The coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against Covid-19. 

Who can get the Covid-19 vaccine 

  • Everyone aged 5 and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 
  • People aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose. 
  • People aged 12 and over who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses, will be offered a 3rd dose and a booster (4th dose). 
  • People aged 75 and over, people who live in care homes for older people, and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, have been offered a spring booster. 

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. 
  1. At local clinics in Tower Hamlets, set up by the council and local NHS. Appointments at local clinics can be booked through their online system or by calling the council helpline 020 7364 3030 (Monday- Friday, 9am – 5pm). 

NHS 119 BSL Service 

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 

How the service works 

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. 


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