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 5 and over can get a first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
People aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose.
The following groups will also be eligible for an autumn booster vaccine:
- Residents in care homes for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All adults aged 50 and over
- Those aged 5-49 in a clinical risk group
- Those aged 5-49 who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- Those aged 16-49 who are carers
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:
- Emailing email@example.com
- Calling 111
If you have not registered, you must do this before requesting an appointment.
Types of COVID-19 vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK are:
- Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine
- Spikevax (Moderna) bivalent 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.
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.