Vaccination services across Sussex provide first, second and booster vaccines. They are available at a range of locations including GPs.
Appointments are available through the national booking system at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119.
You can also find details of vaccination services across Sussex on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.
Our vaccination centre at Northgate car park, Chichester is now closed.
For information about where to get your COVID-19 vaccination in Sussex, please visit the Sussex Health and Care website.
The COVID-19 vaccination is administered at the top of your arm, so please bear in mind the clothing you wear on the day.
You can find out more information about the vaccines at:
More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex, including the GP-led vaccination services, is available on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.
How do I get an appointment at a vaccination centre?
Everyone aged 5 (on or before 31 August 2022) and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
People aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose.
You can make an appointment through the National Booking System at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. Alternatively all of our centres are offering walk in appointments. Full details are available in the 'Our vaccination centres' section.
Who do I contact if I have any problems with my appointment?
Appointments are organised by the NHS national booking service. They can be contacted free of charge on 119.
Can I receive my second vaccination at a different location?
Yes. You just need to make sure that your second dose is the same type of vaccine as your first. For example, if your first dose was the Pfizer vaccine, you need to make sure that your chosen location is also offering the Pfizer vaccine for your second jab.
How do people use the national booking service?
You can book your appointment through the national booking service, either online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. It will show you all available appointments within a 60 mile radius of your location.
What can I expect when I attend my appointment at a vaccination centre?
Please arrive no more than five minutes before your appointment as queuing at our sites can be difficult. If you do arrive early, please dress warmly as you might have to wait outside. This is to make sure that we maintain social distancing and keep everyone safe.
We are asking everyone who attends an appointment to wear a face covering, unless you are exempt from doing so.
Please do not attend your appointment if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus:
While you wait for your vaccination you will be asked some questions by NHS staff:
Staff will be on hand to help you if you answer yes to any of these questions.
People who have tested positive for coronavirus cannot have the vaccine until at least four weeks after their symptoms began or the date of their first positive test.
You will also be asked if you have any special requirements, such as language interpretation/translation, a disability that will make the process difficult for you and require additional support, and whether injections make you feel particularly unwell or feint. Our trained NHS staff will be there to help you every step of the way, and can take you to a more private area if you need extra support.
You will also be asked to give your written consent to having the vaccine. Staff will help you through this process. All the information that you provide is treated in the strictest confidence and stored safely and securely.
After these questions, you will be asked to queue for your injection, keeping socially distanced from the person in front and behind.
You will enter a special area where trained NHS staff will give you your injection and look after you. The whole process should only take a few minutes. You will be given an information leaflet about the vaccination, which should answer any questions you may have.
Can I bring someone with me for support?
Yes, if you need a relative, carer or friend to accompany you to get your vaccine that is absolutely fine, but please limit this to one person as space is limited and we need to carefully manage the number of people inside our centres at any one time to keep you and our staff safe.
Are there any precautions I need to take before or after I receive the vaccine?
You should continue to follow existing advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as this will enable you to avoid becoming ill with COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, before and after vaccination.
Please wear a face covering when attending the vaccination clinic.
How long do I have to wait after getting the vaccine before I can leave the centre?
Everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine will be observed for any immediate reactions during the period they are receiving any post-immunisation information and confirmation of their second appointment, if required.
I’ve had COVID-19 already/tested positive for antibodies, do I need to be vaccinated?
Yes, you should still be vaccinated, although not until at least four weeks after the onset of symptoms or the date of your first positive test.
There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the vaccine when it is their time to do so.
I don’t know anyone who’s had COVID-19, so why do we need a vaccine?
The number of people worldwide who have died with COVID-19 has passed four million, with many regions still reporting surging numbers of new infections.
People continue to get infected, and once the virus starts to spread it can do so rapidly. Even if you, your family or friends haven’t experienced it firsthand, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat. Protect your family and others. Being vaccinated will help to protect you and reduce the spread of this deadly virus.
Do I have to wait after getting the flu vaccine before I can get the COVID vaccine?
Current recommendations are that you should wait for seven days after having another vaccination before having the COVID-19 vaccine. This is to avoid incorrectly attributing any side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or if I’m planning to get pregnant?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile. These vaccines do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.
Full information for women of childbearing age who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or who are breastfeeding can be found here.
I have a health condition. How will I be sure the vaccine is safe?
The vaccines do not contain living organisms, and so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine. Any person with a history of immediate-onset anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. A second dose of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of Pfizer BioNtech vaccination.
