The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

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

It's being given to:

  • people aged 50 and over
  • 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

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

How the COVID-19 vaccine is given

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

It's given as 2 doses. You will have the 2nd dose 3 to 12 weeks after having the 1st dose.

You will have 2 doses of the same vaccine.

How to get the COVID-19 vaccine

You can book your vaccination appointments online if any of the following apply:

  • you are aged 50 or over
  • you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or a pharmacy that provides COVID-19 vaccinations.

You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.

For more information visit the NHS Website

British Asian doctors explain the importance of vaccines for fighting coronavirus in five South Asian languages: Sylheti, Gujarati, Tamil, Urdu and Punjabi.  

Research suggests that ethnic minorities in the UK are more reluctant to take the new coronavirus vaccine.

The UK was the first country to approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The first batch of 800,000 doses began to be administered on Tuesday 8 December.

The mass Covid-19 vaccination programme began with the elderly, health workers, and carers. Up to four million more doses are expected by the end of the month.

There have been some concerns and reluctance about taking the vaccine among ethnic minorities. Research from the Royal Society for Public Health suggests that 76% of the UK public would take the vaccine if advised to do so, but that number fell to 57% amongst black, Asian and people from minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Asians were the least likely to say yes, with vaccine confidence falling to 55%. The BBC's Asian Network asked listeners to send in their questions about the vaccine to have them answered by experts. Listeners' concerns ranged from the vaccine's long-term effects to whether the ingredients are halal or vegetarian-friendly.

Divya Chadha Manek from the UK Vaccine Taskforce addresses their concerns in English. For those who may not have English as a first language, doctors have also answered the questions in five languages: Gujarati, Punjabi, Sylheti, Tamil and Urdu.

The South Asian community has one of the highest levels of vaccine hesitancy in the UK, surveys suggest.

More than 40% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi people say they are unlikely to get the jab, while more than 20% of Indian people do not want to be vaccinated, according to a document from the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Some doctors believe fake news could be causing some people to reject the Covid vaccine. Some of these myths include claims the vaccine contains animal products and is not halal, or that it causes infertility.

Another is false information around the scale of the pandemic, with claims that hospitals are empty, when in fact many are overwhelmed.

BBC Asian Network debunks these rumours in five South Asian languages: Urdu, Tamil, Gujarati, Sylheti and Punjabi.

As coronavirus vaccines are being rolled out across the UK, fraudsters are using this as an opportunity to scam people. The NHS is warning everyone to be vigilant about fake vaccination invitations.

These scam emails, calls or texts often ask for personal and financial information, but the vaccine is free and the NHS would never ask for bank details. The National Cyber Security Centre and Action Fraud have asked anyone who receives a suspicious email or text to report it.

BBC Asian Network is helping people in the South Asian community to spot potential scams, with advice videos in five South Asian languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Sylheti, Tamil and Gujarati.