COVID-19 vaccinations - Facts and Information

Who will be offered a Booster Jab?

Booster Jabs are an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, given around 6 months after the initial vaccination course is completed. This is to help extend the protection offered by the first two doses, as there is some evidence that the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes over time. 

Boots will support NHS England to deliver the COVID-19 booster vaccinations and will be offering these at special vaccination hubs across some of our pharmacy stores. Patients will be invited by the NHS to book their COVID-19 booster vaccine appointment via the National Booking Service. A booster vaccination will be offered to those who have had their second COVID-19 vaccination 6 or more months ago and who are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, or who are more likely to come into contact with other people with COVID-19, to ensure they have increased protection from the virus. These groups of people will include:

• People aged 50 and over

• People who live and work in care homes

• Frontline health and social care workers

• People aged 16 and over who are at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

• Carers aged 16 and over

• People aged 16 and over who live with someone who are at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

More information is available on the NHS website


Will I be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at Boots?

Boots opened its first COVID-19 vaccination site in Halifax on 14 January 2021. Today, we offer COVID-19 vaccinations at over 50 pharmacies across England.

Patients will be invited directly by the NHS to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment at a range of locations across the country, including many Boots Pharmacies. Many stores are currently offering a walk in service for those who are receiving their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

For the very latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the government website.

For more information on our Northern Ireland COVID-19 Vaccination Service, and to book an appointment, please click here.


What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is a type of medicine that trains the body’s immune system to fight a disease. Unlike most medicines, which are designed to treat or cure diseases, vaccines help prevent them.


How do vaccines work?

Usually given as an injection, vaccines teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases. It's much safer for your immune system to learn this through receiving a vaccine, rather than through catching a disease and treating it.​​​​​​​


How long do vaccines provide immunity for?

Immunity provided by a vaccine can vary. Some vaccines – like for polio – can offer long-term protection (although a booster dose is often required), while other vaccines – like for the flu – are needed every year. This is because some viruses, including the flu virus, change regularly, and new vaccines are produced to match the latest versions.

COVID-19 Booster Vaccinations will be available for those who are eligible. More information is listed above, or is provided on the NHS website.


Will the COVID-19 vaccines be safe

You may be worried about how safe a vaccine, which has been developed so quickly, is. It’s important to remember that the NHS wouldn’t offer a vaccination to the public unless it was deemed safe to do so.

All COVID-19 vaccines are approved for use in the UK, have gone through clinical trials and would not be offered if they were not safe. Millions of people worldwide have had a COVID-19 vaccine and the safety of the vaccines continues to be monitored. 


What is 'herd immunity'?

When a large number of the population becomes immune to a disease, the spread of that disease slows down or can come to a stop. This is called ‘herd immunity’ or ‘community immunity’.

If enough people are vaccinated, it’s harder for a disease, such as COVID-19, to spread and ‘herd immunity’ is achieved.

Will I have to have the COVID-19 vaccine?

From meningitis to measles, there are lots of vaccines that the NHS recommends we have. The NHS hasn’t made any vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, compulsory, but it’s important to remember that they’re a key part of keeping you safe and protected against certain illnesses.


Information correct at time of publication (12.01am 05/10/2021)

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0