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Vaccine groups

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.

It's being given to:

  • Everyone aged 16 and over
  • 12-15 year olds with underlying health conditions (vaccinated by their GP or in hospital)
  • Healthy 12-15 year olds (vaccinated in school)

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK

Advice if you're of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding

If you're pregnant, you should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine when you're eligible for it.

It's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine because they've been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and have not caused any safety issues.

You can also have the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks with you.

There's no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine has any effect on your chances of becoming pregnant. There's no need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination.

The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

Read the latest COVID-19 vaccine advice if you're pregnant, may get pregnant or are breastfeeding on GOV.UK

Read the latest Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Midwives statement on the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility

Update to JVCI group 6:

The JCVI has advised that adult household contacts of adults (over 16 years of age) with severe immunosuppression should be offered COVID-19 vaccination alongside priority group 6. There is more information on the links below:



How do I register with a GP? 

You can find a GP practice on the NHS.uk website. You will need to fill in a form to register – for some practices you can do this on their website so check there first. Alternatively, you can download a GMS1 registration form on GOV.UK or arrange a time to pick up a registration form from the GP surgery. If you have problems registering with a GP practice, call the NHS England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 22 33. 

I’m aged 50+, do I have to go to a national vaccination centre for my vaccine or can I go to a local GP run centre?

You have a choice of places to be vaccinated:

  • By your GP services who will contact you directly, if they haven't already.
  • At a vaccination centre

You will be sent a letter with instructions on how to book your appointment at a vaccination centre.

Please ignore this letter if:

  • You would prefer to be vaccinated through your local GP services. If you do, you just need to wait for your GP services to contact you which, if they haven't already, will be soon. You don't need to contact your GP.
  • You already have an appointment booked to be vaccinated at a local GP service. If you have, there is nothing you need to do except turn up to your scheduled GP appointment.
  • You've had your first vaccine dose already. If you have, the NHS will contact you when it's time for your second dose.

Please don’t contact your GP about a vaccination appointment, the NHS will be in touch when an appointment is available.

Am I at increased risk from COVID-19 infection?  

Coronavirus can affect anyone. If you are an older adult and have a long-term health condition, COVID-19 can be very serious and in some cases fatal.  

You should have the COVID-19 vaccine if you are in one of the following categories:  

  • you're aged 40 or over
  • you'll turn 40 before 1 July 2021
  • people at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers
  • people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • people with a learning disability
  • people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
  • People aged over 16 years of age who live with severely immunosuppressed adults. 

I am in one of the listed groups above, why do I have to wait?  

This is the biggest vaccination programme in UK history, which means it will take time to vaccinate all the eligible people. 

The COVID-19 vaccines will become available as they are approved for use and as each batch is manufactured. So every dose is needed to protect those at highest risk.  

Who cannot have the vaccine? 

The vaccines do not contain living organisms and are safe for people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine.  

A very small number of people who are at risk of COVID-19 cannot have the vaccine – this includes people who have severe allergies.  

People who are suffering from a fever-type illness should also postpone having the vaccine until they have recovered.  

What counts as a frontline social care worker?

The government has said: “All frontline social care workers directly working with people clinically vulnerable to COIVD-19 who need care and support irrespective of where they work (for example in people’s own homes, day centres, care homes for working age adults or supported housing); whether they care for clinically vulnerable adults or children; or who they are employed by (for example local government, NHS private sector or third sector employees).” 

I have a health condition and am offered the flu vaccine each year, does that mean I’ll be offered a covid vaccine as part of group 6?

Not necessarily. The list of people defined as “at risk” or “clinically vulnerable” is slightly different from the list of people who are eligible for flu vaccine. The JCVI defines clinically vulnerable people as those with: 

  • Chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma
  • Chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Severe and profound learning disability
  • Diabetes
  • Solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
  • People with specific cancers
  • Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
  • Asplenia and splenic dysfunction
  • Very obese (BMI of 40 or above)
  • Severe mental illness (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disease)

GP practices will be working through their lists of patients and will contact them when they are eligible and have supply of the vaccine

I have asthma, will I get a covid vaccination?

Not necessarily. An individual with a more severe case of asthma may have been included in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group, in which case they will be vaccinated in group 4.

People with asthma which requires continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, will be vaccinated in priority group 6.

This will include:

  • anyone who has ever had an emergency asthma admission or;
  • those who have an asthma diagnosis and have had 3 prescriptions for oral steroids over a 3-month period (each prescription must fall within separate individual month windows), as an indication of repeated or continuous oral steroids.

I've now been asked to shield, what happens next?

On 16 February, the government announced they were expanding the number of people being asked to shield, that is those identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable to serious complications from covid.

Rather than being placed on the shielding list as a person has one type of health condition, people are being asked to shield based on a combination of factors including underlying health conditions, ethnicity, age, weight and deprivation.

All the new people now identified as extremely clinically vulnerable will get a letter from the government asking them to shield and explaining what they need to do.  This means they will be advised to stay at home as much as possible and offered help such as for food or getting medicines where needed.

This data will be shared with GPs and the patients will be prioritised to be vaccinated. If newly added shielded patients haven’t yet had a vaccine, please do not contact your GP about the vaccine, the NHS will contact you when vaccines are available. 



NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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