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COVID-19 vaccine FAQs

This page is updated regularly. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccination visit If you can't find the answer to your question below, please email  

Last updated: 22/11/21

How do I get my 1st vaccine?

1st doses: You can get your 1st vaccine at one of the walk-in sessions listed below. You do not need an appointment and you can just drop in. If you are not registered with a GP, please you the walk-in sessions.

Or, if you would prefer to book a certain time, you can book and manage your appointment online or by calling 119. 

Priory Campus, Pontefract Road, Lundwood, Barnsley S71 5PN (Free parking available, bus stops nearby)

Walk-in clinics throughout October 2021:

  • Wednesday 6th, 13th, 20th: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Thursday 7th, 14th, 21st: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Friday 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Saturday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Sunday 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th: 9.30am to 3.30pm

Walk-in clinics throughout November 2021:

  • Wednesday 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Thursday 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Friday 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Saturday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Sunday 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th: 9.30am to 3.30pm

Extra info for walk-in clinics

  • There's a great team of volunteers guiding you through the venue. It's always a good idea to have something to eat and drink before coming down for your vaccine. The team are really friendly and they will answer any questions you might have. Please wear your face covering. You will be asked to wait for 15 minutes after you have had your vaccine.

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How and when will I be invited for my second dose vaccination?

From 1st October we are asking you to book your 2nd vaccine online or by calling 119. You cannot use the walk-in option for your 2nd dose as the vaccine centres will now be very busy offering a range of vaccines. The booking process is easy though and if you need to change your appointment at any time you can do that online or by calling 119 too.

You need two doses of the vaccine to get the best protection from the virus. It will be the same type of vaccine. If you are aged between 16 and 17 years and 8 months, you will be currently offered 1 vaccine only.

Your 2nd vaccine is given 8 to 12 weeks after your 1st dose. You can book your 2nd vaccine online or by calling 119. You will not be able to book your appointment for any sooner than 8 weeks after your 1st vaccine.

16 and 17 year olds are now being offered a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. From November 22nd, 16 and 17 year olds will be able to book their second dose via the online booking system or by calling 119.

When will 12 to 15 year-olds be offered the vaccine? 

People aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced Monday 13 September.

In line with the recommendation of the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the government sought the views of the 4 UK CMOs on the wider issues that are relevant to the health of children.

The government has accepted the advice of the 4 UK CMOs and the NHS is preparing to deliver a schools-based vaccination programme, which is the successful model used for vaccinations including for HPV and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP), supported by GPs and community pharmacies. Invitations for vaccination will begin next week.

Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination healthcare staff prior to vaccination in line with existing school vaccination programmes.

Healthy school-aged children aged 12 to 15 will receive their COVID-19 vaccination in their school. Anyone aged 12-15 who is home schooled, in secure services or specialist mental health settings will be contacted during October and invited to a dedicated local session. 

The school vaccination and immunisation team is working with schools now to offer the vaccine to all 12-15 year-olds. 

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 Who will be offered the booster vaccine and when?

The booster programme is being rolled out to the same priority groups as previously. The NHS, or your employer if you work in health or social care, will contact you when your group is eligible. Please wait for your invite.

From Monday 8th November, the National Booking System will allow someone to pre-book their booster appointment one month before they are eligible.

From Monday 8th of November, you can now book an appointment after five months. This means that someone could pre-book their jab for the day they reach the six month milestone, rather than waiting days or weeks for a convenient appointment.

From Monday 22nd November, All people aged 40 to 49 years old who have not previously been eligible will be able to book an appointment for a booster dose using the online booking service or by calling 119.

Important: There needs to be a gap of 6 full calendar months between your 2nd dose and when you can have your booster. People in the groups below will only be invited once the 6 months has passed.  The booster will be offered to:

  • care home residents,
  • health and social care workers,
  • people aged over 40,
  • those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19,
  • adult carers,
  • and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

Why you are being offered a COVID-19 booster

Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to wane over time. This booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first two doses and give you longer term protection.

The booster will help to reduce the risk of you needing admission to hospital due to COVID-19 infection this winter.

  • Timing of booster

The booster is being offered at least 6 months after your last dose. Like your previous doses, the vaccine will be given in your upper arm.

Protection against severe disease from the first 2 doses seems to decline very slowly. So don’t worry if your booster vaccine is given a few weeks after the 6 months time-point. The booster dose should help to extend your protection into the next year.

  • Which vaccine you will be offered

You will be given a booster dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. These vaccines have already been given to millions of people in the UK.

You will be offered the right vaccine for you which may be the same or different from the vaccines that you had before. Those who could only have AstraZeneca will be offered this vaccine.

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Is my GP giving COVID-19 vaccines?

Your GP practice is working with other GP practices across Barnsley to ensure that everyone in the priority groups is offered a vaccine. All vaccines are currently being offered at the local vaccination centres and will not be offered in a GP surgery. The booster vaccine is Pfizer which means that you will need to wait 15 minutes after your vaccine, which is one of the reasons it would be very difficult for your GP practice to offer them. 

GP practices teams will be coming out to vaccinate people living in a care home and the Barnsley community health teams will be offering the booster vaccine to those people who are housebound.

When will care home residents get their booster vaccine?

GP practices will be working with care homes for older adults to offer residents and staff the booster vaccine. The aim is that all care home residents have been offered their booster vaccines by November 2021.

From 11 November 2021 all care home workers, and anyone entering a care home, will need to be fully vaccinated unless they're exempt under the regulations. 

