BNSSG Healthier Together

Covid-19 vaccination: frequently asked questions

Getting vaccinated

Who can have the Covid-19 vaccine?

The Covid-19 winter top-up programme is underway and we are busy vaccinating people at highest risk from a Covid infection, offering additional protection ahead of winter.

Those eligible for a winter Covid-19 vaccine are:

    1. residents in a care home for older adults
    2. all adults aged 65 years and over
    3. persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as laid out in the Immunisation Green Book, COVID-19 chapter (Green Book)
    4. pregnant women
    5. frontline health and social care workers
    6. persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression
    7. persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers (as defined in the Green Book) and staff working in care homes for older adults.

When it is your turn to have your vaccination, you will be sent a letter or text message inviting you to book an appointment with your GP, using the online National Booking Service (service currently unavailable) or by calling 119. You can also attend a walk-in vaccination clinic without an appointment – details of all the ways to be vaccinated can be found at

Most people entitled to a seasonal Covid booster are also eligible for a flu vaccine, and we are giving both vaccines at the same time, where we can.

We follow national guidance on who is eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. Please visit our information page for full list of eligibility.

Vaccinating children

Covid-19 Vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11

All 5 to 11 year olds are entitled to be vaccinated against Covid-19. We are running dedicated bookable clinics at the Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol, GP practices and community pharmacies. Appointments can be booked using the online National Booking Service (NBS) (service currently unavailable) or by calling 119. We also offer walk-in clinics, where no appointment is needed. Details of these can be found on our Get Your Covid Vaccination page.

This NHS webpage provides more information for parents and children on the vaccine, including how it works and what to expect after Covid-19 vaccination. The same page includes accessible versions of the consent form and leaflets available for those with a learning disability or who live with autism. Braille and British Sign Language (BSL) videos can be ordered or downloaded, and translations are also available.

If you are unsure about whether to consent to your child having the vaccine, we recommend that you do your own research using trusted sources of information. Below are links to some reliable resources that you may find helpful.

  • NHS Covid-19 vaccination information for children
  • JCVI statement on vaccination of children and young people

Is Covid-19 serious in young children?

  • For most children Covid-19 is a mild illness that may require a few days off school but rarely leads to complications.
  • For a very few children, the symptoms can be more serious or last longer.
  • Children with certain health conditions, or those with a weakened immune system, are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease. These children and those who live with someone who has a weakened immune system should already have been invited for vaccination.

Why should children have the Covid-19 vaccine when they don’t become seriously ill from coronavirus?

By the time they leave school, a child will typically have been offered vaccinations against 18 different diseases or infections – the Covid-19 vaccine is one more vaccine that children will soon be able to have to protect them from illness.

As well as protecting children against serious Covid infection and Long Covid, getting vaccinated can reduce the risk of passing on the infection to others in their family and those they come into contact with.

Getting the vaccine may also protect children against future strains of Covid-19 and help avoid more disruption to their lives and their education because of further disruption to schools, hobbies and social events due to the virus.

Why is the NHS offering vaccinations to 5–11-year-olds?

  • The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which provides guidance on vaccination in England, has recommended that the NHS offer vaccinations to all 5-11 year olds, to boost immunity and increase their protection against any future waves of Covid-19. Covid-19 is still very active and causing some children to miss out on their education and the things they enjoy
  • We want to support families to make an informed choice, and to make things convenient and child-friendly for those who do decide to get it.

What vaccine will my child be given?

  • 5 to 11 year olds will be given two doses of a paediatric version of the Comirnaty vaccine, which is the new name for Pfizer, 12 weeks apart.
  • This smaller dose is 10 micrograms of the Comirnaty vaccine, compared to the 30 micrograms given to older children and adults.

My child has already had Covid-19 and so do they still need the vaccine?

  • The Covid-19 vaccine should give your child stronger, longer-lasting protection than immunity from a Covid infection, and may also protect children from future strains of the virus.
  • Your child should also have some protection from the mild symptoms, and vaccination lowers the risk they will pass the virus on to others around them.

