Covid-19 vaccination

Page updated 1 February 2023

Kent and Medway Covid-19 vaccination programme

The Covid-19 vaccine is effective and the safest way to protect yourself from Covid-19.

The seasonal booster campaign, which started in September 2023, has now finished (as of 31 January).

Covid-19 vaccines for people with a severely weakened
immune system

Covid-19 vaccines are normally given seasonally, but some people with a severely weakened immune system may need additional protection at other times. This may be because of a health condition or medical treatment.

Your specialist or GP will assess if you or your child (aged six months or over) need a Covid-19 vaccine. A referral needs to be completed by your specialist or GP to one of the four sites staying active during this period.

Once the referral has been received by the site, they will contact you and book your appointment to receive your vaccination.   

For more information, please speak to your specialist, GP, or email kmcib.vaccinations@nhs.net 

National guidance can be found here.

Seasonal Covid-19 vaccines

Some people at increased risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 may be able to get a seasonal Covid-19 vaccine later in 2024.

The NHS will contact you if your NHS record suggests you may be eligible for a seasonal COVID-19 vaccine.

When available, there will be different ways to get a seasonal Covid-19 vaccine:

  • booking online
  • going to a walk in Covid-19 vaccination site
  • through a local NHS service, such as a GP surgery
  • through your care home

Clinically vulnerable six month to four-year-olds

Only children aged six months to four-years-old, who are at increased risk from Covid-19 can currently get a Covid-19 vaccine.

Local NHS services (such as your doctor's surgery) will invite eligible children for their vaccinations and arrange their appointments. If your child is eligible because they are at increased risk from Covid-19, please wait to be contacted.


Additional information

The Covid-19 vaccine is still recommended for people with a history of allergic reactions provided those are not linked to ingredients within the vaccines.

We have a dedicated process for supporting people with severe allergies. 

This includes specialist allergy advice from Guys and St Thomas' Hospital to help local clinicians and their patients agree the best approach for them.

If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, especially anaphylactic shock, please contact your GP when you are eligible for the vaccine.

If appropriate they will be able to arrange a referral to a hospital-based service to receive the vaccine.

Please do this rather than booking a vaccine appointment directly through the national booking service.
 

Antibody and antiviral treatments are offered to people with Covid-19 who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill.

People can use a positive lateral flow test (LFT) to be referred for treatment. It is important treatment starts within five days of a positive test.

Most people who have conditions that put them in the highest risk category will have been contacted directly with information about how to get these treatments, if needed.

Treatments for Covid-19 are for people aged 12 and over who:

  • are at highest risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
  • have symptoms of Covid-19 that started within the last five days
  • have tested positive for Covid-19 by PCR or LFT within the last five days.

 

If you think you're in the highest risk group and need to access Covid-19 treatment, follow these steps to be considered for a referral.

Keep rapid lateral flow tests at home. 

If you're eligible for Covid-19 treatment, you should keep rapid lateral flow tests at home.

You may be able to pick up free rapid lateral flow test kits from your local pharmacy if you're eligible for treatment.

The pharmacy may ask you questions about your medical history to confirm you’re eligible for free tests. If you have a copy of a letter or email sent to you by the NHS that says you’re eligible for Covid-19 treatment, take this with you. A letter or email is not essential, but it will help the pharmacy to confirm you’re eligible for free tests more easily.

Someone else can collect free tests on your behalf, for example, a friend, relative or carer. If you do not have a friend, relative or carer who can collect your tests for you, you may be able to book a volunteer responder by calling 0808 196 3646.

Anyone collecting free tests on your behalf needs to give the pharmacy your details, including your:

Full name
Address
Date of birth
NHS number (if available)
Medical condition(s) to confirm your eligibility
They should also bring any copies of letters or emails that have been sent to you by the NHS about Covid-19 treatments.

Take a rapid lateral flow test if you get symptoms
If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, take a rapid lateral flow test as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are mild. Only take a test if you have symptoms.

You can also use tests you've paid for, for example, a test you've bought from a supermarket or pharmacy.

If your test is positive, phone your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist
Phone your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist as soon as possible if your test result is positive.

They'll decide if you need a referral for an assessment for Covid-19 treatment or may carry out the assessment themselves.

As part of the assessment, you may be asked what other medicines you take or receive, including any vitamins and minerals, so it's important to have a list of these ready.

If you're eligible for treatment, it's important to start the treatment as soon as you can. Treatments for Covid-19 need to be given quickly after your symptoms start to be effective.

If you’re prescribed capsules or tablets, the medicine can be collected on your behalf by someone else, such as a friend or relative. You’ll be advised where the medicine can be collected from. Alternatively, the NHS may be able to arrange for the medicine to be delivered to you.

If the treatment needs to be given as a drip in your arm (infusion), you'll usually get it at your local hospital or in a local health centre.

You'll get instructions on where to get the treatment and how to get there and back safely.

If your test is negative, do a total of three tests over three days
If your test result is negative, but you still have symptoms of Covid-19, you need to do a total of three rapid lateral flow tests over three days.

For example, if you did your first test today, you should do a second test tomorrow and a third test the day after.

If any test result is positive, you can stop testing and call your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist as soon as possible.

Find out more about treatment for Covid-19 on NHS.uk

The vaccines available are:

Pfizer – (Comirnaty) bivalent

Pfizer – (Comirnaty Paediatric) monovalent vaccines

Sanofi/GSK – (VidPrevtyn Beta)

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