Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus and is being rolled out to Priority Groups that include frontline health and social care workers.

The coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus. When you have had the vaccine, you still must follow the guidance around staying at home, wearing a face covering and social distancing. View the most up to date vaccination information on the NHS website.

The vaccine is always offered free of charge by the NHS. The NHS will never ask for your bank details to prove your identity.

You can read FAQs about the vaccine here. You can also watch a variety of videos by experts, answering key questions about the vaccine.

Let us know what you think about the coronavirus vaccine by taking our survey, coproduced with Healthwatch Kingston. The survey is also available in Korean, and downloadable in a range of other languages.

You can also read through a number of leaflets created by the government about the vaccination roll out, or read key information set out below.

You can also find information about the vaccine in easy read format:

If you are interested in volunteering to support the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, please get in touch with Volunteering Kingston.

When can I get the vaccine?

If you are over the age of 45 or clinically extremely vulnerable, you can now book by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or ringing 119 free. Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the vaccine.  

If you are eligible for the Carer's Allowance, you will receive a letter inviting you to have your vaccination.

For all other groups, the NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from an independent group of experts, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), who have recommended that the NHS first offers vaccines to those at highest risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19.

Important changes to the Covid-19 vaccination National Booking System (NBS) for social care workers

The ability to book a first vaccination dose as a social care worker has been removed from the National Booking System due to a number of instances of people who do not work in social care falsely claiming to be in this group. 

The latest advice for any remaining social care workers who have not yet had their first vaccination is to book an appointment through their employer or GP.

We want to reassure people over 45, those living with a long-term health condition, and carers that it is not too late to get the first dose of their Covid vaccine. All those who fall within the above groups can still book through the national online system, by calling 119 or by speaking to their GP.

The change to online booking does not affect arrangements for receiving second doses of vaccination. 

The booking process for social care workers is currently under review, and we will update this page as soon as we have any new information.

Is the NHS confident the vaccines are safe?

The coronavirus vaccine has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

It is safe and effective, and provides full protection from coronavirus around a week or two after your second dose.  Getting vaccinated means protecting yourself from the virus. It is the best chance we have of getting back to normality and reducing the restrictions on seeing your family and friends. You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine.

AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots - benefits outweigh risks

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization have all reiterated that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the prevention of COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risk of blood clots amongst those groups currently eligible to receive their first vaccination, as well as all of those due their 2nd dose.

Offering further reassurance, this afternoon the EMA said that these extremely isolated cases “should be listed as very rare side effects”. 

In those aged 18-29, an alternative vaccine will be offered when the time is right for vaccinating this group, and GPs will ensure the appropriate vaccine is offered, and any questions are answered.  The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has stated that this change in course has been made - not because there is a high risk to the under 30s from this vaccine, but due to them having taken an approach of the utmost caution - which should provide great reassurance, and is quite normal in the rollout of a global vaccination program. Read the full announcement from NHS England.

Do I need to have both jabs of the vaccine?

The vaccines have been authorised on the basis of two doses because the evidence from the clinical trials shows that this gives the maximum level of protection. To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advise that the second dose of both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine should be scheduled up to 12 weeks apart.

The evidence doesn’t show any risk to not having the second dose other than not being as protected as you otherwise would be. If you have been invited for an appointment to have the vaccine, please make sure you turn up for both your first and second dose. This will ensure you receive full protection as well as to ensure we don’t waste vaccines or the time of NHS staff.

Even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance.

The vaccine is one part of our defence against our coronavirus. It is still vital that you continue to follow the rules around hands, face and space, as well as social contact and ventilation. Find out more about what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from coronavirus.

Last Modified: 13/04/2021 10:28:08