What is long Covid?

  • For some people, coronavirus can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called long Covid.
  • The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get Covid-19: people who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.
  • There are lots of long-term symptoms you can have after a Covid-19 infection, including extreme tiredness, shortness of breath and difficulty sleeping.

Is it safe for 5 to 11 year olds to have the Covid-19 vaccine?

  • Yes. The Covid-19 vaccine has been given, safely, to millions of children across the world and found to be safe and effective, including for children this age.
  • Research shows the Covid-19 vaccine can prevent the virus’s worst effects, can reduce the risk of hospitalisation, and it can protect your child and those around them from catching the virus as easily.

What side effects are there for children having the vaccine?

  • Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most are mild and short-term and not everyone gets them. They include a sore arm where you had your injection, feeling tired, a headache and mild flu-like symptoms.
  • Very rarely, cases of inflammation of the heart, called myocarditis or pericarditis, have been reported, but are extremely rare after the children’s dose of the vaccine – only 1 to 2 cases for every million doses of vaccine given.
  • Information about side effects can be found on the website.

Will the vaccine give my child Covid-19?

  • Vaccines work by introducing a tiny, safe version of a virus or bacteria into your body in a controlled way. This teaches your natural immune system to recognise and fight the disease without making you unwell.
  • The protection provided by a vaccine is stronger, more reliable and longer-lasting than defences produced by having an illness.
  • Vaccines only stay in your body for a few hours and cannot cause an infection, cross into your organs or harm your baby if you are pregnant.

My child is vulnerable/at risk. When should they have their vaccine?

  • Children aged 5-11 years-old, who are more at risk from the virus can already get two paediatric (child) doses, eight weeks apart, and their GP or hospital specialist should be in touch to arrange this.

My child is scared of injections – how will these clinic be run?

  • All vaccination sites, including GPs, Pharmacies and vaccination centres, are making efforts to ensure the vaccination environment is child-friendly and welcoming for families with young children.
  • For example, our Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol has created some themed pods to make the large, open environment more welcoming to children. We’ve created a space and under-the-sea themed area to help make the space more ‘friendly’. It may also help distract children who are nervous about their vaccination.
  • Vaccinators will make reasonable adjustments and fast-track children who are worried about vaccination. For example, sites may offer longer appointments and minimise the waiting time for children who are feeling anxious.

Covid-19 Vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15

All children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for 2 doses of the Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine (the new name for the Pfizer vaccine). While Covid-19 is usually mild in most children and young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and two doses of the vaccine will provide good protection against severe illness and hospitalisation. The vaccine will reduce disruption to education, which is good for children’s welfare and mental health.

We are unable to vaccinate anyone within 12 weeks (48 days) of a Covid-19 infection. If you know or suspect your child has had Covid-19, please wait 12 weeks (48 days) before they are vaccinated.

Boosters for children aged 12 to 15 at higher risk from a Covid-19 infection

Some children aged 12 to 15 years are eligible for a booster dose if either they live with someone who has a weakened immune system or, they have a condition which puts them at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. such as diabetes, learning disabilities and immunosuppression. You can read more about eligibility for the booster dose here.

Eligible children include those with diabetes, immunosuppression, learning disabilities, and other conditions as outlined by the UK Health Security Agency in the Green Book (page 22).

If your child is in this group and has not yet received their vaccine, please book an appointment using one of the methods below.

How do I get my 12 to 15 year old vaccinated?

  • You can book an appointment for your child using the online National Booking Service (NBS) or by calling 119.
  • Children aged 12 to 15 can also attend some walk-in clinics vaccination clinics in our area. Details of walk-in clinics vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds can be be found on our Get Your COVID-19 Vaccination page.

If my child has had COVID-19 do they still need to have a vaccine?

