Latest update: Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Anyone aged 18 and over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as some younger people aged 16+. People and children with conditions that put them at risk for COVID-19 are also eligible to get the vaccine. Carers (paid and unpaid) can also get the COVID-19 vaccine. See below for more details:
People aged 18 and over
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine if you're aged 18 or over.
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
You can also book your vaccinations if you will turn 18 in the next 3 months.
If you are eligible to get the vaccine but you have not been able to get it, please contact us.
Young people aged 16 and 17
You can get your 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if you're aged 16 or 17.
The NHS will contact you when it's your turn to get the vaccine. You'll be invited to a local NHS service such as a GP surgery.
You cannot book your appointment online.
Some walk-in COVID-19 vaccination sites are offering the vaccine to people aged 16 and 17. You can check if a site is available near you.
Some children aged 12 to 15
Children aged 12 to 15 can get vaccinated against COVID-19 if either:
- they live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- they have a condition that means they're at high risk from COVID-19
Conditions that mean your child may be at high risk and can get vaccinated are:
- a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
- Down's syndrome
- severe or multiple learning disabilities (or they're on the learning disability register)
- a condition that means they're more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)
If your child is eligible for vaccination, you'll be contacted by a local NHS service such as their GP surgery to arrange their appointments.
Vaccine Facts: COVID vaccine stories and information you can trust
A new online resource has been created to help people in South East London find accurate and easy to understand information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The new website features videos and articles aimed at answering common questions about the vaccine and showing what happens to people after they have their jab.
Real people stories
COVID-19 vaccine video playlist
Hear from local faith and community leaders, trusted clinicians and other members of your community explain why it’s so important to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
How do you get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccines currently available are given in 2 doses. You usually have the 2nd dose 8 to 12 weeks after the 1st dose.
To get your vaccine you can:
- book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
- wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book your appointments with them
If you cannot book appointments online, you can call 119 free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.
If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.
Getting your second dose
There are a few ways you can get your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine:
- If you book online, you'll be asked to book appointments for both doses. You can manage your COVID-19 vaccination appointments to view your appointments and rebook if you need to.
- If you have your 1st dose at a walk-in vaccination site, you can book your 2nd COVID-19 vaccination appointment online. You'll need to wait 24 hours after your 1st dose before you can book.
- if it's been 8 weeks or more since your first dose, you can go to a walk-in clinic and get your second dose without having to book. Click here to find a walk-in clinic near you.
- If you have your 1st dose through your GP surgery, you'll be contacted when it's time to book your 2nd dose.
Types of COVID-19 vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK are:
- Moderna vaccine
- Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
- Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
- Janssen vaccine (available later this year)
Which vaccine will I get?
You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. When you book, you'll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you.
Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines.
For example, if you're pregnant or under 40 you'll usually only be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
You should have the same vaccine for both doses, unless you had serious side effects (such as a serious allergic reaction) after your 1st dose.
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 1st 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.
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.
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility
You can get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you're aged 18 or over and:
- you're pregnant or think you might be
- you're breastfeeding
- you're trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future
The vaccines you'll be offered depends if you're pregnant and how old you are. The vaccines cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccine ingredients
The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain egg or animal products.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a tiny amount of alcohol, but this is less than in some everyday foods like bread.
The vaccines are suitable for people of all faiths.
You can find out about the ingredients in the vaccines currently available in the UK:
For more information
Visit the South East London Clinical Commissioning Group website for the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, or check the downloads in this article.
If you need this information in a different language or format get in touch:
020 8301 8340