Vaccine recipients should be monitored for 15 minutes after vaccination, with a longer observation period when indicated after clinical assessment.
Women of childbearing age, those who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding should read the detailed information here.
Can the vaccine affect fertility?
There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of COVID-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.
Will other measures (social distancing/face coverings/lockdowns) still apply to me if I’ve had the vaccine?
Yes, you should still act to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community and stick to the regulations.
Can I still spread the virus to others if I am vaccinated?
The purpose of the vaccine is to prevent you from getting COVID-19 infection, this should reduce the chances of you being able to spread the infection by becoming ill. However, as the vaccine is new it is not been possible to establish if vaccination will prevent carriage of the virus in the nose and throat of people who have been vaccinated. Therefore, the best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend.
If a person has received the vaccination and is subsequently notified that they have been in direct contact with a positive case - are they still required to isolate?
From Monday 16 August, if you have received both doses of the vaccination, or are under 18 years old, you are no longer legally required to self isolate if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID019. Full details are available on the Government website.
What percentage of the population needs to get the vaccine to have herd immunity?
When a high proportion of a population receive an effective vaccine it becomes difficult for the disease to spread, this gives protection to vulnerable people such as newborn babies and other people who can’t be vaccinated which is known as herd immunity. It is not clear what proportion of people would be required to be vaccinated to achieve this because the vaccines against the disease are new and COVID-19 is a global pandemic infection.
Therefore, the best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend.
Will the vaccine become a yearly injection like the flu vaccine?
Discussions are still underway regarding the need for, and timing of, booster vaccinations. The latest information is available on the Government website.
How effective is the first vaccine injection without getting the second one?
It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you.
Which vaccine will I get?
You will be offered a vaccine which has been approved by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as safe and effective and recommended by the JCVI for persons of your age or risk group.
Is one vaccine better than another?
Each candidate vaccine will have completed a full programme of research, including considerations of vaccine efficacy and safety. Each vaccine will be reviewed by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which will grant approval and licencing of vaccines if they meet the required effectiveness and safety requirements. Any vaccine offered will be effective and safe.
Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
As people have to complete a course of two vaccinations and the programme will be delivered in a phased approach to ensure those most at risk are vaccinated first, it is not possible to choose one vaccine over another.
Is it a live vaccine?
No. They are therefore suitable to use in those who are immunosuppressed, although the response may be sub-optimal and other measures to reduce risk will need to continue to be observed.
Who can get the vaccine?
All adults over 18 years of age are eligible to have the vaccine. In August 2021 the Government announced that all young people in England aged 16 and 17 will also be offered the vaccine. Full details are on the Government website.
There are very few individuals who cannot receive the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Where there is doubt, rather than withholding vaccination, appropriate advice should be sought from the relevant specialist, or from the local immunisation or health protection team, to allow individuals to make an informed decision.
The vaccine should not be given to those who have had a previous systemic allergic reaction (including immediate-onset anaphylaxis) to:
or to individuals with:
Vaccine recipients should be monitored for 15 minutes after vaccination, with a longer observation period when indicated after clinical assessment. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine contains polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is from a group of known allergens commonly found in medicines and also in household goods and cosmetics. Known allergy to PEG is extremely rare but people with this allergy should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. Patients with undiagnosed PEG allergy may have a history of unexplained anaphylaxis or of anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs. The AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain PEG and is a suitable alternative.
Have the vaccines been tested in people over 80 years old or just in younger populations?
The vaccines have been tested in people aged 80 years and above. SARS-C0V-2 vaccine trials have only just begun in children and there are therefore, very limited data on safety and effectiveness in this group at present.
If I receive a RNA-based vaccine what are the implications for it tampering with my DNA in longer term?
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is a messenger RiboNucelaic Acid (mRNA) vaccine. The mRNA that is used to make a virus protein is read by your cells and that protein is produced for a short time. The code for creating that protein is never incorporated into your DNA, mRNA is read directly by the cells and a protein which generates a protective immune response is produced from it. The vaccine will therefore not affect your DNA.
Is there gluten in the vaccine as I am coeliac?
Gluten is a family of proteins found in certain cereal grains. COVID-19 vaccinations do not contain gluten.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine lead to people having a positive COVID-19 nose or throat swab test?
No. The vaccines being used produce a protective immune antibody response which can be measured by serology blood tests. They do not affect a PCR swab test, which is the basis of diagnosing COVID-19 infection by detecting viral RNA in the nose and throat. PCR tests will be used as part of the vaccine effectiveness assessment in those who are.
How long do I have to wait between the first and second doses of the vaccine?
You must leave at least eight weeks between your first and second doses of the vaccine.
What happens if I don’t go for my second appointment?
The first dose of both COVID-19 vaccines will provide short term protection. It is important to get the second dose to provide more full, longer term protection against COVID-19.
Will the vaccine fully protect me against COVID-19?
The current vaccines have demonstrated a high level of protection against COVID-19 but no vaccine provides 100% protection. However, as more people in the population are vaccinated with an effective vaccine the risks of circulating virus should increase protecting those people who either do not respond fully to the vaccine or who are unable to have the vaccine because of allergic reactions.
If I have the vaccine will I be immune for life? Can I still catch COVID-19 after I’ve been immunised?
Duration of protection remains unknown, and further doses may be necessary.
Has the vaccine been rushed? Is it safe?
For a vaccine to reach the general public it will have to work and be safe.
There may be a misconception that vaccine research takes a long time but it isn’t the research that takes the time – it’s all the steps beforehand, like getting funding and approval. What’s sped up in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is the funding. The UK Government funded trials to get them up and running quickly.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Medicines Research Authority have sped up the process of approval – things like administrative paperwork that used to take months is now being done in days. This is what’s brought down the time for delivery of the clinical trials.
Processes have been streamlined and run in parallel. The length of the trials themselves has not been shortened, and the usual safety measures remain in place and high standards must still be met.
It has also been enabled by new technology, including the ability to rapidly manufacture vaccines. And supply – the vaccine is being produced already so that as soon as it’s known to be safe and effective it can be made available.
What happens if I experience side effects/adverse or unexpected events, how do I report it?
Vaccines are very safe. As with all medicines, side effects can occur after getting a vaccine. However, these are usually very minor and of short duration, such as a sore arm or a mild fever. An uncommon side effect is swelling of the local glands. More serious side effects are possible, but extremely rare. Tests have been done in thousands of adults to ensure the vaccine is safe.
At the point of vaccination, you will receive information about how to report any adverse events. It is essential that any events are reported and investigated. The safety of patients/ recipients is paramount.
What’s in the vaccines? Will they have any ingredients which are unsuitable for some religious groups, vegans or people with allergies?
Patient leaflets explaining the different vaccines and ingredients will be developed and information made available to people prior to vaccination so they can make an informed decision.
The Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.
The British Islamic Medical Association has released a position statement recommending the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for the Muslim community. You can read it here.
Any person with a history of anaphylaxis to any component of the vaccine being offered should not receive it. A second dose of the same vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of it.
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine contains polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is from a group of known allergens commonly found in medicines and also in household goods and cosmetics. Known allergy to PEG is extremely rare but people with this allergy should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. Patients with undiagnosed PEG allergy may have a history of unexplained anaphylaxis or of anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs. The AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain PEG and is a suitable alternative.
What about treatments, are there effective ways to treat COVID-19?
There are some treatments that have been proven to make a difference, for example antiviral drug remdesivir can reduce the length of illness. Two steroid drugs, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, have been shown to save lives but only in people who are seriously ill in hospital.
However, it is best not to get the illness at all, rather than get it and treat it. A vaccine can help stop you getting it, lessen the impact of the disease and slow it spreading. This will help stop others getting it and passing it on.
We are aware that fraudulent text and email messages are being send to patients about COVID-19 vaccinations.
It's important to be on your guard, as new scams emerge regularly.
People are receiving a text or email notification of their ‘vaccination appointment’ and are being asked to confirm it by clicking on a link.
This looks very similar to the genuine texts being sent to patients to arrange their appointments at the GP led vaccination services.
Please follow the advice below.
Guidance on official NHS texts
If you have any further concerns about something you have received please contact the Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme team on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you had one or more of your COVID-19 vaccinations abroad you can now book an appointment at one of our vaccination centres to get your medical record updated.
This service is available at Northgate, Chichester and Churchill Square, Brighton.
You will need to know your NHS number and bring along evidence of any coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations you've had outside of England.
This will then allow you to download an NHS COVID pass when needed.
You can use this service if you:
You’ll need to bring your passport as your photographic ID, along with evidence of the vaccination you want recording, such as a vaccination card, certificate or email confirmation. If staff cannot confirm your identity or your vaccination documentation, they will be unable to update your record.
You can book your appointments through the National Booking Service on the NHS website or by calling 119.