What do you need to know about appointments?

How are people being invited to have their vaccination?

From Monday 13th December 2021 all adults over 30 are able to book in for a vaccination appointment through the National Booking System, adults over 18 will be able to book in for an appointment from Wednesday 15th December.

We advise everyone to book in for an appointment to reduce waiting times. You may need to queue for longer if you choose walk in, as sites may be busy. Appointments can be made using the National Booking Service.

Please remember to wear a mask or face covering when you visit a vaccination clinic.

Vaccinations are now available to anyone over the age of 12.

Anyone aged 12 or over can book a vaccination appointment online or walk in to a centres across south west London.

Eligible children aged 12 to 15 who are at increased risk from COVID-19, or who live with someone who is severely immunosuppressed, will have been contacted before 23rd August by a local NHS service such as a GP or hospital. Parents and Carers will have been informed of their child’s vaccine eligibility and invited to book an appointment. Bookings started from the 23rd August onwards.

If you are eligible, you can book an appointment at a community vaccination centre or pharmacy site online or by calling 119 for free (7am – 11pm, seven days a week).

You may also be contacted by phone, text message or letter from a GP practice or the National Booking Service inviting you to book an appointment.

Patients who are housebound and would require a home visit will be contacted by their GP surgery or community nursing team. If you’re housebound and are offered an appointment at a vaccination centre, please talk to your GP or respond to the contact details in your invitation.

Attending your appointment

If you’ve been sent an invitation letter, please bring this with you as we’ll need your NHS number to update your record. Please note, some GP practices may not send a letter.

Please attend your appointment alone unless you require a nominated carer for medical reasons.

We have measures in place to keep you and our staff safe. Please wear a face covering when attending your appointment and maintain social distancing.

Toilets and disabled facilities are available on site. You may wish to bring a drink with you as no refreshments are provided when attending your appointment.

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 in the 28 days prior to the date of your appointment, or if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please don’t attend your appointment. Symptoms include a new persistent cough, fever or high temperature, loss of taste and/or loss of smell.

What to expect at your appointment

You can expect your appointment to take 15 – 30 minutes.

  1. On arrival, you’ll be checked-in by a member of staff and asked to show your invitation letter, if you have one, with your NHS number. You’ll be asked to confirm your date of birth, postcode, that you have no symptoms of coronavirus and that you have not had a flu jab in the last seven days.
  2. You’ll then have a basic health check, which includes questions about any allergies you may have and any medication you’re currently taking.
  3. You’ll be asked to give your consent, confirming you’re having the vaccine.
  4. You’ll then be given the vaccination. This is given via a needle into your non-dominant arm/shoulder and will feel no more than a quick sharp scratch (similar to a flu jab).
  5. After you’ve been vaccinated, you’ll be given advice about the follow-up dose you need to have to give you maximum protection against the virus.

You may be asked to wait for 15 minutes before you leave the centre so we can be sure you’re ok before you travel. It’s recommended that you avoid driving for at least 15 minutes after the vaccination.

After your appointment

The vaccine has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. Each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and shown to be safe.

It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

The vaccine cannot give you the COVID-19 infection, and a full course will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We don’t yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk. So it is still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current guidance


About the vaccine, the vaccination programme and many other topics.

If you want to know more about COVID-19 and its symptoms visit nhs.uk.

Vaccination rollout in your area

Find out more about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in your borough: