Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Vaccination - getting a 1st, 2nd or booster jab

Anyone who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill or have long-term effects ('long COVID'). The COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine

You can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you're aged 16 or over.

From Wednesday 15 December 2021, anyone over the age of 18 can get a COVID-19 booster vaccination as long as it has been 3 months since your 2nd dose.

For more information, go to NHS: who can get a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

Why it's important to get your booster jab

A booster jab is not just a top-up – it's a huge increase in your body's ability to fight the virus.

Vaccine effectiveness against the new variant of coronavirus (COVID-19) – called Omicron – may be a lot lower when the protection given by your original two doses has started to reduce over time. Early evidence has shown a booster can prevent 75% of people getting symptoms from Omicron.

From mid-December 2021, Omicron is expected to become the dominant variant of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.

It's very important that, as well as protecting ourselves and our families, we help protect the NHS from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

How to get a booster jab

You can get a booster jab either by:

  • booking an appointment
  • going to a 'walk-in' vaccination clinic where you don't need an appointment

You can find lists of local walk-in vaccination clinics at NHS Mid and South Essex: walk-in vaccination clinics. You don't need to be registered with a GP to use these clinics.

If you prefer, you can book an appointment at a large vaccination centre or a smaller site, such as a community pharmacy. You can book your appointment online with the NHS using the form below, or by phoning 119.

The website and phone lines can get very busy so you may be held in a queue for a short time. Please be patient and keep trying.

NHS: book a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination

Vaccination safety

There is no need for your booster to be the same vaccine you had for your first two doses.

When you get your booster jab, it's most likely you'll be given either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine. Both have been shown to be very effective as boosters, no matter what vaccine you had for your first 2 doses.

If for any reason you can't have either of these vaccines, you may be offered the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as your booster.

Our vaccination safety page has lots more information to answer any questions you may have, including concerns about:

  • vaccine side effects
  • vaccine ingredients
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • fertility

COVID-19 symptoms and testing

If you have any symptom of COVID-19, you should take a test and self-isolate until you get your results. Do not attend a vaccination appointment or walk-in clinic while awaiting your results.

If you test positive, you must wait 4 weeks (28 days) from the day of your positive test before you get a vaccination jab.

If you get a negative result and feel well enough, you can get your vaccination.

For more information about testing and how to get tested, go to getting a test.

For information on what else you can do to stay safe, go to GOV.UK: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.

Our amazing NHS volunteers

Over 1,000 volunteers are helping to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) across Mid and South Essex, but many more are needed. You can give as little or as much time as you want. To find out more, go to NHS Mid and South Essex: how to volunteer.

It's only possible to vaccinate millions of people across the UK thanks to the hard work and dedication of so many amazing teams that run testing sites, vaccination sites, GP practices and hospitals. Please be kind to them!