Covid Vaccines

How to get the Covid-19 vaccine

You can now book your vaccination appointments online if any of the following apply:

  • you’re aged 16 or over
  • you’ll turn 16 before 1 July 2021
  • you’re at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable aged 16 and over)
  • Clinically at-risk (aged 18 – 65)
  • Over-12s who have underlying conditions or live with others at high risk
  • Adult care home residents
  • Health and social care workers
  • Anyone who is a main carer for someone at high risk from Covid-19
  • Anyone with a learning disability

Booking your appointment

There are two ways to book your Covid-19 vaccine appointment.

  1. Through the national NHS system which offers appointments at mass vaccination sites such as Westfield and some local pharmacies. These can be booked online or by calling 119.
  2. At local clinics in Tower Hamlets, set up by the council and local NHS. Appointments at local clinics can be booked through our online system or by calling the council helpline 020 7364 3030 (Monday- Friday, 9am – 5pm).

Household vaccine appointments

Anyone eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine (above) and booking locally in Tower Hamlets, can bring members of their household to get vaccinated at the same time.

Please call our helpline to book your household appointments – 020 7364 3030. It is really important to book because more vaccines are needed for a household appointment.

Booking second dose of vaccine

Two doses of Covid-19 vaccine are needed for maximum protection. You should have your second vaccine appointment 8 to 12 weeks after the first.

If you booked your first dose through your GP, they will contact you via text or phone call to book you in for your second vaccine around 11 weeks later. If you booked your first dose online through one of the online booking systems, you will be able to book your second vaccine again directly through the national booking system.


NHS 119 BSL Service

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

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.

This service is open 07.00 – 23.00 day every day

Using your computer and webcam, or the InterpreterNow app on your smartphone or tablet, you make a video call to a BSL interpreter.

The interpreter telephones an NHS 119 operative and relays your conversation with them. The NHS 119 operative will assist you with the procedure for booking and administering Covid-19 tests and with enquiries related to the progress of the test results, and with booking Covid-19 vaccinations.


Vaccine video from deaf charities

Deaf charities have come together to produce a vaccine video for the deaf community, with specific focus on ethnic minority groups. Evidence shows that black and Asian people are far more susceptible to Covid-19 and this new signed video aims to dispel myths, answer questions and provide some helpful information.

Watch the signed video here.

How safe is the Covid-19 vaccine?

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any Covid-19 vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.

The World Health Organisation has a Q&A section on their website responding to some commonly asked questions about the vaccine, including information about their safety. Have a look here.


BBC Asian Network address vaccine concerns

BBC Asian Network have produced videos in five languages: Gujarati, Punjabi, Sylheti, Tamil and Urdu to help address any safety concerns around Covid vaccines in the South Asian community. Watch them here.


Covid vaccination easy read leaflets

The government has produced a range of easy read leaflets explaining the vaccine process, and what to expect after your have received the vaccine. Take a look at the easy read guides here.


Stay safe

There are reports of people being contacted by fraudsters offering the Covid-19 vaccine. The reports show text messages being sent providing a link for people to register their details to apply for the vaccine, some of which require payment.

These text messages and links are not sent from, or linked to, the NHS.

Please note the NHS will:

  • Never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
  • Never ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.

If you receive a text message from an unfamiliar number:

  • Do not respond to it or click on any links.
  • Do not enter any personal or log on details.
  • Do not make any payment
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