Yes. It is still important to have a vaccine to generate a stronger, longer-lasting immune system response to COVID-19. If your child has had coronavirus, their vaccination should take place at least 12 weeks after their positive COVID-19 test result.

My child is scared of needles but wants to have the vaccine.

All our vaccinators are highly trained and used to giving immunisations to children. If your child is worried about having the injection, please ask them to let the vaccination team know and they will be given additional support. We also run Extra Care Clinics at the Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol where additional support can be provided for people who are very worried about having the vaccination. Please email to arrange an appointment.

If a young person has allergies can they have the vaccination?

There are very few young people who cannot receive the vaccine. All young people and their parents or carers should consult their clinician if they have concerns regarding allergies and COVID-19 vaccination

Is it safe for children to have the COVID-19 vaccine?

The medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has confirmed the Comirnaty (the new name for the Pfizer) vaccine is safe and effective for 12 to 17 year olds. This followed a rigorous review of the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine in this age group.

The Pfizer vaccine has been given to millions of 12 to 15 year olds in a number of countries, including 8 million in the United States. Data from these countries shows that the vaccine has a good safety record. More information on vaccinating children and young people can be found on the website.

What happens if parent/carers don’t give consent but their 12 to 15 year old wants to have the flu or COVID-19 vaccine?

No child will be vaccinated within a school setting without consent from their parent or carer.

If a child aged 12 to 15 expresses that they would like to have the COVID or flu vaccination and their parent/carer has refused consent or not replied to the consent request, a phone call will be made to the parent/carer to discuss consent. If parents or carers will not give consent, and the child wishes to have the vaccine, the child and parents will be invited to a clinic to discuss their circumstances with a clinician.

Children under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if they’re believed to have enough intelligence, competence and understanding to fully appreciate what’s involved in their treatment. This is known as being Gillick competent. Read more about Gillick competency.

Covid-19 Booster Vaccinations

Vaccines give high levels of protection but immunity reduces over time, particularly for older adults and at-risk groups, so it is vital that vulnerable people come forward to get their Covid-19 booster vaccines to top-up their defences. Everyone aged 50 and over is eligible for a seasonal atumn booster.

The Covid-19 Autumn Booster programme is underway. People entitled to a seasonal Covid booster are:

  • front line health and care staff
  • everyone aged 50 and over
  • people with a weakened immune system
  • those aged 5 and over with underlying health conditions including pregnant people, people with learning disabilities and carers.

How do I access my seaonal booster vaccination?

You can book either booster using the online National Booking Service or by calling 119. You can also attend a walk-in clinic in our area; details of all the ways to have your booster can be found on our Get Your Covid Vaccination page.

Will I be expected to have more doses of the Covid vaccine in the future?

The seasonal autumn Covid booster programme is underway. Whether this becomes the regular patter for Covid boosters depends on future recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm given as 2 doses, between 8 and 12 weeks apart.

What do I need to know before my appointment?

Before you leave for your appointment, please remember to eat and drink, especially if you have a morning appointment. If you are attending a walk-in clinic, please check the details before you leave to ensure nothing has changed and that they offer the vaccine type you need, particularly if you are having your second dose.

What you need to bring:

  • A face covering, unless you cannot wear one for a health or disability reason.
  • Your booking reference number if your appointment is at a community pharmacy vaccination site or the Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol.
  • If you need a carer, they can come with you on the day.

If you have a disability that is hidden, please let a staff member know or wear your yellow sunflower lanyard. Staff and volunteers at the vaccination sites will then be aware that you may need additional support.

What will happen at my vaccination appointment?

Your appointment should last between 10 and 30 minutes. You may have to wait longer at busy times, particularly at walk-in clinics where we don’t know how many people will come to be vaccinated.

When you arrive, you’ll be asked to confirm your name, date of birth and the first line of your address. You’ll also be asked some questions about your medical history.

It’s important to tell staff giving you the vaccination if you have ever had a severe reaction or you are pregnant.

If your appointment is at a vaccination centre, you’ll be asked for your booking reference number.

