COVID-19 vaccinations in North Central London

A strong partnership of councils, NHS organisations, voluntary and community organisations across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington, is working closely together to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme. We have agreed a clear plan to deliver the largest vaccination programme across north central London in our history.

We have now started receiving supply of the two vaccines that have been rigorously tested and confirmed as safe and highly effective by the expert Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We started providing the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in early December and gave our first jab of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine in January.

Residents are being invited to have the vaccination in priority order. In line with the priorities, we have started vaccinating over 80s, frontline NHS staff and those working in care homes.

To help make sure we can vaccinate as many residents as possible, we are asking all members of the public to not contact your GP about when you can get a vaccination. We need all practice staff to be able to focus on making sure the right people are contacted at the right time for vaccination appointments. You will be contacted as soon as it is your turn to come forward.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and gives you the best protection against coronavirus. Every batch of COVID-19 vaccines undergoes stringent tests to ensure its safety, before it can be used, so please take up your invite and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them.

In north central London (NCL) we are providing the vaccine through four main methods.

  1. Hospital hubs – located within local hospitals will be clinics run by hospital staff administering vaccines primarily to inpatients, outpatients, NHS and care staff.
  2. Local vaccine services – smaller scale sites provided by GPs and pharmacies within local communities.
  3. Vaccination centres – large scale sites convenient for transport networks that support high volumes in a fixed location for an extended period. 
  4. Roving models – comprising vehicles that can deploy vaccinators, vaccine and supplies on an outreach basis, for those housebound or in care settings, such as care homes. 

As supply of the approved vaccines increases, we will be able to vaccinate more and more people via each method.

Vaccines are our best defence against the virus but with cases rising rapidly across London, we can’t afford to drop our guard. Please follow the guidance to protect yourselves and your family – keep 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or bubble, regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds or more and cover your face and nose when you are in public indoor spaces.

For more information about the vaccine visit the NHS website.

We have answered some of your questions below. You can view more questions and answers by reading the FAQs.

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

At this time, the vaccine is being offered to:

  • people aged 80 or over
  • people who work in care homes
  • health care workers at high risk.

The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.

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

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK

Some people are more likely to be impacted more seriously should they get COVID-19. As such, we are vaccinating people based on their risk level. The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Please don’t contact your GP or hospital to request a vaccination.

When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be a letter, either from their GP or the NHS England. This letter will include all the information a person will need to book appointments, including their NHS number.

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. It is given as two doses, up to 12 weeks apart. When you receive your first dose, you will be advised of your appointment to receive the second dose. It is important that you attend both appointments and get both doses to offer you the most protection against coronavirus.

The vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca have been approved for use in the UK and have met strict current standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world.

Other vaccines are being developed but they will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

So far, thousands of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine in the clinical trials and no serious side effects or complications have been reported.

Read about the approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK

Read about the approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK

After having both doses of the vaccine most people will be protected against coronavirus, however, it takes a few weeks after getting the second dose for it to work.

There is a small chance you might still get coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

This means it is important to:

  • continue to follow social distancing guidance
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people

Read more about why vaccines are safe and important, including how they work and what they contain.

Most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy.

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.

If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection.

If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.

It is very rare for anyone to have a serious reaction to the vaccine (anaphylaxis). If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes of receiving the vaccine.

Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

You can report any suspected side effect using the Yellow Card safety scheme.

Visit Yellow Card for further information.

The two approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.