West Essex Covid-19 Vaccination FAQs

Frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19 Vaccinations​

How can I book my booster vaccine?

You'll only be able to book an appointment for a booster dose if it's been over 6 months (at least 190 days) since your 2nd dose of the vaccine.  

To book call 119 or book online - NHS national booking

Or just turn up to one of our walk-in clinics - find your nearest

For more information see our Booster Vaccination page


Why do the NHS recommend the COVID-19 vaccination?


It protects you. It’s the only way to make sure your body can fight the virus.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine?


Everyone aged 12 or over. Anyone aged 16 and over can visit one of our walk-in vaccination centres.

My child is aged between 12-15 years, how can I get them vaccinated?


Parents and carers of children aged 12-15 years old can either wait to be contacted with further information or can now book online.  Please see the 12-15 page for more information.

What are the side effects?

Mild side effects may include:
· a sore arm where the needle went in
· feeling tired
· a headache
· feeling achy
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.

Immunosuppressed? Get your third ‘primary’ dose from eight weeks after your second vaccination

People aged 12 years and over with severe immunosuppression and the people they live with are being invited for a third dose of the vaccine to ensure they have strong protection from the virus. If you are eligible, you can have your third dose of the vaccine from eight weeks after your second dose. You will be invited for your third dose by your GP or specialist. If you have not been contacted and you are overdue your third dose, please get in touch with your GP, tell them you are immunosuppressed, and ask them to arrange a third primary dose of vaccine for you.

Can you catch Covid from the vaccine?


No. The vaccines do not contain COVID-19 and cannot give you the virus. They are made using a modified form of the coronavirus which stimulates the body’s natural defences so that it can defend itself against infection.

Which vaccine will I be given?

We are currently offering the Pfizer vaccination in our west Essex Covid-19 vaccine sites.

Will there be any restrictions if I don’t get vaccinated?

The government are no longer introducing COVID passports, however individual events and venues may apply different rules. You could potentially face restrictions relating to travelling abroad or attending crowded places like festivals, nightclubs or spectator sporting events. The guidelines are changing all the time, visit gov.uk for the latest information.

Can I get a vaccine if I’m not registered with a GP practice?

Yes. There are walk-in vaccine sites throughout west Essex. No appointment or ID required.

If I’ve had COVID-19, do I need to have the vaccine?

Yes. You can have the vaccine 28 days after a positive COVID-19 test or 28 days after your symptoms started.

How does the vaccine work?

It trains your immune system to recognise COVID-19 and defend against it.

Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe?

Yes, independent medicines experts have said that the vaccines in use in the UK are safe and very effective.


Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?

There is no data to say it affects fertility. Many women have become pregnant after having the vaccine.

Can I have the vaccine if I’m pregnant? (also see our pregnancy page)

Yes. Having the vaccine is the safest way to protect you and your unborn baby.
We are currently offering all pregnant women the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccines cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.  For more information on pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine visit - Healthier Futures


How effective are the vaccines?

The vaccine makes it much less likely that you will get ill from COVID-19.


How long do they take to work?

It takes about 3 weeks after your first vaccination for it to start to protect you.

Do I need 2 doses?

Yes, if you are aged 18 or over, you will need the second dose to get longer lasting protection. People aged 12 to 17 will get one dose.

What about the vaccine’s ingredients?

The vaccine does not contain any animal products, egg, or foetal cells.

If I’ve had the vaccine, can I still infect other people?

We don’t know yet if the vaccine stops you from passing on the virus. It is important to carry on social distancing and washing your hands.

Will I need a booster jab? (also see our booster page)

Booster jabs will be given to people over 50 and those over 16 with underlying health conditions. Visit: https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk/covid-19-vaccination-information for more information.

Where do I go to get vaccinated?

There are several walk-in locations throughout west Essex available to those aged 16 and above. Check the here for current locations and times.

Weren’t BAME groups underrepresented in vaccine trials?


The vaccine trials included a cross section of different people, ages and ethnicities.

For more information about the vaccine, including local walk-in sessions and frequently asked questions, go to www.covid.healthierfuture.org.uk


There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the COVID-19 vaccines. So, we’ve tackled some questions to help keep you in the know. Visit nhs.uk for more information.

How do I get my flu vaccine? (also see our flu page)

In addition to receiving your COVID-19 vaccine booster, it is also very important that you have the flu vaccine to ensure you are protected against both viruses.  For details on how to book your flu vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine