Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 vaccination

Please use this page to find questions and answers regarding the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

Where can I get my COVID-19 vaccination?

It’s easy to get your COVID-19 vaccination in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – whether you prefer to book an appointment or walk in at a site near you.

If you would like to book an appointment to get your vaccine, you can do this by visiting www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119.

If you would prefer to walk in for your vaccination, you can do so at a range of sites in our area – visit www.thevaccinators.co.uk for the latest information on available walk-in clinics. This website includes detail on both regular walk-in clinics at our existing vaccination clinics, and pop-up vaccination clinics.

I've already had COVID-19 so why would I need the vaccine?

You can still get COVID-19 even if you have had it in the past.

The best protection from COVID-19 infection is to be fully vaccinated and to take recommended precautions . The COVID-19 vaccination can help to prevent you from getting infected and can help reduce the impact of COVID-19 infection, so your symptoms may be less severe. There is good evidence that being up to date with vaccination reduces your chance of severe infection.

Why have I caught COVID-19 once or more despite being fully vaccinated?

The way that the COVID-19 covid virus works means that getting the disease does not give you lifelong immunity and you can get the disease more than once. There are also ongoing changes to the virus which means that you can be re-infected with a different type of covid virus (called variants) after your first infection.

Vaccination is very effective at preventing severe COVID-19 disease, but no vaccination is 100% effective. So some people will still get COVID-19 despite having been fully vaccinated and having had a covid infection before.

The COVID-19 vaccination does reduce the impact of COVID-19 infection. Since we have had widespread vaccination we are seeing many, many fewer admissions to hospital even when COVID-19 infection rates in the general community are very high.

What COVID-19 vaccinations am I eligible for?

You can find the latest information on vaccine eligibility via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine. In broad terms, the following applies:

2 doses – everyone aged 5+.

3rd primary dose – People aged 5+ who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their 1st or 2nd dose.

Booster dose – Everyone aged 16+, and children aged 12-15 who are in a group classed as being at high risk from COVID-19. You can find out more about this group on the NHS webpage.

Spring booster dose – People aged 75 or over, those aged 12 or over with a weakened immune system, and residents of care homes for older people.

Please do visit the NHS website to find further detail on dose intervals, any information you’re required to bring to your vaccination, and other important information on the vaccine.

I’ve heard about the autumn booster programme in the news or from people around me. Will I be eligible, and if so, when can I get the Autumn booster?

In mid-July, the Government announced that the following groups will be eligible for an autumn booster:

  • all adults aged 50 years and over
  • those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women
  • those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers
  • residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
  • frontline health and social care workers

These groups were agreed by central Government at the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Planning is now underway for the roll-out of the autumn booster programme. The exact timings of the programme have not yet been confirmed by the Government. We will update this page when appropriate to share more information; for now, if you are eligible for an autumn booster, please do not contact the NHS to request this dose. We will not be able to offer you the autumn booster just yet.

How long should I wait to get my (next) COVID-19 vaccine if I have tested positive for, or am showing symptoms of, COVID-19?

If you or your child have tested positive for COVID-19, you need to wait a number of weeks before having the vaccine. You need to wait:

  • 4 weeks (28 days) if you're aged 18 years old or over
  • 12 weeks (84 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17 years old
  • 4 weeks (28 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17 years old and at high risk from COVID-19, or live with someone who has a weakened immune system

This starts from the date that symptoms started, or the date of the positive test result, whichever was earlier.

If you or your child have symptoms of COVID-19, but have not had a test, wait until the symptoms are better to get a COVID-19 vaccine. You can talk to a healthcare professional at the site about this.

How can I demonstrate my COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel?

If you want to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel, you’ll need to get an NHS COVID Pass. You can access the pass through your NHS app if you have this installed on your phone. You can also request an NHS COVID Pass online via https://covid-status.service.nhsx.nhs.uk/.

If you would prefer to get a paper copy of your pass in the post, you can request this on the “Get your COVID Pass letter” NHS webpage. Through this webpage you can also ask for an audio version, a big print version, or a Braille version of your letter.

To find out more about the NHS COVID Pass, visit the NHS COVID Pass landing page.

Are the vaccines safe?

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

They can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Any side effects are usually mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

More serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting, are very rare.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccine side effects and safety

Does the vaccine contain any animal products?

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain egg or animal products.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a tiny amount of alcohol, but this is less than in some everyday foods like bread.

You can find out about the ingredients in the vaccines currently available in the UK: