COVID-19 vaccination is effective and the safest way to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine
Additional protection for people with a severely weakened immune system
COVID-19 vaccines are normally given seasonally, but some people with a severely weakened immune system may need additional protection at other times.
Seasonal COVID-19 vaccines
The NHS will contact you if your NHS record suggests you may be eligible for a seasonal spring COVID-19 vaccine.
You may be able to get a spring COVID-19 vaccine from April 2024 if you:
- are aged 75 years old or over
- live in a care home for older adults
- are aged 6 months old or over and have a weakened immune system
Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?
There are several different COVID-19 vaccines in use in the UK. They have all met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
You cannot choose which COVID-19 vaccine you have. Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines and you will be offered a vaccine that is suitable for you.
Some people are only offered certain vaccines, for example:
- if you're under 18 years old
- in very rare cases if you've had a severe allergic reaction to one of the vaccines you may be referred to a specialist clinic for your vaccination
Children under 12 years old will be given smaller doses than older children and adults.
Find out more about the commonly available COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK:
How well do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
If you're at increased risk of illness from COVID-19, getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives you good protection and helps to:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of needing to go to hospital if you catch COVID-19
- reduce your risk of catching and spreading COVID-19
- protect against different strains (variants) of COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccines are offered because viruses change, and protection fades over time.
There is a chance you might still get or spread COVID-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it's important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19.
Do the vaccines cause side effects?
The COVID-19 vaccines can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them.