Last updated 27/04/2021
Having the COVID-19 vaccine is free and easy:
- Don’t miss your first appointment
- Stay safe after your first dose
- Make sure you get your second dose
- It’s safe for the vast majority of people to have a COVID-19 vaccine
- You don’t need to be registered with a GP
- You will not be charged for a vaccine. Paid-for vaccines are highly likely to be a scam
The vaccine will reduce the chance of you becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, which can be deadly.
Staff at Bart's Health NHS Trust have answered your questions (in 12 different languages) in a series of videos about what's in the vaccine, how safe it is and why you should get it.
Our Director of Public Health has produced a video answering your questions about the vaccine roll-out, which you can see below.
Here is a walkthrough of what to expect when you go to get your vaccine.
After clean water, vaccines are the most effective Public Health intervention ever and have saved countless lives around the world over the past centuries.
There are now three vaccines, which have been rigorously assessed by the independent medicines regulation authority, the MHRA, as being both safe and effective in helping to protect you from severe disease and death from COVID-19.
Over 280 million people across the world have now safely been fully vaccinated (have received both doses).
Getting your vaccine as soon as you can will protect you and may help to protect your family and those you care for.
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus and helps to reduce the rates of serious illness, save lives and reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.
You need to:
- have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at two appointments
- get the second dose 11 to 12 weeks after getting your first dose
It is vital that everyone continues to follow the national guidance. While the vaccine will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill, it does not give 100 per cent protection and there is a chance that you may still be able to pass the virus on to others, even if you have had the vaccine and don’t have symptoms. It’s still important therefore, to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you. National guidance will continue to be reviewed by the Government and updated when appropriate. Please find the latest guidance on the Government website.
Vaccine supply disruption - Since the start of the vaccination programme supply has gone up and down and the NHS has run clinics and delivered vaccinations according to availability. Up until 05 May 2021 over one million people in North East London have already been vaccinated, 50 million across England, and the NHS remains on track to vaccinate everyone over the age of 18 by the end of July.
Supplies have already been allocated for the second doses and any reported disruption to supply should not impact on your booked appointment or your ability to access your second dose. Please make sure you get your second dose.
As of 13 April 2021 the NHS is vaccinating people:
- aged 70 or above or clinically extremely vulnerable (high risk) and have not had your first vaccination and haven't been booked in yet, please contact your GP
- aged 38 to 69 and turning 38 before 1 July 2021 please book using the national booking portal, wait to get a letter from the NHS or you will be contacted by your GP
- aged 16-64 and clinically vulnerable (moderate risk) or you are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable, please wait to be contacted by your GP
- living or working in a care home for older adults and haven't had your first vaccine and aren't booked in for one, please contact your manager
- with a learning disability
- who are frontline health and social care workers, please book on the national booking portal or contact your manager or book using the staff booking system applicable in your organisation
Please remember, you cannot attend a vaccination site without an appointment. Read on for information about booking your vaccination.
These are the vaccination sites serving the City of London and Hackney:
Primary Care sites (booked through GPs)
- COVID-19 Vaccination Centre, 3A Bocking Street, E8 3RU
- John Scott Health Centre, Green Lanes, London, N4 2NU
Pharmacy sites (booked through the national booking portal)
- Boots, 120 Fleet St, EC4A 2BE
- Clockwork Pharmacy - 398-400 Mare Street, Hackney, London E8 1HP
- Bees Pharmacy - 199-201 Rushmore Road, Clapton, E5 0HD
- Haggerston Pharmacy, 197-215 Haggerston Road, E8 4HU
- Day Lewis Pharmacy, 77 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8AD
- Silverfields Chemists, 141 Homerton High St, E9 6AS
Alternatively, vaccinations for residents registered at Tower Hamlets GPs are being administered from:
- Newby Place Health and Wellbeing Centre, 21 Newby Place, Poplar, E14 0EY
- The Art Pavillion, Mile End Park, Clinton Road, E3 4QY
Some residents will also be invited to attend the mass vaccination centres at:
- Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford
- Excel Centre, Canary Wharf
- You will receive a text, call or letter from the NHS inviting you to book an appointment
- You will either be offered an appointment at one of the four local sites in Hackney, or asked to go to one of London’s mass vaccination centres
- Book your appointment as soon as you can, you may be offered an appointment for your second dose at the same time
- Attend your appointment and set a reminder for your second dose
- Attend the appointment for your second dose
Book your appointment online - When you become eligible for the vaccination you can book your appointment via the national booking portal or calling 119.
If you had to delay booking your appointment and the Government announces new eligible age groups, you can still book your appointment at any time using the national portal details or by speaking to your GP.
Beware of scams - The vaccine is only available through the NHS and it is free. You will never be asked to pay or asked for your bank details.
You can find information about how vaccines work and why they are important on the NHS website.
The COVID-19 vaccine, like any other drug has side effects. They are usually mild and don’t last long. You can read more about the side effects on the NHS website.
Messaging on AstraZeneca vaccine - We know some people will be worried about the recent news on the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency confirms that people should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so. You can read about the safety of the vaccine on the Government website.
Messaging on ingredients - The vaccines do not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products or material of foetal or animal origin. A detailed review of the vaccines and their ingredients have been provided by the MHRA and can be found at the following links:
- For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information is available here.
- For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information is available here.
- The British Islamic Medical Association have produced a helpful guide for the Muslim community which can be found here.
Dr Aruna Ramineni, consultant gynaecologist and lead for fertility at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, has developed a video explaining that there is no evidence of the vaccine having any effect on fertility.
If you are pregnant you should not be vaccinated unless you are at high risk – you can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over.
If you have had the first dose and then become pregnant you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over (unless you are at high risk).
There is no known risk associated with giving non-live vaccines whilst breastfeeding. JCVI advises that breastfeeding women may be offered vaccination.
Speak to your GP in the first instance, who will be able to advise you.
While the NHS will write to people based on their GP records, this doesn’t mean that people that don’t have an NHS number or aren’t registered with a GP won’t be able to get vaccinated through the programme.
It does however help to be registered with a GP to help the NHS check for any reasons that someone might not be able to have a vaccine and ensure there is a record that both doses of the vaccine have been had.
Anyone can register with a GP surgery. You do not need proof of address or immigration status. Details of how to register with a GP.
Overseas visitors to England, including anyone living in the UK without permission, 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.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer time-frame between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection. This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.
Your GP may book you in for your second dose when you have your first dose, or you may be asked to wait and be contacted. You should be contacted to book your second dose at around 10 or 11 weeks after your first dose. If you don’t hear anything about booking your second dose by the end of week 11 contact the centre where you had your first dose or your GP for advice. The second dose must be given at the same place as the first.
St Bartholomew’s Hospital is now inviting residents who had their first COVID-19 vaccine at the hospital to book their second dose. To book an appointment, please email Bart’s Health. Please include your full name and NHS number. You will also need your NHS number with you when you arrive for your vaccine.
You can find information regarding the vaccine on the East London Health and Care Partnership website.