Skip to content
Date updated: 9/29/2021

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 walk through 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 two billion people across the world have now safely been fully vaccinated (have received both doses) including 43 million in the UK.

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 eight 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.

The NHS is vaccinating people:

  • who are clinically extremely vulnerable (high risk)
  • aged 12 and over
  • with a condition that puts them at higher risk (moderate risk) or you are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer of someone at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable
  • living or working in a care home for older adults
  • with a learning disability
  • who are frontline health and social care workers

Children aged 12-15

Children aged 12-15 years are being offered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Very few healthy children and young people with COVID-19 go on to have severe disease, but offering vaccination to 12 to 15 year olds should help to reduce the risk of complications, reduce time out of education, and reduce the spread of COVID-19 within schools.

The NHS is now preparing to deliver a vaccination programme in schools. Invitations for COVID-19 vaccination will be sent from 20 September 2021 and school vaccination teams will start vaccinating soon after that. Alternative arrangements will be made for children who are home schooled, in secure services or specialist mental health settings.

At present, one dose of the vaccine will be offered to most children in this age group, and the timing of a second dose will be confirmed later. Children in this age group who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), or live with someone who is immunosuppressed, will be offered two doses and will be contacted by their GP to arrange this.

Young people aged 16-17

If you are aged 16-17, you are being offered the first dose only of the COVID-19 vaccine and you will be contacted by the NHS.

People aged 18 or over

If you are 18 or over, you do not need to wait, you can book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments online now.

You can speak to a translator if you need to. If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.

You can book your COVID-19 booster vaccine dose online if you are:

Find out more and book on the NHS website.

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

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Centre, 3A Bocking Street, E8 3RU
  • John Scott Health Centre, Green Lanes, London, N4 2NU
  • St. Leonard's Hospital, Nuttall Street, N1 5LZ

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
  • Spring Pharmacy, 223 Hoxton Street, N1 5LG
  • Murrays Pharmacy, 96-98 Murray Grove, N1 7QP

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 centre at:

  • Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford
  1. You will receive a text, call or letter from the NHS inviting you to book an appointment
  2. 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
  3. Book your appointment as soon as you can, you may be offered an appointment for your second dose at the same time
  4. Attend your appointment and set a reminder for your second dose
  5. Attend the appointment for your second dose

Book your appointment online 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:

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.

You can get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you're pregnant and aged 18 or over.

It's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because they've been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified.

Read more on pregnancy and COVID-19 on the NHS website.

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 eight or 12 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.

You can find information regarding the vaccine on the East London Health and Care Partnership website.