID-19 test, you should wait 4 weeks from the date you had the test before you book an appointment.
When you book you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are recommended for you based on your age, any underlying health conditions, and whether you’re pregnant.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge and only available through the NHS. Text messages from the NHS will show as being sent from NHSvaccine and will only link to the NHS.uk website. The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details, your PIN or banking password, or ask you to press a button on your keypad.
Please continue to follow all the safety guidance even when you’ve had the vaccine as you may still be able to spread the disease, in particular hand hygiene, wearing a face mask and social distancing.
For more information about the vaccine, please visit the NHS website – www.nhs.uk or have a look at these frequently asked questions.
Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine
The Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations has updated its guidance for the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. It has recommended that people under 40 are offered an alternative vaccination where available and where this will not cause delays to people having the vaccine.
This follows ongoing reviews by the independent regulator, the MHRA, of a very small number of people in the UK who have developed a rare blood-clotting condition since having the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Both the JCVI and MHRA have emphasised that the risk is extremely small – just over 10 people in every million have developed this condition – and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.
However, given current vaccines supplies and that infection rates are increasingly coming under control in the UK, the JCVI has recommended taking this precautionary measure for younger people. This takes into account that this rare condition is seen more often in younger people and that the risks from COVID-19 decrease with age.
The latest guidance is as follows:
- Everyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine should still have a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, irrespective of age, unless they suffered any serious side effects after their first vaccination. Having the second dose is very important as it will give you higher and longer lasting protection.
- People over 40 or who have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease should still be offered the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The benefits in protecting them against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.
- People aged 18-39 who do not have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease will be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine where available. It is important that you have the vaccination as soon as possible to protect you and to reduce the chance of passing on the virus.
- People under 40 can still choose to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if this will mean they can be protected more quickly and they have been made aware of the guidance.
You can read and download a PDF of the updated leaflet produced by Public Health England and the NHS to answer any questions you may have.
Information for people with health conditions
The following charities have worked with the NHS to produce advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and certain health conditions. If you have a health condition that means you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, or you are an adult carer, the NHS will contact you to arrange your vaccination appointment.
- Asthma: Asthma UK: coronavirus – what should people with asthma do now?
- Cancer: Macmillan: coronavirus vaccine for people living with cancer
- Diabetes: Diabetes UK: coronavirus vaccines and diabetes
- Epilepsy: Epilepsy Action: coronavirus and epilepsy
- Heart disease: British Heart Foundation: coronavirus vaccine – your questions answered
- HIV: Terrence Higgins Trust: coronavirus vaccine guidance for people living with HIV
- Kidney disease: Kidney Care UK: coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for patients with kidney disease
- Learning disabilities: Mencap: coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
- Liver disease: British Liver Trust: update for people with liver disease on the COVID-19 vaccine
- Lung conditions: British Lung Foundation: coronavirus vaccine – what people with lung conditions need to know
- Lupus: Lupus UK: lupus and COVID-19 vaccination
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): MS Society: MS and the COVID-19 vaccines
- Sickle cell: Sickle Cell Society: learn about the COVID-19 vaccine