COVID 19 vaccinations: all you need to know.

Here's everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccination programme, including how you will know when it's your turn, where to go, and why it's important.
Covid Vaccine

(updated 5 August 2021)

We all have an important part to play to help the NHS deliver their vaccine delivery plan.

  • When you are contacted, please book and attend your appointment(s);
  • Turn up to your appointment on time. Do not arrive early or late as the vaccination centres cannot accommodate you.

It is essential that everyone continues to follow COVID-19 restrictions whether they have had the vaccine or not. To follow social distancing guidance, wear a face covering and remember hands, face, space and fresh air.

For the latest information about the vaccine go to the NHS website.

Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 vaccine

Here are some FAQs to help you get the information you need to know about the biggest vaccination programme in history. 

When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The NHS has a clear vaccine delivery plan and will contact you when it's your turn to get the vaccine as quickly and easily as possible.  

All those aged 18 and over can now book their vaccination through the NHS booking service.

You can also call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

Pfizer vaccine will be offered to all 16 and 17 year olds 

The Government yesterday (4 August 2021) confirmed that all 16 and 17-year-olds in the UK are to be offered a Covid-19 vaccine, with the rollout of doses set to begin shortly. Under guidance provided by the JCVI, 1.4 million teenagers are now eligible to receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine – the only jab that has been approved for use in children in the UK. The JCVI has yet to outline the intervals between a first and second jab for 16 and 17-year-olds. 

Vaccines for 12 - 15 year olds 

A small number of children and young people with underlying chronic conditions are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 disease.  The JCVI advises that children aged 12 years and over with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious COVID-19, should be offered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination.  

The underlying health conditions are: 

  • Severe neuro-disabilities
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression;
  • Profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities, those who are on the learning disability register. 

How do I book my vaccine?

You will be able to book your vaccination through the NHS booking service. You can also call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. 

How might I be contacted to get my vaccination?

  1. You may receive a text directly to your mobile from the NHS Booking service. 
  2. Local hospital services - you might be contacted either to have the vaccine as an inpatient or at an outpatient appointment.
  3.  Local GP services - practices in your area are working together to contact and offer the vaccine to as many people as possible. This may be at a different surgery than you usually go to, or at a venue that has been set up specially to deliver vaccines. 
  4. Through your care home - GPs and their teams are also arranging to vaccinate care home residents directly, in their homes.

Where do I go to get my vaccine when I’m contacted?

Hundreds of local vaccination services run by GPs and their teams have opened across the UK, as well as dedicated vaccination centres. 

You will be given information by the NHS about where you need to go for your vaccination appointment(s) when contacted. If the option given is not suitable, you can request for a more local centre for your appointment.

Find out how many people have had the COVID-19 vaccine

The NHS publishes a weekly report on vaccination numbers. To find out the latest numbers click the button below.

Find out more

How long between my first and second dose of the vaccine?

Adults 18+ will receive your second dose between 8 - 12 weeks after the first, regardless of the vaccine type. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection. 

Are there any side effects?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.

You should not have the vaccine if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction to:

  • any of the ingredients in the vaccine
  • a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine

Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

Find out more about COVID vaccine side effects 

Did you have symptoms?

To help the MHRA collect and monitor information in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine, you can report your symptoms.

Report symptoms

I'm pregnant, can I still get the vaccine?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

There have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy. 

It is preferable for pregnant women in the UK to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available. There is no evidence to suggest that other vaccines are unsafe for pregnant women, but more research is needed.

Women who are planning pregnancy, are in the immediate postpartum or are breastfeeding can be vaccinated with any vaccine, depending on their age and clinical risk group.

Protect yourself from fraud

In England, the COVID-19 vaccines will only be available via the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine.

Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.  

Find out more and report fraud

Are the Government introducing vaccine passports?

There are currently no plans to introduce immunity passports following the COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

Do I have to have the COVID-19 vaccine even though I've already had COVID-19?

An effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from COVID-19, reduce hospitalisations and save lives. Vaccines are the only way to eradicate disease. 

People that have already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. It is still just as important for those who have already had COVID-19 as it is for those who haven’t.  

Is the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory?

There are no plans to make the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory.

What does a vaccine do?

Vaccines teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases. It's much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and treating them. Once a vaccine has trained your immune system to know how to fight a disease, it can often protect you for many years. 

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines are now safer than ever before. Any vaccine must first go through the usual rigorous testing and development process and be shown to strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness before it can be deployed.

How do I feedback or complain about the NHS COVID-19 vaccine service?

If you are unhappy with the service you have received, it is important to let the NHS know. To provide feedback, raise a concern or make a complaint, please email  england.contactus@nhs.net

Got a question?

If you have more questions about the COVID-19 vaccination programme you can find more information on the NHS website, or contact us at Healthwatch Milton Keynes.  

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