About the COVID-19 vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and it gives you the best protection against the virus.
Who will get the vaccine and when
Everyone aged over 18 who is registered with a GP surgery will be invited to take up the vaccine, which is free and only available through the NHS. People who are most at risk from serious illness or death from COVID-19 are being offered the vaccination first, as well as healthcare, social care and care home workers.
How to get the vaccine and where
When it’s your turn, you will be contacted by your GP practice or NHS England via letter, phone call or text. Please wait to be contacted – do not contact your practice to ask for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine is now open to people aged 18 and over. You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service - book online.
New evidence continues to show the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in protecting against death and hospitalisation from coronavirus. Analysis from Public Health England reveals that both AstraZeneca and Pfizer gives 80% protection on first dose which rises still further after the second dose.
If you are on the GP learning disability register or clinically vulnerable (moderate risk) from COVID-19 please wait to be contacted by the NHS. See the full list of priority groups here and guidance on the high and moderate risk categories here.
The vaccine is being offered across the borough at GP practices, hospitals, pharmacies, and mass vaccination sites. If the mass vaccination site is too far away, please wait for your GP to contact you to secure a location closer to home.
How to protect one another
The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from three or four weeks after you've had it. But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection.
And no vaccine is 100% effective so you may still get or spread the virus. That’s why it is critical that we follow the guidelines including regular handwashing, social distancing and wearing a face covering where recommended.
People will usually receive their second dose COVID-19 vaccination at the same location as they receive their first dose. There are currently two different booking systems in operation for different types of vaccination centres:
- If you booked your appointment by calling 119 or going online through the national booking service and attended an appointment at a mass vaccination centre (eg a local hospital or the ExCel centre), or a local pharmacy, second appointments are usually made when you book the first one.
- If you were contacted by local GP services and received your first dose at another site (including the vaccine bus) you will be contacted to arrange the second appointment. Please wait until you are called.
If you are pregnant
The latest statement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says there have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy. However, it’s preferable for pregnant women to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available.
Hesitant about getting your vaccine
We know for some people getting vaccinated can be a daunting experience and we’re working with communities across the borough to help address some of the misinformation. Find out more about vaccine facts.
For more information including easy-read or information in other languages
Confused about how, why and when to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Watch this short video to find out more: