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COVID-19 vaccine

Please see information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme for people living in Essex and Suffolk below.

If you have booked a COVID-19 vaccination appointment or plan to attend a walk-in clinic, please remember to wear a face covering and observe social distancing guidelines at the vaccination centre.

We are holding walk-in clinics at many of our sites, but please note that availability will depend on vaccine supply, which may be limited on some days. 

To minimise wait times and avoid disappointment, we recommend booking in advance if you are able. You can book online via the NHS website, or call 0344 2573 961.

Getting the vaccine

The NHS is offering free COVID-19 booster jabs this autumn.

You can get a booster jab this autumn if you have had at least two doses of vaccine, and your last dose was at least three months (90 days) ago and:

  • you are aged 50 or over
  • you are aged 5 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • you are a frontline health or social care worker
  • you live or work in a care home
  • you are aged 5 or over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system
  • you are aged 16 or over an dare a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19

People in eligible groups are being invited to book their autumn booster vaccines, starting with those at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. People in other eligible groups will be invited to book their appointments over the coming weeks.

If you've received your invitation, don't delay. Please book your booster via the NHS website, or call 0344 2573 961.

Vaccination is our best form of defence against COVID-19. Booster vaccines help provide longer-lasting protection; they lower your chance of getting infected, and reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill.

Children aged 5 to 11 are eligible for two paediatric (child) doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. A paediatric dose is smaller than doses given to people aged 12 and over.

The COVID-19 vaccine is already making a big difference and helping protect us all. The vaccine will help children build up their immunity and increase protection against any future waves of COVID-19.

The NHS wants to support families to make an informed choice. It also wants to make things convenient and child-friendly for families who choose to have their child vaccinated.

Many vaccination centres, pharmacies and GPs are offering jabs for this age group. You can view these sites and make an appointment through the National Booking Service or by calling 0344 2573 961.

Children aged 5 to 11 with no underlying health conditions will be offered two paediatric doses of vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between doses.

Children aged 5 to 11 who are at more risk from the virus will also be offered two paediatric doses of vaccine, with 8 weeks between doses. This autumn, if more than three months have passed since their second vaccine dose, children in this group will also be offered a third ‘booster’ dose of vaccine.

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to young people aged between 12 and 15.

Most children will be offered the vaccine during school hours. Young people aged 12 to 15 can also book to have their vaccine outside of school if they prefer.

To make an appointment, visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 0344 2573 961.

Young people aged 12 to 15 with no underlying health conditions will be offered two doses of vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between doses.

Young people aged 12 to 15 who are at more risk from the virus will also be offered two doses of vaccine, with 8 weeks between doses. This autumn, if more than three months have passed since their second vaccine dose, children in this group will also be offered a third ‘booster’ dose of vaccine.

Walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations may be available at some sites, depending on vaccine supply.

People without booked appointments will be vaccinated on a first come, first served basis. The walk-in clinic will close once all vaccinations available for the day have been administered.

You can find details of upcoming walk-in sessions organised by EPUT on our COVID-19 walk in clinics page.

If you plan to attend a walk-in clinic, please bring ID with proof of your age (for example, driving licence or passport) and make a note of your NHS number. Please note capacity for walk-ins is limited on some days. You may need to wait to be vaccinated, or you may be unable to get your vaccine on your chosen day.

To minimise wait times and avoid disappointment, we recommend booking in advance if you are able. You can book online via the NHS website, or call 0344 2573 961.

If you attend a walk-in session but already had an appointment booked, please remember to cancel your original appointment online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by phoning 0344 2573 961.

You can book a COVID-19 vaccination online or by calling 0344 2573 961. 

You can book for someone else, such as your child or someone you care for, if you have their consent. You’ll need to enter their details when booking.

Many of our vaccination centres have introduced a pre-screening form. If you have booked an appointment at one of our vaccination centres, you may receive a text and/or email from us inviting you to complete a pre-screening form in advance.

Please check the sender of the message to ensure it is genuine. The text message is from NHS-NoReply and the email is from vaccscreeningsupport (Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust).

The pre-screening form asks a series of questions about your health history. Completing the pre-screening questionnaire is optional, but it does mean you’ll be able to skip part of the pre-screening process on the day, making your visit as quick and easy as possible.

Got a question?

If you have a question about the vaccine or need help booking your appointment, please get in touch.

Call the Essex and Suffolk COVID-19 vaccination helpline on 0344 257 3961.

Please note the helpline is available from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, and on weekends and bank holidays, 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Full Fact is a charity which provides independent, confidential fact-checking and advice.

If you have a question about the COVID-19 vaccine, or if you’ve read or heard something you’re not sure is true, send it to their WhatsApp helpline number, 07521 770995 for free.

Frequently asked questions

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 safety standards.

So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine. Reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting problems, have been very rare. To find out more about each of the vaccines approved for use in the UK, see:

For more information on the development, testing, and safety of COVID-19 vaccines for different groups, please visit sneevaccine.org.uk.

You can be vaccinated against COVID-19 if:

  • you’re pregnant or think you might be
  • you’re breastfeeding
  • you’re trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future

Pregnant women who have not yet had the vaccine are strongly encouraged take up the vaccine as soon as possible. Pregnant women are in the moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) group – getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against the known risks of COVID-19 for both mother and baby.

You may also wish to discuss the benefits and potential risks of having a COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy with your GP or maternity team. You may find this information published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists helpful.

A pregnancy and vaccines helpline has been set up by Full Fact, a charity which provides independent, confidential, factual information on a number of misinformation issues.  If you have a question about the Covid-19 vaccine you can add their WhatsApp helpline number, 07521 770995, and send your questions or concerns to their independent, impartial fact checking team.

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. It only takes a few seconds.

Everyone aged 5 and over is eligible for two doses of vaccine. It’s important you have at least two doses of vaccine against COVID-19.

People aged 18 and over, and those with underlying health conditions that may make them more vulnerable to COVID-19, are eligible to have their second vaccine dose eight weeks after their first dose. Children and young people aged 12 to 17 without underlying health conditions will be offered their second vaccine dose twelve weeks after their first dose.

People with a weakened immune system are being offered a third primary dose of vaccine. If you’re eligible, your GP or hospital consultant should contact you to let you know you can have a third dose.

People who are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are being offered a booster dose of vaccine this autumn. The booster vaccine provides longer-lasting protection from COVID-19.

If you are in one of the eligible groups, and at least three months (90 days) have passed since your last vaccine dose, book your appointment now.

The vaccine was first offered to people at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, such as elderly people, people with underlying health conditions, and people who work in healthcare, social care or care homes.

Thanks to the quick rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, the NHS is now able to offer vaccines to anyone aged 5 or over.

Having the vaccine helps you build immunity. It makes you less likely to catch COVID-19 and spread it to others. The vaccine also reduces your risk of becoming seriously ill and needing to go to hospital if you do catch COVID-19.

If you’re eligible for the vaccine and haven’t yet taken up the offer, don’t delay. Book your appointment online or call 0344 2573 961.

You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have.

Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people will only be offered certain vaccines.

For example, children and young people aged under 18 will only be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

When you book your appointment online or call 0344 2573 961, you will only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you. 

COVID-19 vaccines are being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs, and at larger vaccination. A growing number of mobile initiatives including buses, vans and trailers, and pop-up community clinics are also offering the vaccine.

EPUT operates several large vaccination centres across Essex and Suffolk. These can give hundreds of vaccines a day, thousands a week, and can scale up or down according to supply and demand for the vaccine.

Large vaccination centres operated by EPUT in Mid and South Essex:

  • Alistair Farquharson Centre, Thurrock Community Hospital
  • Civic Centre, Southend-on-Sea
  • County Hall, Chelmsford
  • The Lodge, Runwell, Wickford

For a full list of vaccination sites in Mid and South Essex, visit the Essex COVID vaccine website.

Large vaccination centres operated by EPUT in Suffolk and North East Essex:

  • Chevington Close, Bury St Edmunds
  • Clacton Hospital, Clacton-on-Sea
  • Gainsborough Sports Centre, Ipswich
  • JobServe Community Stadium, Colchester

For a full list of vaccination sites in Suffolk and North East Essex, visit sneevaccine.org.uk

Please only attend these sites if you have an appointment or if a walk-in vaccination clinic is taking place.

People in eligible groups are being invited to book their autumn booster vaccines, starting with those at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

If you’ve been invited to book your vaccine, don’t delay. Please book your booster via the NHS website or call 0344 2573 961.

People in other eligible groups will be invited to book their appointments over the coming weeks. Invitations will be sent via post, email and text message (SMS). You can also check the EPUT website for the latest updates.

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