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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 in due course
  • 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.

COVID-19 vaccine for pregnancy

Vaccination is being offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population, based on age and clinical risk.

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 they've 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.
 

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 now inviting everyone 16 or over 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

Everyone over the age of 18 (including those within 3 months of their 18th birthday) will get two doses of the vaccine. You will have a high level of protection after the first dose. You will be called back for your second dose within 12 weeks of the first.

The JCVI has announced that those aged those aged 16 or 17 you will be offered a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.  

JCVI statement on COVID-19 vaccination of children and young people aged 12 to 17 years: 4 August 2021 - GOV.UK

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.

Autumn booster campaign

The JCVI has recommended a booster campaign for certain groups, based on emerging evidence of reduced immunity over time. 

Vaccination will begin in September in Wales, initially offering a booster vaccine to people living and working in care homes and frontline health and social care staff.

The aim of booster vaccination is to reduce incidence of COVID-19 and maximise protection in those who are most vulnerable to serious infection, ahead of the winter months. 

The vaccine continues to be the best way to prevent serious illness and the spread of COVID-19 and every eligible adult is urged to take-up both doses when asked and a booster dose, if eligible.

In their advice the JCVI recommends that individuals who were eligible and received vaccination in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme (priority groups 1-9) should be offered a third dose COVID-19 booster vaccine at least 6-months after the second dose. 

The single priority group lists:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the Green Book), and adult carers
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

An mRNA vaccine is recommended (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) irrespective of which vaccine was given as a primary dose.  

As most younger adults will only receive their second COVID-19 vaccine dose in late summer, the benefits of booster vaccination in this group will be considered by the JCVI at a later time, when more information is available. 

There may be opportunities to offer for the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine to be co-administered, but this is only where timing and logistics allow. 

It is important that those eligible under the JCVI advice receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, when they are called for an appointment, as there is the possibility of reduced immunity of their previous doses over time. 

Please wait to be invited, your health board will contact you when it’s your turn. Please do not contact your GP to ask about appointments. 

Third vaccine dose for immunosuppressed people

Adults and children aged 12 and over with a severely weakened immune system will now be offered a third COVID-19 vaccine 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