After 30 June, many people won’t be able to get COVID vaccines from the NHS
The COVID-19 virus has been circulating for over three years, but vaccines have saved countless lives around the world – protecting us from serious illness and hospitalisation.
The NHS has provided them for free, to all adults and children aged 5 and over. However, after 30 June, only those at increased risk of severe illness will be offered a vaccine.
Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, a GP in London and Clinical Advisor for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme says: “Most people have now taken up their offer of COVID-19 vaccination. But after 30 June, many people won’t be able to get COVID vaccines from the NHS.
“So, if you’ve only had one COVID-19 vaccination, or not had a vaccination at all, please book yours – before it’s too late.”
Dr Wijesuriya explains that some people might have chosen to wait to have their vaccination.
“I have had a few patients say they were worried about side-effects of the vaccine and wanted to wait until more people had had it.
“Now, millions of adults and children around the world have had the COVID-19 vaccines, including people from communities like ours.
“Like all medicines, there can be mild, short-term side effects, and not everyone is affected in the same way, but they remain the best way to play our part in protecting ourselves and our loved ones from the impact of this virus.”
The COVID-19 vaccines offered by the NHS do not contain eggs, pork or beef.
A newer vaccine (made by Sanofi-GSK) contains a shark-derived oil. Other NHS COVID vaccines contain no animal products, and Muslim scholars have said they are permissible and suitable for a halal diet.
If you need to travel overseas, it’s also important to follow the latest travel advice around vaccinations. You can check entry requirements at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Some countries still require you to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status upon arrival. So don’t get caught out and book your vaccine online at www.nhs.uk/COVIDvaccine or call 119 for free. And if you’ve already had your vaccine, you can download or print an up-to-date NHS COVID Pass.
Spring offer for those at highest risk
As protection against COVID (either from catching the virus or from a previous vaccination) fades over time, the NHS is again offering the COVID-19 vaccine this spring to those that need it. These include people who will be aged 75 and over by 30 June 2023, people with a weakened immune system, and residents of care homes for older adults (and half of eligible care home residents have had their jab already).
After the Government decides who should be offered the vaccine again later in the year ahead of winter, the NHS will let people know when it’s their turn to come forward.
Catching up on your health
There’s no better time to find out more about the life-saving benefits of other vaccines and check if you and your loved ones are up to date with yours. It’s never too late to catch up on missed doses of routine vaccinations.
You can find out more about the different vaccines you and your child should have at www.nhs.uk and searching for ‘NHS vaccinations and when to have them’.
If you’re unsure if your child is due a vaccination or has missed one, you can check their red book or contact your GP practice.