Coronavirus Vaccine

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

Easy read guide to the Coronavirus vaccine


Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine

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

Surgeries across Reading have started to give patients Covid vaccines but are working to different timetables. Doctors will contact you when it’s your turn – in the meantime, please be patient and don’t call your surgery to ask for a date or this will tie up usual appointment phone lines. Visit Healthwatch Reading for information about vaccine plans for every surgery in Reading.

It is first being given to:

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


The Government’s vaccine committee has recommended a priority list:

1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

3. all those 75 years of age and over

4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5. all those 65 years of age and over

6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk 

7. all those 60 years of age and over

8. all those 55 years of age and over

9. all those 50 years of age and over.


People with underlying health conditions

There is good evidence that certain underlying health conditions increase the risk from COVID-19. Included in the risk groups are people with:

  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe and profound learning disability.

People in these groups are priority number 6.


Priority for unpaid family carers

Unpaid family carers are now a priority for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Those under the age of 65 and young carers aged 16 and 17 are now included in group 6 on the priority list.

The Government’s vaccine committee has recommended that unpaid carers who receive Carer’s Allowance or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled child or adult whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill should be prioritised alongside people with underlying health conditions.

Unpaid carers over the age of 65 will be able to access the vaccine earlier as they are included in earlier priority groups.


What can you do as a carer? 

Reading Carers' Card

1. Apply for your free Reading Carers' Card. This card identifies you as an unpaid family carer. It's easy to apply, we just need a head and shoulders selfie of yourself. Email 

2. Make sure your GP knows you are a family carer. Visit your surgery website to see if you can inform them online.

3. Check if you are eligible for Carer's Allowance.

Hundreds of thousands of people caring for friends or relatives are missing out on their Carer’s Allowance entitlements.

The benefit is worth £67.25 a week, meaning some carers are losing out on as much as £3,497 a year. In 2018, almost £1.3 billion was unclaimed.

You are entitled to Carer's Allowance if:

  • You care for 35 hours a week or more
  • You do not earn more than £128 a week
  • The person you care for receives Attendance Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) middle or highest rate care component or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

If you get State Pension

  • You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.
  • If your pension is £67.25 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment.
  • If your pension is less than £67.25 a week, you’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.


How the COVID-19 vaccine is given

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

It's given as 2 doses. You will have the 2nd dose 3 to 12 weeks after having the 1st dose.


Watch out for scams

A false NHS text message has been circulating requesting that you click on a link to apply for a vaccine.

It then takes you through to a false NHS website platform requesting more information. For further details on how to spot this, see this helpful link from Which: We would also urge you to spread the word among friends and family.

Cold calls regarding the vaccine are also beginning to take place – Which has already had reports of scammers asking people to pay for it over the phone.

The NHS will not ask you to pay for the vaccine.

 Protect yourself and others by getting the Covid-19 vaccine when it is your turn