Coronavirus FAQs: vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective at protecting people against Coronavirus.

The NHS is currently offering the Coronavirus vaccine to:

  • Children aged five to 11 who have a condition that means they are at high risk from Covid-19 or live with someone who is more likely to get infections are now eligible for their first dose. Children will be contacted by their GP to arrange their appointment.
  • those aged 12 to 15 will be offered a second vaccination 12 weeks after their first 
  • some children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a second dose of the vaccine eight weeks after their first dose, and could be offered a booster dose 3 months after their second dose, if they live with someone who is more likely to get infections or has a condition that means they are at high risk from Covid -19.  Children in this group will be contacted by a local NHS service such as their GP surgery to arrange their appointments
  • those aged 16 and over will be offered a second dose 8 weeks after their first
  • those aged 16 and over and those most at risk from Covid -19 who have been fully vaccinated will be offered the Covid -19 booster vaccine provided it is 3 months (91 days) since their second dose

You can make an appointment by booking via the National Booking Portal or by calling NHS 119, free of charge.  

Vaccination sites are run by NHS professionals and have extra measures in place to keep you safe during your visit.  Please remember to always wear a face covering at any vaccination site. 

You can visit the NHS website for further information on the vaccine.

A Coronavirus vaccine bus is in the borough several days a week, which offers Moderna vaccination to anyone 18+.

To check where and when the Vaccine bus will be operating please view the Vaccine bus timetable.

Vaccination and Validation centres

If you are 16+ and haven't had your first, second or booster jab you can book on the national booking system or by calling 119.  You can also simply walk into the clinics.   

You can get vaccinated at Kensington Town Hall on Saturdays without an appointment.  The nearest other sites are in Westminster:

  • The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BU:

Alternative Tuesdays - 28 June, 12 and 26 July, 9 and 23 August all from 9am to 5pm

  • Little Venice Sports Centre, 10 Crompton Street, London, W2 1ND:

Friday - 24 June, 8 and 22 July, 5 and 19 August from 9am to 6pm
Friday - 17 June and 1 and 15 July from 2pm to 7pm

If you have been vaccinated abroad with one of the following vaccines, you can also update your NHS records at Kensington Town Hall without booking on the same Saturday's vaccinations are available.  Alternatively you can go to CP House, W5 2ST to show you have been vaccinated with one of the four MHRA-approved vaccine types:

  • Astra Zeneca (Vaxzevria)
  • Pfizer (Comirnaty)
  • Johnson and Johnson (Janssen)
  • Moderna (Spikevax)
  • Institute of India (Covishield)
  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin)
  • SinoVac (CoronaVac)
  • Beijing Institute of Biological Products (Sinopharm BIBP)

You must book on the national booking system or call 119 to get validated.

Vaccinations at Pharmacies

There are a number of pharmacies in the borough that offer vaccinations. Days and times can vary from week to week. For the period from Monday 20 June to Sunday 3 July, the details are:

Vaccination Site Booking Options Vaccine

Medicine Chest

413 to 415 King's Road, SW10 0LR

  • Moderna (Tues 21 to Sat 25 June - 9am to 6.30pm)
  • Moderna and Pfizer (Tues 28 June to Sat 2 July – 9.30am to 6pm)

 

Bramley Chemist

132 Bramley Road, London W10 6TJ

N/A
  • No clinic

Golborne Pharmacy

106 Golborne Road, W10 5PS

  • Online at National Booking or by calling 119
  • Call directly on 8969 8741
  • No clinic

Bayswater Pharmacy

39 to 41 Porchester Road, W2 5DP

  • Online at National Booking or by calling 119
  • Call directly on 020 7221 6895
  • Walk-in
  • Moderna (Fri 24, Mon 27 June to Fri 1 July – 12.30pm to 6.30pm and Saturday 2 July – 11am to 5pm)

 

Zafash Pharmacy

233 to 235 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0EA

  • Moderna (Fri 24 June - 11am to 5.30pm, Tues 28 and Thurs 30 June – 11am to 4pm and Fri 1 July – 11am to 5pm)
Pestle & Mortar

213 Kensington High Street, W8 6BD
N/A
  • No clinic

 

Benson Pharmacy

276 Harrow Road, W2 5ES
  • Online at National Booking or by calling 119
  • Call directly on 020 7286 8738
  • Walk-in 
  • Moderna (Tues 28 and Thurs 30 June – 10am to 5pm)

 

Covid-19 Spring Booster 

Immunity to Covid -19 begins to decrease over time, so the NHS is offering an additional spring booster jab to those people at higher risk as a precaution to make sure they maintain a high level of protection.

Those able to get this jab are:

  • people aged 75 years and over
  • residents in care homes for older adults 
  • people aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed

If you are eligible you can book the vaccine three months after your last Covid -19 vaccination, although the jab will be administered around six months after their last dose. 

Book online on the NHS national booking portal.
 

Booster vaccines 

It is vital that those who have received their first jab, get the second one and booster when they can.  Each dose of the Covid-19 vaccine offers a high level of protection, but to get longer-lasting protection everyone will need to get fully vaccinated and the booster.

You can book your covid booster vaccine on the national booking system if it's been three months since your 2nd dose and you're in one of these groups:

  • aged 16 and over
  • frontline health and social care workers

You can book on the National booking portal at the Science Museum for your booster. 

Visit North West London Clinical Commissioning Group for a full list of sites in the area and booking information.   for a full list of sites and booking information.

If you are 18+ you can also book online on the national booking portal, go to a walk-in centre at St Charles Hospital or Violet Melchett Health and Wellbeing Centre or use the vaccine bus. 

You can book your booster vaccine online if you are eligible and it's been two months (61 days) since you had your second dose. You'll be offered appointment dates from three months (91 days) after your second dose. Frontline health and social care workers can book an appointment online if it's been at least three months since their second dose. 

When can children be vaccinated?

Children aged five to 11 who have a condition that means they are at high risk from Covid-19 or live with someone who is more likely to get infections are now eligible for their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.  Children in this category will be contacted by their GP surgery to arrange an appointment at a vaccination site near to you.  If you’re a parent/carer of a child who hasn’t been contacted yet, please get in touch with your GP to receive a booking link. It’s not possible to book online on the NHS booking system.  

You can get more information in a guide for parents of children aged five to 11 at higher risk from Covid-19.

All children aged 12 to 15 will be offered two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination with 12 weeks between each dose. The vaccine programme for 12- to 15-year-olds is taking place primarily through schools.  If your child has not yet had both doses you can book on the national booking system.

A consent form and information leaflet will be used to seek parental consent in the first instance.

Parents/carers are asked to complete and bring the NHS consent form with them, even if you have already previously done so. If you are unable to print the consent form in advance a copy will be available at the clinic.

The vaccination should help to reduce the risk of complications, time out of education, and the spread of COVID-19 within schools.

Find out more about the vaccination programme for children and young people.  

Information leaflets for children and young people.

What vaccine for Coronavirus is currently available?

 

In the UK, there are three types of Coronavirus vaccine which have been approved for use:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
  • Moderna vaccine

The Coronavirus vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. They all require two doses to provide the best protection.

The latest evidence suggests the first dose of the vaccine provides protection for up to three months for most people. As a result of this, there has been a change to length of time between the first and second dose of the vaccine.

The second dose was previously 21 days after having the first dose, but this has now changed to eight weeks after.

Who should have the Coronavirus vaccine?

Anyone aged 12+ can get vaccinated. 

How do I get the COVID-19 vaccination?

 

If you are in one of the eligible groups you can book online or by calling NHS 119.

Walk-in Coronavirus vaccinations are also available on the Vaccination Bus.  Please take along proof of your age, name and address and your NHS number, if you have it.

The walk-in service operates on a first come, first served basis for residents eligible to be vaccinated and it is possible you will be asked to come back another day should supplies run out on a given day.

For information about vaccines, visit the NHS website.

I’ve had my first Coronavirus vaccine, where can I find more information on what to expect next?

 

When you are contacted by the NHS for your second dose of the vaccine, please attend your appointment.  You can also book online yourself.

Visit the NHS North West London website for further detailed information.

Are the vaccines safe?

 

Yes, the vaccines have been proven to be safe. The NHS will not offer any Coronavirus vaccinations to the public unless independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so. The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said the three types of vaccine are safe and highly effective. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and monitoring continues after authorisation.

But what about the AstraZeneca vaccine, is that safe to have?

The Medicines Regulator, the MHRA, has confirmed the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks, this is despite a possible link between the vaccination and extremely rare and unlikely specific blood clots.

To put this into context, the overall risk of these blood clots is about four people in every million who receive that vaccine.

The advice continues to be that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks and that vaccines continue to be the best way to protect against COVID-19.

There is new, and specific advice for some groups:

1. Anyone who is at a higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition should speak to their GP before receiving their COVID-19 vaccination.

2. For people under 40 without other health conditions, it’s currently advised that it’s preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Anyone who did not have these side effects should come forward for their second dose when invited.

For people aged 40 or over and those with other health conditions, the NHS advises that the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

Will the vaccine protect me?

 

The vaccine will reduce the chance of you suffering from Coronavirus. Each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in different countries and shown to be safe. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions after vaccination to avoid infection. Some people may still get Coronavirus despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

Will the vaccine have side effects?

 

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

The Medicines Regulator, the MHRA, has confirmed the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks, this is despite a possible link between the vaccination and extremely rare and unlikely specific blood clots.

The advice continues to be that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks and that vaccines continue to be the best way to protect against COVID-19.

If your first dose was with the AstraZeneca vaccine and you did not suffer any serious side effects, you should have the second dose on time as you may still be at high risk of the complications of COVID-19. Having the second dose will give you higher and longer lasting protection.

Visit the NHS North West London website for further detailed information.

Will the vaccine work with the new strain?

 

Yes, there is no evidence currently that the new strain will be resistant to the current vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu, branch into different strains, but these small variations rarely make vaccines ineffective.

Should people who have already had Coronavirus get vaccinated?

 

Yes, you should get vaccinated if you are offered the Coronavirus vaccine by the NHS. The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Coronavirus as it is for those who haven’t.

Do I need to leave a space between having the flu vaccine and having the COVID-19 vaccine?

 

It is not essential to leave time between the flu and Coronavirus vaccine. There has never been a more important time to make sure you – and those you care for – are protected against serious illnesses such as the flu. If you haven’t already received your flu jab and are eligible for the free vaccine, please contact your GP or Pharmacist to book your appointment.

Can I get the Coronavirus vaccine privately?

 

No. Coronavirus vaccinations are currently only available through the NHS. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police 101 service and/or Local Trading Standards.

I’m pregnant/breastfeeding, should I get the vaccine?

 

You can take the vaccine. The MHRA has updated its guidance for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding.

If you're pregnant, you should be offered the vaccine when you're eligible for it.

It's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine because they've been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and have not caused any safety issues. Pregnant women are able to book through the NHS booking service and will be directed to vaccination centres offering Pfizer and Moderna in their local area in line with this guidance. If you are pregnant you can also speak to your GP practice or maternity service if you have any questions about the vaccine or can talk to a healthcare professional at your vaccination appointment.

You can also have the vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks with you.

There's no evidence that the Coronavirus vaccine has any effect on your chances of becoming pregnant. There is no need to avoid becoming pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

Visit the NHS North West London website for further detailed information.

What about the allergic reactions that have been reported?

 

The Coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective for the vast majority of people – they have been tested on tens of thousands of people and assessed by experts. Tell staff before you are vaccinated if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction

(anaphylaxis). You should not have the vaccine if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction to a previous vaccine. 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.

Can I catch Coronavirus from the vaccine?

 

You cannot catch Coronavirus from the vaccine, but it is possible to have caught Coronavirus and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.

For more information on Coronavirus symptoms, visit the NHS website.

Can I give Coronavirus to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?

 

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you should:

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask inside or if you are in close proximity to others
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible
  • follow the current Government guidance

Last updated: 24 June 2022