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Coronavirus vaccination facts

Key information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations.

If you're eligible then you can book your COVID-19 vaccination online or tel: 119. If you've turned down the offer of a vaccine before, but have now reconsidered, it's never too late to get in touch.

Book your COVID-19 vaccination

It's important to get both does of the COVID-19 vaccination in order to get the best protection from coronavirus.

All information has been taken from trusted sources including the NHS and UK government. Find out more about the coronavirus vaccine and the roll-out programme on the NHS website.

You can also view the easy read version of the vaccination information.

Information on the vaccination programme in Derbyshire is available on the Joined Up Care Derbyshire website and there's also specific information for residents in Glossop and surrounding areas.

Information may change so please continue to check back for the latest updates.

Vaccination roll-out

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres.

If you're eligible for your COVID-19 vaccination then please either wait to be contacted or book your coronavirus vaccination. Please do not phone your GP.

Do I need to get vaccinated?

Having 2 doses of the vaccine means it's much less likely that you'll get seriously ill from COVID-19.

The vaccine doesn't completely stop everyone getting COVID-19, but if you do still get COVID-19, your symptoms may be less serious.

Vaccines train your body to recognise germs and fight them off. Vaccination is a safer way for your body to learn how to do this, rather than catching the disease, which may cause you to be seriously ill.

You can find out more about how vaccinations work and how important they are.

It generally takes around 2 to 3 weeks for your body to build immunity after having each dose of the vaccine. It's important that you continue to remember: hands, face, space and to ventilate rooms well and ensure you remain up to date with any guidance to keep yourself safe.

Vaccine safety

The COVID-19 vaccines approved in the UK have had to meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). All COVID-19 vaccines that are approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through.

All vaccines used in the UK, have completed clinical trials and been granted a licence by MHRA following expert review of all trial data.

Find up-to-date information about the coronavirus vaccine in the UK on the NHS website.

View the latest vaccination figures.

COVID-19 vaccines currently being used

Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently being used in the UK. These are:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna

In clinical trials, the vaccines showed very high levels of protection against symptomatic infections with COVID-19.

Data is now also available on the impact of the COVID-19 vaccinations and their effectiveness in reducing infections and illness.

How vaccinations work

There are different types of vaccines, but they all work on the same principle.

They stimulate our bodies to recognise a germ - something which causes disease. Once the immune system has been trained to recognise this germ, if the body is later exposed to the same germ it will then be removed from the body.

Specifically, the immune system recognises germ's 'antigens' that are not normally found in the body.

mRNA vaccinations

mRNA vaccines have been in development for many years and they work on the principles outlined above.

mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.

mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.

The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.

You can find out more about mRNA vaccinations and how they work on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information can also be found on the Vaccination Knowledge Project.

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. These are a sign that your body is responding to the vaccine.

Find out more about the coronavirus vaccine and possible side effects.

Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111.

If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card if possible) so that they can assess you properly.

The MHRA's role is to continually monitor safety during widespread use of a vaccine.

This includes reviewing reports of suspected side effects.

Any member of the public or health professional can submit suspected side effects through theYellow Card scheme.

Because the Yellow Card reporting is so open reported events are not always proven as side effects. Some events may have happened anyway, regardless of whether someone had a vaccination. This is particularly the case when millions of people are being vaccinated.

For all COVID-19 vaccines, the overwhelming majority of Yellow Card reports relate to injection-site reactions (sore arm for example) and generalised symptoms such as 'flu-like' illness, headache, chills, fatigue (tiredness), nausea (feeling sick), fever, dizziness, weakness, aching muscles, and rapid heartbeat.

Generally, these happen shortly after the vaccination and are not associated with more serious or lasting illness.

Vaccination and COVID-19 infection

It's possible to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because your body has not had sufficient time to fully respond to the vaccine.

Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are required to give you full protection. There's a chance you might still get, or spread COVID-19 even if you have the vaccine because the virus is still in the environment.

When you've received one or more doses of the vaccine you still need to get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 booster vaccines

The NHS will offer booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the week of 20 September 2021.

This is to help make sure that the protection vaccines give to those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is kept up over the winter months. There's early evidence that the levels of protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines may reduce over time, particularly in older individuals who are at greater risk from the virus.

The booster dose will be given at least 6 months after someone has had the first course of the vaccine. The booster programme will be rolled out to the same priority groups as before which includes:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the Green Book), and adult carers
  • adult household contacts (aged 16 or over) of immunosuppressed individuals

The NHS will contact eligible people to let them know when it is their turn to get a booster vaccine.

A flu vaccine may also be offered at the same time as the COVID-19 booster vaccine. It's common for more than one vaccine to be given at the same time and there is evidence that it does not affect the immune response.

If you're invited for these vaccines, please take them up as this will help you stay well over winter.

Immunosuppression and third vaccine dose

The NHS is also offering a third vaccine dose to people aged 12 years and over with severely weakened immune systems as part of their primary schedule. This has been recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. Eligible people will be contacted by their hospital consultant or GP.

Prevention measures

It's important after you're vaccinated to continue to follow hands, face, space and to let fresh air in to protect yourself and others.

If you use PPE as part of your work, you'll still need to do this when you've had your vaccination. This will continue to protect both you and the people you work with.

Having the vaccine will help to protect you from serious illness or death.

It can also take a few weeks after vaccination before you are protected from infection.

Vaccine and COVID-19 variants

Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine offer the best protection against all known variants of COVID-19.

Data continues to be collected and analysed on new variants of the COVID-19 virus. Research is ongoing to understand how these variants affect the virus's behaviour, including their impact on the effectiveness of vaccines, if any.


Women who are pregnant are being advised to have the COVID-19 vaccine. Read the latest NHS advice regarding the coronavirus vaccine and pregnancy.

Although the overall risk from COVID-19 disease in pregnant women and their new babies is low, in later pregnancy some women may become seriously unwell and need hospital treatment.

Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a higher risk of intensive care admission than women of the same age who are not pregnant.

Women with COVID-19 disease are also 2 to 3 times more likely to have their babies early than women without COVID-19.

Pregnant women with underlying clinical conditions are at even higher risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19.

Read the government's guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations for all women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding.

Vaccination for children and young adults aged 12 to 17 years old

Those that should be offered the vaccine:

  • children and young adults aged 12 years or above with specific underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection (2 doses)
  • children and young adults aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals (2 doses)
  • all 16 to 17 year olds should be offered a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • all otherwise healthy children and young people aged 12 to 15 years old (first dose Pfizer-BioNTech)

Children aged 12 to 15 who are eligible will be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery to book their vaccination appointments.

People aged 16 and 17 can attend some walk-in vaccination centres to receive their vaccine. Please check the information for each site to ensure it can offer the vaccine to your age group.

Read more information about who can get a COVID-19 vaccine on the NHS website.

Who will be giving your vaccine

The vaccine may be delivered by a range of fully trained and competency assessed health professionals which may include doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

Fear of needles

If you have a fear of needles, Derbyshire Community Health Services have a video that could help you deal with your needle-phobia.