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What happens when I go for my COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

There will be a team on hand to make your appointment visit run as smoothly as possible. There are a few things you can do to help us:

  • Please try to arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. If you do arrive early, please stay safe in your car until it is time for your appointment to help maintain social distancing measures. It is also cold at this time of year, so please wrap up warm.
  • Please wear your face coverings as you will be entering a medical building.
  • If you need help with mobility please alert one of the staff and we will help support you and navigate you through the clinic. 

When you arrive, volunteer marshals will show you where to go and you will be asked to sign in at a reception area.

Once you have had your vaccination, you will be asked to wait for 15 minutes to ensure there are no adverse side effects. You must then leave the premises as soon as you are invited to do so.

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How many people have been vaccinated so far?

Figures for the total numbers of people who have been vaccinated in the UK and across our region are updated regularly and are available on the NHS England website.

 How do I get confirmation of my vaccination status?

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status allows you to show others that you’ve had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine when travelling abroad to some countries or territories. A full course is currently 2 doses of any approved vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination status is available to people who live in England. You can get your vaccination status in digital or paper format.

You can now access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or by tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel.

If you do not have access to a smartphone and know that the country you are travelling to requires COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine. We expect the letter to take up to 5 days to reach you.

! Please, do not contact your GP surgery about your COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status. If you have a problem with the status shown on your pass please email our team who can advise.

For the full details on vaccination status click here. 

I’m a health or care provider, when will I be able to get a vaccine?

Front line health and care workers who meet the criteria as set out within the COVID-19: Green Book are part of the priority groups.

All current health and care services are now being invited for their booster vaccines, once there has been 6 full calendar months (180 days) gap from your 2nd dose. You cannot have, and do not need, your booster until at least 6 months after your 2nd dose.

You will be invited by your employer (or the Barnsley public health team). You may also get an invite from the national vaccine service, based on the vaccine status on your GP record. 

If you are a member of health and care staff, and you chose to book via the national vaccine booking system (online or via 119) rather than directly through your employer/public health, they may still need to record your booster vaccination status. Please check with your employer/public health to see how that's done.

Your booking will be for your Covid-19 booster vaccine only and not your flu jab. That will be offered/booked separately and will differ with each employer.

If you are a frontline health and social care worker who hasn't had your 1st or 2nd vaccine yet, you can easily get these in the ways described at the top of this page.

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Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe?  

Millions of people have had a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and the safety of the vaccines continues to be monitored. Reports of serious side effects are very rare.

Common side effects

Like all medicines, the COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Most side effects are 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

You may also get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery 1 or 2 days after your vaccination. You can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to. If your symptoms get worse or you're worried, call 111.

If you have a high temperature that lasts longer than 2 days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have COVID-19. Stay at home and get a test.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine, but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

More details on the COVID_19 vaccine safety. 

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

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 Should people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?

Yes, they should get vaccinated. We know that your body will produce a better and stronger antibody response if you have the vaccine than if you get the infection naturally. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is their time to do so.  

People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until at least four weeks after they have recovered.

What this advice on why you should still get your vaccine if you have had COVID-19.

Why is it important to get your COVID-19 vaccination?

Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can, should protect you and may help to protect your family and those you care for. 

The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services. 

Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly?

Yes, the vaccines do not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products. If, and when, further vaccines are approved we will publish information about known allergens or ingredients that are important for certain faiths, cultures and beliefs. 

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What is the current advice if you're of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding? 

The COVID vaccination is the best protection against the know risks of COVID-19 for both you and your baby. If you're pregnant and have not had a COVID-19 vaccine yet, it's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

Watch the video below for more information about getting a vaccine in Barnsley during pregnancy or speak to your GP or maternity team for more infomation.

Read more about the vaccine during pregnancy or breastfeeding here.

I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?

The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. It is important to get all your winter vaccinations to give you the best protection.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu? 

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family and patients from flu this winter. 

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Can I volunteer to help out at the vaccination sites?

Barnsley CVS is working with the CCG and our partners as part of the delivery of the local vaccination programme. They have an important role in providing marshalling, both inside and outside of the vaccination venues, and making people feel welcome. The role of a volunteer is vital in helping with the smooth running of the programme.

We've been truly humbled by the fantastic response from members of our local communities coming forward in large numbers to volunteer at the vaccination sites. On behalf of the vaccination programme, thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time, energy and enthusiasm so far and continues to do so. 

We are still looking to recruit volunteers to assist at the local vaccination centres. To express your interest, contact Barnsley CVS via email at or phone on 01226 812183.

I'm a registered clinician or recently retired and interested in being involved as a vaccinator at one of the vaccination sites, who do I contact? 

If you are a registered clinician or recently retired and interested in being involved as a vaccinator to support the delivery of the local vaccination programme, please email us at  with your details for follow up under the subject heading vaccinators. 

We are a local business, is there a way that we can offer our premises for support with the vaccination programme?

We have received a number of offers of support from local and national businesses in relation to the use of their premises for the delivery of our Barnsley Vaccination Programme.  Whilst we are extremely grateful for these kind offers of support, currently three designated sites have been agreed within the borough that already have the requisite infrastructure in place and at the moment the NHS locally are not being asked to identify more. 

Translated Resources

  1. Translated: How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test at home

The UK government have compiled translated versions of guidance on how to take a rapid lateral flow test at home.

Also available embedded in the blogpost in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Dari, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Pashto, Polish, Punjabi Gurmukhi, Punjabi Shamakhi, Romanian, Slovak, Somali, Turkish, Urdu and Welsh. 

  1. Translated: How to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19)

There is now an Easy Read version of the guidance in English.

  1. Translated: COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children and young people

A leaflet on the second Covid vaccine for 16 - 17 year olds is available to download.

  1. Translated: Vaccination leaflets and posters for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (updated)

Versions of the easy read leaflet are available in Audio, Braille, English Large print and British Sign Language (video).

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