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Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

First published:
20 January 2021
Last updated:

About COVID-19 vaccination

A safe and effective vaccine will offer individual protection from COVID-19. It will also offer greater protection for our loved ones and communities.

Vaccinating the population with a safe and effective vaccine will:

  • protect people from COVID-19
  • enable us to lift restrictions and maintain this position
  • help us to return to a more normal life

There are 3 COVID-19 vaccines currently available, approved as safe by the UK Medicines Regulator:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca
  • Moderna

In line with expert advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI ), the NHS will make the appropriate vaccine available at the right time for individuals.  

Read the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination on Public Health Wales.

Getting your vaccination appointment

The NHS is vaccinating people in order of clinical risk (on GOV.UK), largely based on age groups from old to young. Some people are much more at risk than others from serious complications of COVID-19. This is why the vaccine programme was prioritised to protect them first.

When it is your turn to receive the vaccine, you will be contacted directly by the NHS. You may be contacted by either telephone or letter. 

All health boards are inviting all eligible individuals to be vaccinated. If you have not received an invitation or think you have been missed contact your local health board. Local health boards are offering vaccination walk-in clinics so please ask for details.

Beware of scams: the vaccination is free of charge to everyone.

You will never be asked for payment or bank details.

Receiving a second vaccination dose

A second vaccine dose will be offered to everyone aged 12 and above, following advice from the JCVI based on their consideration of the available evidence. This will be around 8-12 weeks after a first dose, depending on age and clinical vulnerability. For adults and vulnerable young people aged 12-15 years, the interval is advised to be around 8 weeks. 

The JCVI looked at the benefits and risks of offering a second dose to healthy 12 to 17 year olds and found that it extended protection against COVID-19 and further reduced the risk of infection, serious illness and hospitalisation. These benefits were balanced against data showing very rare adverse events following vaccination in young people. For this group, an interval of 12 weeks is recommended between first and second doses. If someone in this age group has had a COVID-19 infection since their first dose, they should be given the second vaccine dose 12 weeks or more after the COVID-19 infection.  

Read more about the COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds.

When you have your COVID-19 vaccine, you will get a credit card-sized NHS Wales immunisation card. The card is used to record information about your vaccine, your appointments and contains advice on how to report any side effects.

COVID-19 vaccine for pregnancy

The Wales Chief Medical Officer has advised women who were planning a pregnancy or who are already pregnant to take up the offer of vaccination, as one of the best defences against severe infection.

Growing evidence shows that pregnant women may be at increased risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19 compared with the rest of the population, particularly in the third trimester.

PHW and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have produced a pregnancy COVID-19 vaccine decision making tool

If you are pregnant it's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because these vaccines have been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified. 

Pregnant women who started a course of vaccine should complete vaccination using same vaccine. You can talk to your vaccinator or a healthcare professional about the jab if you have any concerns.

Vaccines for 5 to 11 year olds

Health Boards are offering all 5-11 years 2 doses of the paediatric vaccine. Read more about the COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds.

Vaccines for 12 to 15 year olds

The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to young people aged 12 to 15 years from 4 October. Read more about the COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds.

Booster campaign

The JCVI has recommended the booster campaign be extended to everyone aged 18 years and above, based on emerging evidence of reduced immunity over time. 

JCVI advice on the UK vaccine response to the Omicron variant : 29th November 21 (www.gov.uk)

The Committee also advised that boosters should also be offered healthy 16-17 year olds and 12-15s considered ‘at risk’. 

JCVI statement on COVID-19 vaccination of children and young people: 22 December 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

You will be offered the booster when it is your turn according to age and clinical risk in line with JCVI’s advice.

Third vaccine dose for immunosuppressed people

Adults and children aged 12 and over with a severely weakened immune system are recommended a third COVID-19 vaccine primary dose. The NHS will contact you directly to arrange an appointment at a time that is suitable in your treatment.

Self-isolation

If you’ve had the coronavirus vaccine but have symptoms or have been told to self-isolate you must still self-isolate.

After your vaccination