The information in this post may be out dated. Please check for more recent posts about coronavirus.

First published: 20th April 2021

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions 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. They will contact you when it’s your turn to get the vaccine as quickly and easily as possible.

All those aged 45 and over can now book their vaccination through the NHS booking service. You can also call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7 am and 11 pm, seven days a week.

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 7 am and 11 pm seven days a week.

How might I be contacted to get my vaccination?

Local hospital services – you might be contacted either to have the vaccine as an inpatient or at an outpatient appointment.

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.

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 a more local centre for your appointment.

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

You will receive your second dose up to 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.

Vaccine side effects
If you have experienced side effects from a COVID-19 vaccination you should first talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is tracking adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccinations. Members of the public (patients, users, or carers) can report issues with a COVID-19 vaccination directly to MHRA on a special website

You should consider reporting side effects that are:

  • not listed in the information you received with your vaccination; and/or
  • more severe than you might expect

Read more about the yellow card scheme.

Are the Government introducing vaccine passports?

There are 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 the 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.


Published on 20 Apr, 2021

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