COVID-19 vaccine facts and guidance
Receiving the vaccine
The vaccination programme has reduced the risk from severe COVID-19 in the UK population.
However, COVID-19 has not gone away and it remains important that all eligible people take up the COVID-19 vaccine offer.
The NHS urges those most at risk of serious illness to get vaccinated as soon as possible and all eligible people to take up the booster dose offer when contacted by the NHS
If you haven’t had your COVID-19 vaccine yet, the time to book is now Book online or call 119.
If you or anyone you know has concerns or questions, please speak to a healthcare professional to get trusted facts. You can find lots of information on the NHS COVID-19 vaccine page
The Schools Immunisation Team has visited all schools to provide both flu and COVID vaccinations for 12-15 year olds. If your child missed this day for any reason you can attend a walk-in clinic or book a local appointment via the NHS National Booking System.
All children aged 5-11 will be offered vaccination from the beginning of April 2022. Parents/ guardians can call the vaccination helpline to book on: 07826 922104 – lines are open from 8.30am-7pm daily, including weekends. Children in this age group will be offered two paediatric (child) doses of the vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between doses for healthy children. For those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, their two doses will usually be given 8 weeks apart.
Is the vaccine at local NBS sites the same as the one offered in schools?
Yes, there is one vaccine licensed in the UK for school-aged children (Pfizer-BioNTech) and it will be exactly the same in schools or at local NHS services.
Who provides consent for a child to get a vaccine out of school, and how?
Parents and those with parental responsibilities are strongly encouraged to attend vaccine appointments with their child to go through consent and screening questions on site (in line with the approach set out in the Green Book). If the parent is not present and the child is not deemed to be able to consent, it is likely that the child will be asked to come back with a parent or guardian at a later date.
For vaccinations in schools, a consent form will continue to be provided in advance and should be returned before the session
What information will be given to ensure informed consent can be given?
Pre-consenting materials, including a copy of a patient information leaflet with factual information about the Covid-19 vaccine, will be shared with families along with the letters inviting them to book an appointment.
Further information can be found at gov.uk/covid-19 vaccination resources for schools and gov.uk/covid-19 vaccination resources for children and young people, and a consent form is at gov.uk/covid-19 vaccination consent form for children and young people or parents
How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child?
The JCVI has reviewed extensive clinical evidence for the safety of giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children and young people in the eligible groups and have determined it to be safe and effective. The JCVI has determined that the benefit of vaccinating children in these groups outweighs the risks.
Read the latest NHS advice on how and where to get your vaccine here
If you are a student
Students can receive their second dose and booster in a different location to their first.
The National Booking Service has an option to book or re-arrange vaccination appointment.
Anybody in the UK can have COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
If you are a frontline health or social care worker
Healthcare workers can book through the National Booking System or call 119. This now includes those needing their booster dose which can be given a minimum of 3 months after a 2nd dose.
If you work in Health and Social Care you can now access 1st, 2nd and booster vaccinations via the Hospital Hub.
If you fit this criteria and have a query, please contact [email protected].
Examples include workers that provide care and support:
- in people’s own homes
- in day centres
- in care homes for working age adults or supported housing
- for clinically vulnerable adults or children
- through employment by, for example, local government, NHS private sector or third sector employees
If you have already had COVID-19
Even if you have already had the virus, you should still get the vaccine.
If you have tested positive for Covid-19, you will need to wait 4 weeks to get your vaccine if you are 18+ (or under 18 and at high risk), and 12 weeks if you are under 18.
The MHRA, who regulate medicines, have looked at this and agreed 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 vulnerable or housebound and need a vaccine
We have a mixed approach to ensuring that people who are eligible can get the vaccine safely. For care home residents this will involve roving community teams coming to them.
For anyone housebound who needs a 4th COVID vaccine (sometimes called the Spring Booster) please contact PALS to arrange a home visit: Call 0800 328 5640 or email [email protected]
If you are in one of the priority groups for vaccination, then it is likely that you have been contacted by the NHS already. If you haven’t, this may be because you are not registered with a GP or have recently moved,
Even if you don't have a GP you can still receive the vaccine. You do not need to know your NHS number.
If you have never registered with a GP or haven’t been to a GP for a number of years, we would recommend speaking with a local practice about registering.
As well as getting access to Covid-19 vaccines, being registered with a GP also means you are invited to important health checks such as for cancer or heart disease and can access care more easily when you need it.
You can find more information on registering with a GP by visiting NHS.UK: how to register with a GP surgery.
If you are a carer for someone
Carers are included in group 6 for vaccinations. To view the priority list, please visit GOV.UK: priority groups for coronavirus covid 19.
You could be invited for your vaccination through several routes:
- if your GP has a record of you being an unpaid carer, you will be contacted to book an appointment at a local vaccination centre
- if you receive Carers Allowance or are eligible to receive it, you will receive a letter from the NHS
The vaccination programme recognises that these two channels will not include all carers who are eligible. We work with Carers Bucks to identify unpaid carers who are:
- not prioritised through the two routes above
- not known to either Carers Bucks or the Council
This will allow us to make sure letters are sent to all carers inviting them to get vaccinated.
Approximately 11,000 unpaid carers are already registered with Carers Bucks. They have sent emails or letters to all those under 70 years of age to ask permission to share their information with the NHS so vaccine invitation letters can be sent.
If you are not currently registered, to ensure you get invited for a vaccination as soon as possible. You can find out more and register with Carers Bucks by visiting the Carers Bucks website.
If you have been vaccinated abroad and need your UK health records updated
Oxford Health who manage our mass vaccination sites, run an overseas vaccination service. This will enable people who have been vaccinated abroad to get their vaccination records updated in the UK.
They can also be offered a suitable vaccination on site if one is due.
Please book appointments via the NHS webpage link here: Tell the NHS about coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations you've had abroad - NHS (www.nhs.uk) you can also view information about which vaccines the NHS can update information on.
Note: Someone else can book on another’s behalf, but the patient MUST attend the appointment with the relevant form of identification and evidence of vaccinations received.
Vaccinations outside of the NHS
Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112.