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COVID-19 Vaccine

Updated 16 June 2021

More than 970,000 young people aged people 21 and 22 are now being invited to book their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Anyone in the age groups now eligible for a vaccine is asked to book their jab once they receive the text message alert. They may be invited to their GP practice for the jab or they can book an appointment through the national NHS booking service. Getting the jab is the most important thing people can do to protect themselves, their families and friends.

In addition,  with the Delta variant of the virus now circulating in many parts parts of the country, the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) has advised that the NHS bring forward when some people receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (if they have not already had it). People aged 40 and over should bring their second vaccination dose forward to around eight weeks after their first. 

Patients aged 40 and over who had their first vaccination at their local GP-led vaccination site will be contacted by their GP practice to bring forward this second appointment.

People aged 40 and over who booked a first jab through the national booking service should have been able to book an appointment for their second dose at the same time. You can view and bring forward the date of your second appointment through the national booking service.

You can find more information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme here

The NHS is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 21 and over.

The order in which people are being offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK.

Vaccines approved to date for use in the UK:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech (Germany) vaccine: approved 2 December 2020
  • Oxford University and AstraZeneca (UK) vaccine: approved 30 December 2020
  • Moderna vaccine (US): approved 8 January 2021 
  • Janssen (US): approved 28 May 2021 

The vaccines are allocated nationally and local centres do not have any influence over which they receive. 

Use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

Recently there have been reports of an extremely rare condition involving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots. 

As a precautionary measure while this is being carefully reviewed, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has now advised that it is preferable for adults aged aged 39 and under, who don’t have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative vaccine when it is their turn to be vaccinated.

For those in this age group who have had already their first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and had no adverse reactions, they should still come forward for their second dose when invited.

This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.

An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines but is being carefully monitored.

For people in older age groups, the JCVI has stated that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh the risks.

For further information go to GOV.UK website

Reasons to get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated is your best defence against the virus and will help protect you, your family and those you care for.

It’s not just about protecting you. Many people have conditions preventing them from developing an effective immune response to vaccination, which makes them highly vulnerable to COVID-19.

We do not know the extent to which the COVID-19 vaccines will prevent individuals from being able to transmit the virus. However, since they protect individuals from disease, we can be reasonably sure they reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.

The COVID-19 vaccine is helping to reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives, it will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.

Vaccine safety

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

Any 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.

Millions of people have now been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported. The vaccine cannot give you coronavirus.

Covid-19 vaccination FAQs are available here.

Information about vaccines: For people with a learning disability and autistic people
NHS England and NHS Improvement has published this film about vaccinations for people with a learning disability and autistic people. This was produced following feedback from stakeholders that there was confusion about vaccines amongst people with a learning disability and/or autism. 

Visit the Gov.UK or NHS website for the most up to date information.

Useful leaflets and information: