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Walk-in vaccination clinics

The NHS holds walk-in vaccination clinics in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area: The Vaccinators | COVID-19 Vaccination Centres | Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Getting vaccinated

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus. The University strongly encourages students and staff to get vaccinated, and to take booster doses when they are offered.

How do I get vaccinated?

The NHS has offered the COVID-19 vaccine to all people in the UK aged 18 and over since June 2021, along with a booster dose from December 2021.

More information from the NHS on vaccines for students is available in this information sheet.

You can book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments on the NHS website. Walk-in clinics are also available for vaccinations without a booking. Information on walk-in clinics in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is available online, or check in your local area.

Bookings can be made and managed on the NHS website. Appointments can be in different locations so that you can book the location most convenient for you.

To use the National Booking Service you will need to be registered with a General Practitioner (GP) in the UK and have an NHS number. If you don’t have a GP you can find out how to register with one via the NHS website. Anybody who has registered with a GP will have an NHS number, which can be found on any letter from the NHS, on a prescription, or by logging in to a General Practitioners’ online service. You can also find out their NHS numbers. You can also request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

The NHS is advising everyone who is eligible to take booster doses. For more details, see the NHS website.

Autumn booster 2022

From September 2022, the following groups will be invited to have a further COVID-19 booster dose:

  • residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all adults aged 50 years and over
  • persons aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, as set out in the Green Book, chapter 14a, tables 3 and 4
  • persons aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • persons aged 16 to 49 years who are carers, as set out in the Green Book, chapter 14a, table 3 Individuals who are eligible will be contacted directly when it is their turn to book an autumn booster vaccine.

I am an international student resident in Cambridge. Can I get the vaccine?

Yes. International students have access to NHS services in the UK, including a free COVID-19 vaccination.

If you were vaccinated abroad and did not receive any doses of AstraZeneca (or Institute of India Covishield) or Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna, then you can get an additional booster dose in the UK. Details can be found in Appendix 1 of UKHSA guidance on COVID-19 vaccine information for healthcare practitioners (

Roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine is organised via GP practices. If you don’t have a GP find out how to register with one.

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

You can find more information on how to access NHS services in England if you are visiting from abroad.

I am an international student currently residing outside the UK. I have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine in my home country. Should I accept this?

Different countries have different COVID-19 vaccination programmes and use different vaccines. It is therefore impossible for the University to give specific advice in relation to individual vaccination queries. However, it is worth bearing in mind that:

  • The sooner you are vaccinated the sooner you are protected from COVID-19 and from transmitting the virus to others.
  • All World Health Organisation-approved vaccines appear to be safe and effective (although it is possible that some are slightly more effective than others).
  • If you need to complete your primary course of vaccination when you return to the UK, this can be organised for free via the NHS. See ‘How do I get vaccinated?’ above.
  • The UK currently uses Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines (the latter is currently not recommended in the UK as first choice for individuals under the age of 40). Vaccine choice and protocols may well change as new vaccines and new evidence become available. If you have had a vaccine that is not available in the UK and require to complete the course while you are in Cambridge, you will still be able to receive one of the UK vaccines.
  • If you receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine overseas but travel to the UK before your second dose, you should receive the same vaccine for your second dose if it is available. If the vaccine you have received for your first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered.
  • If you have been fully vaccinated abroad, with a vaccine that is not currently used in the UK, you are advised to have a booster dose of one of the licensed UK vaccines (details are available in Appendix 1 of the COVID-19 programme guidance for healthcare workers).
  • If there are any requirements in relation to Covid-19 and travel to the UK, they will be kept updated on the UK government's travel website.
  • More information for international students is available on this NHS information sheet.

Does the vaccine cause side effects?

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild – including a sore arm at the injection site, headache, tiredness or feeling achy – and should not last longer than a week.

If I develop a fever after the vaccine, should I get a COVID test?

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment. The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Although a mild fever can occur within a day or two of vaccination, if you have any other COVID-19 symptoms or your fever lasts longer, follow public health guidance People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19

How effective is the vaccine?

The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus, but you need to have two doses of the vaccine to get longer-lasting protection.

There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine, so you should consider taking measures to protect yourself and others around you, for example improving ventilation by meeting outdoors or opening windows, wearing a face covering, or making choices about contact with others.

Can I have the vaccine if I’ve previously tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes, but you should wait for at least 28 days from a positive test before getting vaccinated.

I’m pregnant. Can I have the vaccine?

The NHS advises that the vaccine can be taken in pregnancy. While this must clearly be an individual's choice, please note that the UK government, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Chief Midwife all recommend COVID vaccination for pregnant women. The advice is that it is preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine if you are pregnant. This is because they've been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and have not caused any safety issues. You will be able to report that you are pregnant during the booking process.

You can have the vaccine if you're breastfeeding.