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 also read through a number of leaflets created by the government about the vaccination roll out, or read key information set out below.
- Why you have to wait for your COVID-19 vaccine
- A guide for older adults
- What to expect after vaccination
- Protection for healthcare workers
- Protection for social care staff
- For social care workforce
You can also find information about the vaccine in easy read format:
- Easy read guide to what to expect after your COVID vaccine (video)
- Easy read download: mythbusting
- Easy read what to expect after your vaccine
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?
You can book your first dose of the vaccine now if you are:
- aged 40 or over, or you will turn 40 before 1 July 2021
- clinically extremely vulnerable
- clinically vulnerable
- a person with a learning disability
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, and can now book using the national online booking system.
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.
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 second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine helps to provide longer-term protection. It's important to keep your vaccination appointment when it is offered to you.
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.