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22 June 2021

Everything you need to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines are now available to everyone aged 18 or over. Find out how to book yours

COVID vaccination stickers

Anyone aged 18 or over in the UK can now book their COVID-19 vaccine.

The health and wellbeing of our community is our priority, which is why we encourage you to have the vaccine. It can help to protect you, your family and friends and our community.

Register with a GP

You need to be registered with a GP in the UK before you can have the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are not registered with a GP, you can register online with King’s Health Centre, even if you do not live in London.

Book your COVID vaccine online

Booking online is fast and convenient – head to the NHS website to get started.

Booking your vaccine

You can book your COVID vaccine online and choose a location near you. If you are registered with a GP in London but are not currently living here you can book at any UK location that is convenient.

Your GP may also send you a text or email inviting you to book your vaccine. If you choose to book through your GP surgery in this way, please follow the instructions provided. You don’t need to contact your GP directly to book your vaccine, so please don’t call them to avoid causing delays for other patients.

You may be asked for your NHS number when booking. You do not need to know this to book, but it can be useful to have it. You can find out your NHS number by entering your details on the NHS website.

Vaccines are free of charge to all adults in the UK, including international students who are registered with a GP.

Double dose

You need two doses of the vaccine for maximum protection. The second dose will be 8–12 weeks after the first.

If you book your vaccine online, you can make an appointment for both doses.

If your GP surgery contacts you about your first dose, you will be contacted by them again when it is time to book your second.

What if I had my first dose overseas?

If you have had your first dose in another country, you can have your second dose in the UK if you are registered with a GP. Where possible, vaccination centres will give you the same type of vaccination as your first dose.

Vaccines are safe and very effective

Research has shown that vaccines significantly reduce the risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. They reduce the chance of getting symptoms and help to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus.

All vaccinations in use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Check out these NHS videos with King’s students about how the COVID vaccines work and how they have been developed.

Possible side effects

Vaccines can cause some side effects, but not everyone will get them.

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week. You may have a sore arm, feel tired and/or achy, have a headache, feel or be sick. You can take painkillers like paracetamol if you need to.

You may get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery for 1 or 2 days after having your vaccination. But if you have a high temperature that lasts longer than 2 days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have COVID-19. Stay at home and get a test.

If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, please call 111.

If you cannot attend classes or complete your work due to feeling unwell after your vaccine, please follow the usual sickness absence procedure for your department. Your personal tutor will take a flexible and sympathetic approach to supporting you after your vaccination.

Coming to campus? Take regular COVID tests, even if you are vaccinated

If you’re coming to campus, please continue to take regular COVID tests.

Research shows that vaccines work very well in stopping us from getting ill from COVID-19, but it is not yet clear how effective they are in preventing us from spreading the virus to other people.

That’s why we’ll continue to ask you to do the basics when coming to campus. Take regular COVID-19 tests, keep a safe distance from others, wear a face covering unless you are exempt and wash your hands regularly.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a personal choice. It is not a requirement to be vaccinated before you come to campus. You do not need to tell us if you have had the vaccine, but we are encouraging all students and staff to take up their vaccination when it is offered to them.

Questions about the vaccine?

Visit our vaccination webpages or take a look at the NHS website for more information.