You will then be given an injection of the vaccine into your upper arm.

All places that offer COVID-19 vaccinations will have measures in place to help keep you safe from COVID-19.

Watch Bristol GP, Dr. Geeta Iyer explain what to expect on the day of your vaccine.

What happens after my vaccination?

If you have an underlying health condition, you may be asked to wait for 15 minutes afterwards. This is in case of the extremely unlikely event you have a serious reaction to the vaccine.

It is very rare to have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine. If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes. Our teams are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

You will also be given a leaflet about what to expect after your vaccination to take home with you.

Can I have any of my vaccinations sooner than the recommended interval?

In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire we are following national guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the length of time between doses of all COVID-19 vaccines.

If you have clinical circumstances that you think mean you may be eligible to have any of your doses sooner than the recommended interval, please email describing your circumstances and a clinician will review your case.

I’m worried that I’ve received a scam message or phone call about COVID vaccination.

We are aware that there are some fraudulent text messages and emails circulating linked to the COVID-19 vaccination and vaccine passports. These text messages and emails claim to be from the NHS and ask people to provide payment details to verify their eligibility for the vaccine.

The vaccine is only available from the NHS and is free of charge. We will never ask you for bank details or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call that claims to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.

Find out more about the different ways you will be contacted and how to spot a scam.



Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

The lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine is now available, free of charge, to everyone aged 5 and over in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). Please visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility page for more information about who can have which vaccine.

You do not have to be registered with a GP, have an NHS number, or be documented in order to have your vaccination. If you are in this position, please attend a walk-in clinic or contact a GP to book your vaccination, and explain your situation.

In what circumstances are people NOT able to have the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are a few circumstances in which you should postpone your vaccine, speak with your GP, or not book an appointment.

  • If you are unwell with a fever, please cancel your vaccination appointment and rebook for an alternative date.
  • If you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to a previous vaccine, a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine, and some medicines, household products or cosmetics – please seek medical advice before having the vaccine.
  • If you are taking part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial or any other investigation of a medicinal product, please contact your trial centre for further information.

I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?

Yes. The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19.

Our COVID-19 vaccination programme is running alongside the vital winter flu vaccination campaign. If you are eligible for a COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine, please take up the offer as soon as possible rather than waiting to have them together.

Can I have the vaccine if I am HIV positive?

Yes, the department of health recommends Covid-19 vaccination for all people with HIV. The British HIV Association and Terrence Higgins Trust have produced guidance about COVID-19 vaccines for people living with HIV.

Can I get a vaccine if I am a refugee or seeking asylum?

Yes. You do not have to be registered with a GP, have an NHS number or be documented in order to have your vaccination. If you are in this position, please attend a walk-in clinic or contact a GP to book your vaccination, and explain your situation. You can find a full list of walk-in clinics here.

Overseas visitors to England, including anyone living in the UK without permission, are eligible for and will not be charged for:

  • testing for COVID-19 (even if the test shows they do not have COVID-19)
  • treatment for COVID-19, including for a related problem called multisystem inflammatory syndrome that affects some children
  • vaccination against COVID-19

No immigration checks are needed for overseas visitors if they are only tested, treated or vaccinated for COVID-19. If you are in this position, please attend a local walk-in clinic or contact a GP and explain your situation.

Do I need to register with a GP to have my COVID-19 vaccine?

You do not need to be registered with a GP to have your Covid or flu vaccination, but GP surgeries are usually the first contact if you have a health problem. They can treat many conditions and give health advice. They can also refer you to other NHS services.

Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery. It’s free to register. You do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

Find a GP in your area.

If you prefer to avoid going into a GP surgery to register because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can:

  • check the GP surgery website to see if you can register online
  • call or email the GP surgery and ask to be registered as a patient

You do not need proof of ID to register with a GP, but it might help if you have one or more of the following:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • HC2 certificate
  • rough sleeper’s identity badge
  • hostel or accommodation registration or mail forwarding letter

If you’re homeless, you can give a temporary address, such as a friend’s address, a day centre or the GP surgery address.

If you need help registering or filling in forms, call the GP surgery and let them know. You could also ask for help from:

  • local organisations – for example if you’re homeless you could ask a centre that supports homeless people
  • Citizens Advice
  • your local Healthwatch

If you have had Covid-19

Should people who have already had Covid-19 or are suffering from ‘Long Covid’ get vaccinated?

Yes, you should get vaccinated.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.

If you are suffering significant ongoing complications from Covid-19 you should discuss when to have the vaccine with your GP.

How long should I wait to be vaccinated after testing positive for Covid-19?

If you aged 18 or over and are eligible for a vaccination dose but have recently tested positive for Covid-19, you should wait until you are fully recovered before being vaccinated.  Even if you have no symptoms after a positive test, it is suggested you wait 4 weeks, (28 days), after receiving a positive test before you have your Covid-19 vaccination.

If you are between the ages of 12-17, not at serious risk of illness, and you get infected with Covid-19 before you are due your vaccine,  you need to wait 12 weeks after your test result before you can have your Covid-19 vaccine.

If you are between the ages of 12-17 and at higher risk i.e. (with underlying conditions, unpaid carer, household contact of immunosuppressed, or a health and social care worker), you need to wait 4 weeks after receiving a positive test before you can have your Covid-19 vaccine.

Vaccine safety

How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccines approved for use in the UK were developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna. They all meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus 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.

So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as blood clots and allergic reactions have been very rare.

Watch COVID-19 explainer video: What is an mRNA vaccine and how does it work?

Does the COVID-19 vaccine have side effects?

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

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to. If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, contact NHS 111.

Although serious side effects following vaccination are extremely rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should contact 111 or your GP, urgently.

  • a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
  • an unusual headache that may be accompanied by: blurred vision, nausea and vomiting; difficulty with your speech; weakness, drowsiness or seizures; new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding; shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

You can report any suspected side effects using the Coronavirus Yellow Card safety scheme.

Visit the Coronavirus Yellow Card to report a vaccine side effect.

What about allergic reactions?

Tell healthcare staff before you are vaccinated if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). You should not have the vaccine if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction to:

  • a previous vaccine
  • a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine
  • some medicines, household products or cosmetics

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.

Watch COVID-19 vaccine explainer video: If I have allergies, is it still save to have the vaccine?

What are the COVID-19 vaccine ingredients?

The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or egg.

Watch COVID-19 explainer video: Do the vaccine’s contain any pork products?

Watch COVID-19 explainer video: How do I know it is safe?

Pregnancy, fertility and breastfeeding

Does the Covid-19 vaccine affect fertility?

There’s no evidence the Covid-19 vaccines have any effect on your chances of becoming pregnant. There’s no need to avoid getting pregnant after being vaccinated.

Watch Covid-19 vaccine explainer video: Can it affect my fertility?

Can I have the vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Vaccination against Covid-19 is recommended in pregnancy. Studies have shown that hospital admission and severe illness from Covid-19 are more common in pregnant women (compared to those not pregnant), especially those in the third trimester of pregnancy, and that stillbirth and preterm birth is more likely (compared to pregnant women without Covid-19).

Covid-19 vaccines do not contain live coronavirus or any additional ingredients that are harmful to pregnant women or their babies. Other non-live vaccines (whooping cough and influenza) are safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies

  • If you are pregnant and have already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should continue with your second dose.
  • If you are beginning your vaccination course, we will offer you an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca. This is not due to safety concerns around AstraZeneca during pregnancy, there is just more data available for having the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in pregnancy.

Women trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination and there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility or breastfeeding.

Below are links to information from the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists to help you make an informed choice about whether to have the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnancy. You can also discuss the benefits and risks of having the vaccine with your midwife or healthcare professional.

  • Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists information page and leaflet with information for pregnant women
  • NHS information on Pregnancy and coronavirus
  • Evidence on the safety of vaccines in pregnancy from the UK Teratology Information Service, part of Public Health England.

The Covid-19 vaccines available in the UK are effective and have an extremely good safety profile. They do not contain organisms that can multiply in the body, so they cannot infect an unborn baby in the womb.

Watch Bristol GP, Dr. Geeta Iyer answer common questions on fertility and the vaccine.

Accessibility and the vaccine

Learning disability resources is a free resource with lots of helpful video guides on Covid-19 vaccination for people with learning disabilities.

British Sign Language resources

GOV.UK has created some British Sign Language (BSL) videos on Covid-19 vaccination.

Resources in different languages

Watch and read about the vaccine in various alternative language formats.

GOV.UK has created a number of Covid-19 vaccination information guides in multiple languages.

Effectiveness of the vaccine

How effective is the Covid-19 vaccine?

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows our vaccines are highly effective against all variants of Covid-19. After two doses, the Pfizer vaccine is 96% effective and the AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation from Covid-19. PHE estimates that the vaccination programme in England has prevented 22 million infections, around 52,600 hospitalisations and between 35,200 and 60,000 deaths.

It is important to have your second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in order to have the strongest possible protection from coronavirus.

After having both doses of the vaccine most people will be protected against coronavirus. There is a small chance you might still catch or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine. This means it is important to:

  • meet people outside if possible
  • open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
  • limit the number of people you meet and avoid crowded places
  • wear a face covering when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
  • wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.

Watch Covid-19 vaccine explainer video: How a vaccine works.

How long does the vaccine take to become effective?

All doses of the vaccine take effect approximately two weeks after being vaccinated. The first dose of the vaccine should give you some protection from coronavirus, but to get the best protection possible, you need to have the second dose and booster vaccination.

Does the vaccine work on those taking immune suppressants?

Although the vaccine was not tested on those with very serious immunological conditions, the vaccine has been proven to be very effective and it is unlikely that the vaccine will have no effect at all on these individuals.

There may be a very small number of people with very complex or severe immunological problems who can’t make any response at all – but the vaccine should not do any harm to these individuals. If you meet this criteria you may want to discuss the vaccine further with your specialist doctor.

Watch Covid-19 vaccine explainer video: If I am immunosuppressed can I have the vaccine?

The different types of vaccine

Which vaccines for Covid-19 are currently available?

In the UK, we are currently using three different vaccine types which are all given as 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. They are:

  • Pfizer vaccine
  • Moderna vaccine
  • AstraZeneca vaccine

Please note: the AstraZeneca vaccine is available for first and second doses and for boosters only in exceptional circumstances, for example, if you are allergic to constituent parts of other vaccines.

Can I choose which vaccine I would prefer?

Due to the nature of vaccine supply, it is not possible for individuals to choose which vaccine brand they receive.

All vaccines that are available have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they are given will be highly effective and protect them from coronavirus.

Following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), we are offering eligible people under 40 who have not yet had their first Covid-19 vaccination, a vaccine other than AZ. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

Can I get a vaccination privately?

No, vaccinations are only available through the NHS. We are currently offering the Covid-19 vaccine to people who are most at risk from coronavirus. The order in which people are being offered the vaccine is based on advice from the JCVI.

Remember, the vaccine is free of charge.

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving license, bills or pay slips.

NHS Covid Pass

What is the NHS Covid Pass?

The NHS Covid Pass lets you share your Covid-19 vaccination records or status in a secure way.

Why do I need it?

You may be asked to show your NHS Covid Pass to travel abroad, or at events and venues in England asking for proof of your Covid-19 status.
More information about the NHS Covid Pass and how to access it can be found on the NHS website.

North Somerset transport support

If you live in North Somerset and need help to get to your Covid-19 vaccination, there are lots of organisations that can help with transport. Please see the list of community transport providers.