What you need to know about the Covid-19 vaccine

Take a look at what you need to know about the Covid-19 vaccination programme including how you will know when it's your turn, where to go, and why it's important.
Wilton Covid vaccination centre

Last updated on 20 July 2021

To check the latest Government guidance please visit Gov.uk.

We all have an important part to play to help the NHS deliver their vaccine delivery plan:

  • When you are contacted, please book and attend your appointment(s);
  • Turn up to your appointment on time, do not arrive early or late as the vaccination centres cannot accommodate you.

It is essential that everyone continues to follow key Covid-19 precautions, whether they have had the vaccine or not. These include testing when you have symptoms and isolating when you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

For the latest information about the vaccine go to the NHS website.

Find a walk-in vaccination site

Common questions about the Covid-19 vaccine

When will I get the Covid-19 vaccine?

All adults in England have now been offered at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. 

All those aged 18 or over can now book their vaccination through the NHS booking service. You can also call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

The Government are currently reviewing evidence on the risk of Covid-19 in children and young people who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable. In the meantime, the official advice is that the following groups should be offered vaccines:

  • Young people aged 16 to 17 years who are at higher risk of serious Covid-19 as currently set out in the Green Book: Immunisation against infectious disease
  • Children aged 12 to 15 years with:
    • Severe neuro-disabilities
    • Down’s syndrome
    • Underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression
    • Profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD)
    • Severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register.

Additionally, children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of vulnerable persons will also be offered a Covid-19 vaccination.

How do I book my vaccine?

You will be able to book your vaccination through the NHS booking service. You can also call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

Find a walk-in vaccination site

How might I be contacted to get my vaccination?

  1. Local hospital services - you might be contacted either to have the vaccine as an inpatient or at an outpatient appointment.
  2.  Local GP services - practices in your area are working together to contact and offer the vaccine to as many people as possible. This may be at a different surgery than you usually go to, or at a venue that has been set up specially to deliver vaccines. 
  3. Through your care home - GPs and their teams are also arranging to vaccinate care home residents directly, in their homes.

Where do I go to get my vaccine when I’m contacted?

Hundreds of local vaccination services run by family doctors and their teams have opened across the UK, as well as specific vaccination centres. 

You will be given information by the NHS about where you need to go for your vaccination appointment(s) when contacted. If the option given is not suitable, you can request for a more local centre for your appointment.

Read more on local vaccination centres

Large scale vaccination centres open in Salisbury and Bath

I don't drive. How do I get to my appointment?

  • Ask family or friends if they would be able to give you a lift to your appointment. 
  • Public transport - start time restrictions on Wiltshire Council bus passes have been temporarily lifted, to help give people more opportunities to get to their appointments.
  • Link Schemes - these are voluntary groups which offer a transport service to local people in need. The services they provide are not free and request a donation be made instead. 

If you don't have any other way of getting to your appointment, contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub on 0300 003 4576 or wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk to arrange transport. 

The hub is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.

Community support

Wiltshire Link Schemes

Find out how many people have had the Covid-19 vaccine

The NHS publishes a weekly report on vaccination numbers. To find out the latest numbers click the button below.

Find out more

How long between my first and second dose of the vaccine?

You will receive your second dose up to 8-12 weeks after the first, regardless of the vaccine type. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection.

How do I book my second dose of the vaccine?

You'll need to book a 2nd dose for 8 to 12 weeks after your 1st dose.

Some people at high risk from Covid-19 can get earlier appointments for their 2nd dose (at 8 weeks instead of 12 weeks). Wait to be contacted if you think you're in this group and you've already booked your 2nd dose at 12 weeks.

Are there any side effects?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.

You should not have the vaccine if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction to:

  • a previous vaccine
  • a previous dose of the same Covid-19 vaccine

Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

You can report any side effects to the Coronavirus Yellow Card scheme.

Report your symptoms 

I'm pregnant, can I still get the vaccine?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered the Covid-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

There have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of Covid-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy. 

It is preferable for pregnant women in the UK to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available. There is no evidence to suggest that other vaccines are unsafe for pregnant women, but more research is needed.

Women who are planning pregnancy, are in the immediate postpartum or are breastfeeding can be vaccinated with any vaccine, depending on their age and clinical risk group.

Protect yourself from fraud

In England, the Covid-19 vaccines will only be available via the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine.

Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.

Find out more and report fraud

Do I have to have the vaccine even though I've already had Covid-19?

An effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from Covid-19, reduce hospitalisations and save lives. Vaccines are the only way to eradicate disease. 

People that have already had Covid-19 should still get vaccinated. It is still just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.  

Is the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory?

There are no plans to make the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory.

Do I need to self-isolate if I'm fully vaccinated?

In England from 16 August, if you’re fully vaccinated or under 18, you will not need to self-isolate following close contact with someone who has Covid-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive.

How do I prove my vaccine status?

An NHS Covid Pass shows your coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination details or test results. This is your Covid-19 status. You may be asked to show your pass to get into some events, where the Covid Pass is being trialed, or to travel abroad.

A digital Covid pass is available through the NHS App or the NHS website. A paper version is also available online.

What does a vaccine do?

Vaccines teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases. It's much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and treating them. Once a vaccine has trained your immune system to know how to fight a disease, it can often protect you for many years. 

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines are now safer than ever before. Any vaccine must first go through the usual rigorous testing and development process and be shown to strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness before it can be deployed.

How effective is the vaccine?

The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection.

There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

This means it is still important to follow the national hands, face, space guidance.  

Where do I go if I have more questions?

If you have more questions about the Covid-19 vaccination programme you can find more information on the NHS website.

BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group have a dedicated web page which is updated weekly with the latest Covid-19 information, as well as a Q&A on the vaccination programme. 

You can also email them if you have any questions.


Easy read information

Covid-19 vaccine - who gets it first?
Easy read - a guide to your Covid-19 vaccination
Information about vaccines for people with a learning disability or autism

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

Talk to us