Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations

How to get your COVID-19 vaccine

In England, the COVID-19 vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. Locally there are also ‘walk-in’ vaccinations clinics during the day, evening and at weekends where no appointment is needed.

If you’re 16 or over you can book an appointment through the national booking service at a vaccination centre or pharmacy. If you cannot book online, you can call 119 free of charge, which is open 16 hours a day (from 7am until 11pm), seven days a week. 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.

Most children aged 12 to 15 are currently only being offered a 1st dose. People aged 18 or over should have their 2nd dose from 8 weeks after their 1st dose. Most people aged 16 or 17 should have their 2nd dose from 12 weeks after their 1st dose. Some local walk-in COVID-19 vaccination sites are offering a vaccination to anyone aged 12 or over.

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.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

For more information about the vaccine, please visit the NHS website – www.nhs.uk or have a look at these frequently asked questions.

While there are cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK, there is a risk you can catch it or pass it on. You could still catch or spread it even if you’re fully vaccinated. Please continue to follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) (opens in a new window).

Third dose for people with a weakened immune system

A third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first two doses. This includes people who had or have:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections
  • a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for a 3rd dose

If you’re eligible for a third dose, the NHS will let you know when and where to have the vaccine. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for people with a weakened immune system on GOV.UK. The third vaccine dose for people with a weakened immune system is not a booster dose.

Booster vaccinations

A coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Booster vaccine doses will be available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a 2nd dose of a vaccine at least 6 months ago. This includes:

  • people aged 40 and over
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (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.

If you are eligible for a booster, you will be contacted by either your NHS GP practice or the NHS National Booking Service when it is your turn. We will be working through groups in the same order as the first part of the vaccination programme, starting with care home residents and staff, frontline health and care workers and people aged 80 and over. It will also need to be at least six months since your second dose, so some people will not be contacted until the New Year.

Please do not contact your GP practice for an appointment; we will be in touch when it is your turn to have your booster.

Vaccinations for 12-15 year olds

All children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This will be of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which is the only vaccine currently authorised in the UK for children aged 12-15.

The NHS is working with partners and school immunisation services to deliver this in secondary schools and letters are being sent to parents or guardians of children aged 12-15 with further details. You will also be asked to provide consent for your child to receive the vaccination, either through an online or a paper form. Children do not need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to be vaccinated.

Some children are being offered two doses of the vaccine if either:

  • they live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • they have a condition that means they’re at high risk from COVID-19

If your child is eligible for two doses of the vaccine, you’ll be contacted by a local NHS service such as their GP surgery to arrange their appointments. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for children and young people on GOV.UK


Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine

The Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI) 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. 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.

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