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Find out where your nearest walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic is

Millions of people in the UK have received their COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine is safe and effective, and provides the best protection from COVID-19.

Research has shown the vaccines help:

  • Reduce risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
  • Reduce risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
  • Protect against COVID-19 variants
  • Reduce risk of getting Long COVID

The first dose gives some protection from three to four weeks after you’ve had it, but you need two doses for stronger and longer-lasting protection.

How to get your vaccine

Most vaccines are offered at local vaccination centres run by GPs, at larger vaccination centres and in some hospitals and pharmacies. For 12-15 year olds, vaccines will be offered within schools.

Children aged 12 to 15

All children aged 12 to 15 years will be invited to receive the first dose of vaccine as part of the school-based COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Home-schooled pupils will receive a letter from the NHS which will invite them to receive the first dose of the vaccine. Read FAQs here.

Young people aged 16 or 17

You can get your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if you’re aged 16 or 17.

There are several ways you can get a vaccine:

  • You’ll be contacted by the NHS when it’s your turn to get the vaccine, and will be invited to a local NHS service such as a GP surgery.
  • You can attend a walk-in vaccination site. Some walk-in vaccination sites in Portsmouth and the local area are offering the vaccine to people aged 16 and 17.
  • You can book your appointment online through the NHS website
  • At school, if your school is delivering the in-school vaccination programme delivered by the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) team.

Find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site 

You don’t need to be accompanied by an adult, and don’t need permission from an adult if you’re aged 16 or 17.

You can bring your NHS number to a walk-in appointment if you know it, but that isn’t essential.

Read what happens at your vaccine appointment on the NHS’s website.

People aged 18 and over

Anyone aged 18 and over can get a COVID-19 vaccine. They are given in two doses. You can have your second dose eight weeks after your first.

For anyone aged over 18, there a different ways to get your vaccine. You can:

If you can’t book online, you can call 119 free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.

You can bring your NHS number to a walk-in appointment if you know it, but that isn’t essential.

Booster jabs

Millions of vulnerable people will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine from next week, to provide protection during winter.

The programme will be rolled out to the same priority groups as previously, meaning the following groups will be prioritised:

  • Care home residents
  • Health and social care workers
  • People aged over 50
  • People aged 16-49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • Adult carers
  • Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

Anyone eligible can receive their booster from six months after their second dose.

You can book your booster jab on the NHS website if you are frontline health or social care worker. You can also use the service if you have been contacted by the NHS and you are either:

  • Aged 50 and over, or
  • Aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19

If you are not a frontline health or social care worker, please wait to be contacted by the NHS before booking your booster.

You may be contacted and asked to book online or at a local NHS service such as a GP surgery.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge on the NHS and they’ll never ask for your bank account or card details.


If you are unwell when your appointment is due

You should not get vaccinated if you are feeling unwell, are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or within four weeks of having a positive COVID-19 test.

You can update your appointment online or call 119 if that’s how you originally made your appointment.


More information about the vaccine

Vaccine safety

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. The safety of the vaccines continues to be monitored.

Side effects

Like all medicines, the COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them. Most side effects are mild and shouldn’t last any longer than a week. These include:

  • A sore arm from the injection
  • Feeling tired
  • A headache
  • Feeling achy
  • Feeling or being sick

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

Serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting, are extremely rare.

Development of vaccines

All vaccines used in the UK must be approved by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which makes sure the vaccines meet strict international standards for safety, quality and effectiveness. Once a vaccine is approved, it’s closely monitored to continue to make sure it is safe and effective.

You can watch a video about how COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly and safely on the NHS website, where you’ll also find further information about vaccine safety.


There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on your chances of becoming pregnant.

You can have the vaccine if you’re aged 18 and over and you’re:

  • Trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future
  • Pregnant or think you might be
  • Breastfeeding

The vaccines you’ll be offered depends if you’re pregnant and how old you are. The vaccines cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

Read more about pregnancy, breastfeeding fertility and the vaccination on the NHS website and read the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Q&As on COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility.

Allergic reactions

Most people with allergies (including food or penicillin allergies) can be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Tell healthcare staff before you’ve been vaccinated if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis). They may ask what you’re allergic to, to make sure you can have the vaccine.

Serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are very rare.

Types of COVID-19 vaccine

There are currently four COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK. These are:

  • Moderna
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Janssen (available later this year)

When you book, you’ll be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you. This might be due to your age or if you are pregnant for example.

Walk-in clinics should advertise what type of vaccines are being offered at the clinic.

Booking your second vaccine

You should have the same vaccine for both doses, unless you had a serious allergic reaction to the first.

If you book your appointments online, you’ll be asked to book your first and second appointments at the same time. You can manage your appointments on the NHS website to view appointments and re-book if needed.

If you have your first dose at a walk-in clinic, you can book your second COVID-19 vaccination appointment online after 24 hours of your first dose. Or you can attend a walk-in clinic 8 weeks after your first dose.

Useful links

Information about COVID-19 vaccine


NHS website
What to expect at your appointmentNHS website
Vaccination guide for eligible children and young peopleGovernment website
FAQs about COVID-19 vaccineNHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group
Useful resources like videos and translated guidesCouncil webpage
St. James’ Hospital vaccination centre and temporary changes to travel around the site to help with traffic flowCouncil news pages
Scams relating to the COVID-19 vaccinationCouncil webpage
How many people have been vaccinated in PortsmouthCouncil webpage

NHS staff are doing an incredible job to deliver the vaccine while at the same time continuing to be there for everyone who needs care.

Here’s how we can help them:

  • If you’ve booked an appointment, please attend at the time you’re asked to.
  • If you attend a walk-in clinic, please follow the guidance at that location.
  • Wherever you receive your vaccination, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives, even if you’ve already had your vaccine.

Got a question about the vaccine?

If you have any questions about the vaccine, get in touch with our COVID-19 vaccination team who will be happy to help.

Email us: