COVID-19 vaccination is effective and the safest way to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine
Seasonal COVID-19 vaccines
You may be able to get a seasonal COVID-19 vaccine if you're at increased risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. For example, this may be due to a health condition or your age. The NHS will contact you if your NHS record suggests you may be eligible.
COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months to 4 years old
Children aged 6 months to 4 years old who are at increased risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 can get a 1st and 2nd COVID-19 vaccine. They can then get a seasonal COVID-19 vaccination through their GP surgery.
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.
Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines and will be offered a vaccine that gives protection from more than one type of COVID-19.
You cannot choose which vaccine you have.
Some people are only offered certain vaccines, for example:
- if you're pregnant
- if you're under 18 years old
- in very rare cases if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to one of the common vaccines you may be referred to a specialist clinic for your vaccination, or offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine
Children under 12 years old will be given smaller doses than older children and adults.
How well do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
If you're at increased risk of severe COVID-19, getting a seasonal COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others. The vaccine helps to:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of catching and spreading COVID-19
- protect against different strains (variants) of COVID-19
Seasonal vaccines are offered because viruses change, and protection fades over time.
A vaccine helps give you good protection from becoming seriously ill or needing to go to hospital if you catch COVID-19.
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.
COVID-19 vaccine ingredients
The Sanofi and GSK (VidPrevtyn Beta) COVID-19 vaccine contains an oil derived from sharks.
The other COVID-19 vaccines offered by the NHS do not contain animal products, including egg.
Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK, including their ingredients: