Covid-19 vaccination

What to expect and side effects

How is the Covid-19 vaccine given?

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

Most people will be given two vaccines. Both vaccines will be the same and the second dose will be at least 8 weeks after your first dose.

Some people will be offered a third dose or a booster. Find out more information on our Covid-19 vaccines for under 18s page.

Side effects and allergies

Most side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine 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

Find out more about what to expect after you have had your vaccine.

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.

Tell staff before you are vaccinated if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). You should not have the vaccine if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction to medicines, vaccines or food.

Read more about the allergies and the Covid-19 vaccine.