Spring boosters and frequently asked questions - 18 March 2022
Latest advice from the NHS and JVCI (last updated 18 February 2022)
The NHS is currently offering Covid-19 vaccinations to people in the following groups:
People aged 18 and over
You can get your 1st and 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if you're aged 18 or over (or will turn 18 within 3 months).
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
Young people aged 16 and 17
The NHS is offering a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 16 and 17.
If you will turn 18 within 3 months, you can also get a 2nd dose.
You can book your appointment at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
Children aged 12 to 15
All children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (including children who turn 12 on the date of vaccination).
Most children can:
- get their vaccine at school
- book their vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- check if there is a walk-in vaccination site near them to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
Not all walk-in vaccination sites can vaccinate children aged 12 to 15. More sites will become available over time.
Vaccinations for 5-11 year olds
The JCVI has recommended that Covid-19 vaccinations should be offered to all 5-11 year olds on a ‘non urgent’ basis.
This is in addition to clinically at risk children in this age group or those living with someone who is immunosuppressed, who are already being offered the vaccination.
In line with the government’s directive, the NHS will develop plans for offering vaccinations to all 5-11s from April. Details will be shared once confirmed so please wait to hear rather than contacting your GP or other NHS service. They will not have any further information until plans have been completed and it may prevent someone who needs help from getting through.
Please see the JCVI statement for further information.
Young people and children at high risk from COVID-19
Some young people and children aged 12 to 17 are being offered 2 doses of the vaccine 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 of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
Conditions that mean they may be at high risk and eligible for 2 doses 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)
Those who are eligible for 2 doses of the vaccine will be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery to arrange their appointments.
People with a weakened immune system
A 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses.
This includes people who had or have:
- a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
- a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
- an organ or bone marrow transplant
- a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections
- a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for a 3rd dose
If you're eligible for a 3rd dose, the NHS will let you know when and where to have the vaccine.
The 3rd vaccine dose for people with a weakened immune system is not a booster dose.
- Cohort 5 – people aged 65-69
- Cohort 6 – people with underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk from Covid-19 and carers of elderly and disabled people
- Cohort 7 – people aged 60-64
- Cohort 8 – people aged 55-59
If you are in one of these groups, you will be contacted when it is your turn for a vaccination, either by your practice or the NHS national booking service.
Anyone aged 55 or over can book an appointment through the national booking service without waiting for a letter or by calling 119. This will be extended to people in cohort 9 (50-54) over the next few weeks so keep an eye on the site homepage to see when you can use the service.
We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but please do not contact your GP practice or the NHS for an appointment. The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first and people will not be able to make an appointment until they have received an invitation.
Covid-19 vaccinations are free of charge and only available through the NHS. Text messages from the NHS will show as being sent from NHSvaccine and will only link to the NHS.uk website. The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details, your PIN or banking password, or ask you to press a button on your keypad.
Please continue to follow all the safety guidance even when you’ve had the vaccine as you may still be able to spread the disease, in particular hand hygiene, wearing a face mask and social distancing.
or more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination or see these frequently asked questions.
The Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations has updated its guidance and is now advising that pregnant women should be offered COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as people of the same age or risk group. They have said it is preferable for pregnant women to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine where available because they've been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified. There is no evidence to suggest that other vaccines are unsafe for pregnant women but more research is needed.
You should speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination to discuss the benefits and risks with you. You should also read the COVID-19 leaflet for childbearing, pregnant or breastfeeding women than can be found by clicking this link.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have summarised the latest information and have answered a number of frequently asked questions that can be found by visiting this webpage.
AstraZeneca second dose leaflet
Public Health England (PHE) have published a leaflet for people who have had their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and have concerns about having the second dose.
The leaflet is for health practitioners to give out to people and is available for download only. It covers the current government advice, side effects and clarifies that the AstraZeneca vaccine causes far fewer side effects after the second dose, and that most side effects only last a day or two.
Selected documents from Public Health England relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme. For the full list of documents, visit the Public Health England website.
British Sign Language (BSL) videos related to the vaccination programme, along with leaflets on which these videos are based on are also available to download, with paper copies are also available to order.
These leaflets and translated leaflets can also be viewed, downloaded or ordered as paper copies via the Health Publications orderline website at here.
- COVID-19 vaccination: why you are being asked to wait
Information about COVID-19 vaccination supplies
- COVID-19 vaccination: consent form and letter for healthcare workers
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent form and letter templates for healthcare workers.
- COVID-19 vaccination: consent form and letter for social care staff
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent form and letter templates for social care staff.
- COVID-19 vaccination: consent forms and letters for care home residents
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent forms and letter templates for care home residents.
- COVID-19 vaccination: care home and healthcare settings posters
This COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups poster is suitable for all care home and healthcare settings.
- COVID-19 vaccination: what to expect after vaccination
Information for people who have had their first COVID-19 vaccination.
- Guidance to vaccination centres on managing allergic reactions following COVID-19 vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
Statement by Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on the guidance to vaccination centres on managing allergic reactions following COVID-19 vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
- COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for social care staff
Information for frontline health and social care workers on COVID-19 vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccination: guide for healthcare workers
Information for frontline healthcare workers on COVID-19 vaccination.
- COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults
Information for eligible adults on COVID-19 vaccination.
- COVID-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding
Information for all women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding on COVID-19 vaccination.
- COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination information for public health professionals.
Other information and resources
- Vaccine Delivery Plan
- Latest vaccination data
- Bristol University "Global experts urge everyone to talk about COVID-19 vaccines responsibly"
- Covid-19 PHE The Green Book
- Action fraud
- NHS Covid vaccine
Videos, information in community languages resources from other partners
Vaccine guidance videos in English and in community launguages are available on our YouTube channel, including messages in Pashto, Polish, Slovak and Urdu
Information about the COVID-19 vaccine is also availalble from:
Covid-19 vaccination videos in Punjabi
In this vaccination video created by Sikh Alliance Yorkshire, Bibi Kulwant Kaur takes us to her Covid-19 vaccination appointment and explains the process. Spoken in Punjabi with English subtitles.
In this follow-up video, Bibi goes on to share her thoughts after being vaccinated and her wish that everyone has the vaccination to benefit the whole community. Spoken in Punjabi with English subtitles.
Information for people with health conditions
The following charities have worked with the NHS to produce advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and certain health conditions. If you have a health condition that means you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, or you are an adult carer, the NHS will contact you to arrange your vaccination appointment.
- Asthma: Asthma UK: coronavirus – what should people with asthma do now?
- Cancer: Macmillan: coronavirus vaccine for people living with cancer
- Diabetes: Diabetes UK: coronavirus vaccines and diabetes
- Epilepsy: Epilepsy Action: coronavirus and epilepsy
- Heart disease: British Heart Foundation: coronavirus vaccine – your questions answered
- HIV: Terrence Higgins Trust: coronavirus vaccine guidance for people living with HIV
- Kidney disease: Kidney Care UK: coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for patients with kidney disease
- Learning disabilities: Mencap: coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
- Liver disease: British Liver Trust: update for people with liver disease on the COVID-19 vaccine
- Lung conditions: British Lung Foundation: coronavirus vaccine – what people with lung conditions need to know
- Lupus - Lupus UK: lupus and COVID-19 vaccination
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) - MS Society: MS and the COVID-19 vaccines
- Sickle cell - Sickle Cell Society: learn about the COVID-19 vaccine
Information on this page correct at the time of publication.