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Coronavirus vaccine

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against COVID-19.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine

Everyone aged 12 and over, and some children aged 5 to 11, can get a first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

People aged 16 and over, and some children aged between 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose.

Peopled aged 75 and over, and immunosuppressed people aged 12+ can also get an additional spring booster.

How to get a vaccine

Anyone who would like a first, second or booster vaccine, who is already registered can book an appointment by either:

If you have not registered, you must do this before requesting an appointment.

A letter invitation is being sent out to those eligible for a spring booster – please wait for the letter and do not try book an appointment before this.

Types of COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK are:

  • Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine*
  • Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine

*Only for those who cannot have either of the other vaccines.

How well do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

Anyone who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill or have long-term effects (long COVID). The COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others.

Research has shown the vaccines help:

  • reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
  • reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
  • protect against COVID-19 variants

The first dose should give you some protection from 3 or 4 weeks after you've had it. But you need 2 doses for stronger and longer-lasting protection.

Most people also need a booster dose to help improve the protection from the first 2 doses of the vaccine.

An additional ‘spring’ booster is also available for a specific set of people to increase the protection provided by the vaccine for those most at risk of the virus.

There is a chance you might still get or spread COVID-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it's important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19.

Side effects and safety

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

They can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Any side effects are usually mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

More serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting, are very rare.

Full leaflets and resources about the vaccines and COVID-19 can be found on gov.im