I am looking after a loved one and I have not yet had my Covid-19 vaccination, what should I do?
If you are already registered as a carer with your GP practice you then need to wait to be contacted. When you are contacted by the NHS about your vaccine, book an appointment as soon as possible.
Where will I get my vaccine & do I need to do anything to prepare for it?
You will be invited to have your vaccination either at a local vaccination site in your local community supported by your GP practice, or at a large vaccination centre.
Once you have your appointment details you may need to take steps to arrange alternative support for the person you are caring for while you are at your vaccination appointment.
You may wish to read the coronavirus vaccination leaflet in advance so you know what to expect when being vaccinated. Public Health England has created an easy read guide that provides information on what to expect both prior to, and after your Covid-19 jab which may be useful for yourself or to share with your loved ones.
What happens on the day of my vaccination?
When you go and get your vaccine, take along with you the confirmation of your appointment, photo ID to prove your identity, and your NHS number if you have it.
You do not need to provide proof you are a carer.
If you are an eligible unpaid carer and you will be accompanying the person you care for to their vaccination appointment at their local GP vaccination service, and you haven’t received your invitation yet, if you wish to receive your vaccination at the same time you must make this known to the GP surgery in advance to confirm an appointment. The vaccination sites are not able to support walk-in appointments
How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
The 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus from 3 or 4 weeks after you've had it.
But you need to have the 2 doses of the vaccine to give you longer-lasting protection.
There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.
This means it is important to:
- continue to follow social distancing guidance
- if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people
Read more about why vaccines are safe and important, including how they work and what they contain.
Are there any vaccine side effects?
Most side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
- sore arm where the needle went in
- feeling tired
- a headache
- feeling achy
- feeling or being sick
The NHS suggest taking painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.
If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection.
If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.
Contact your GP surgery if you have a headache for more than 4 days after your vaccination or get bruising somewhere other than where you had your vaccination.
You can report any suspected side effect using the Coronavirus Yellow Card safety scheme.