Who can get the Coronavirus vaccine
The NHS is currently offering the Coronavirus vaccine to people most at risk from Coronavirus.
The vaccine is being offered in some hospitals, at hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs and at some pharmacies.
It's currently being given to people who meet specific eligibility criteria and this is currently changing every few days. To find the most up to date information, look at the NHS Coronavirus vaccine website to see who is currently eligible. If you are eligible, you may be able to book an appointment online.
The order in which people are being ffered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). You can read the latest advice on the priority groups for the Coronavirus vaccination.
How to get a Coronavirus vaccine
If you are not eligible yet for a vaccine, it is important that you wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine.
When it is your turn to be invited to the vaccine, the NHS may tell you to contact the NHS to book your vaccine through the online national booking service or by calling 119.
How the Coronavirus vaccine is given
The Coronavirus vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.
It's given as 2 doses.
When the 2nd dose will be given
The latest evidence suggests the 1st dose of the Coronavirus vaccine provides protection for most people for up to 3 months.
As a result of this evidence, when you can have the 2nd dose has changed. This is also to make sure as many people can have the vaccine as possible.
The 2nd dose was previously 21 days after having the 1st dose, but has now changed to 12 weeks after. If you:
- have already had your 1st dose and are due to have your 2nd dose before Monday 4 January, keep your appointment
- have already had your 1st dose and are due to have your 2nd dose after Monday 4 January, the NHS will contact you about when you'll have your 2nd dose
- are due to have your 1st dose after Wednesday 30 December, you'll be given your 2nd dose 12 weeks later
How safe is the Coronavirus vaccine?
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have been developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca.
They have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.
Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.
So far, thousands of people have been given a Coronavirus vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.
How effective is the Coronavirus vaccine?
The 1st dose of the Coronavirus vaccine will give you some protection from Coronavirus. But you need to have the 2 doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection.
There is a chance you might still get or spread Coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.
This means it is important to:
- continue to follow social distancing guidance
- if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people
Easy Read information
You can download an Easy Read guide about the Coronavirus vaccine developed by Mencap.
Information about the Coronavirus vaccine in alternative languages
NHS England have produced some videos about the Coronavirus vaccine in the following languages:
You can watch the videos below and you can find out more information on the NHS England website.
There is a link to download each video listed below. Please download the videos and share with friends, family and community groups via WhatsApp, text message and/or social media.