The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. They have been approved by the MHRA, the official UK regulator and have been shown to be very safe and effective.
In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.
Advice if you're of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding
There's no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you're pregnant. But more evidence is needed before you can routinely be offered it.
The JCVI has updated its advice to recommend you may be able to have the vaccine if you're pregnant and:
at high risk of getting coronavirus because of where you work
have a health condition that means you're at high risk of serious complications of coronavirus
You can have the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.
Speak to a healthcare professional before you have the vaccination. They will discuss the benefits and risks with you.
You do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.
How the COVID-19 vaccine is given
The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.
It's given in two doses. You will have the 2nd dose 10 to 12 weeks after having the 1st dose. You will usually be notified of this by your Local GP.
How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict 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 MHRA follows international standards of safety.
Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.
So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.
To find out more about the vaccines approved in the UK, see:
How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. It tasks one to two weeks after the first dose to gain some protection from the virus, but you need to have the full two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting, stronger protection.
There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine - the vaccine is there to reduce the risk to yourself and others.
You may still carry the virus and pass it on - continue to follow Government guidelines after both vaccinations are complete.