Alicia Adwoa still

Young and healthy people can still get coronavirus, develop severe illness and spread the virus to loved ones.

Younger people are still affected by Covid-19

The new Delta variant is affecting many people and rising numbers of unvaccinated younger people are getting seriously ill and being admitted to hospital. There also appears to be a risk of ‘long Covid’ in young people. Research continues to be undertaken to understand these risks further.

Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves against Covid-19

Even if you are healthy, it is much safer for your immune system to learn how to fight diseases through vaccination rather than by catching them. It is expected that the Covid vaccines will offer you protection for at least a year.

People aged 12 to 15

All children aged 12 to 15 years old are now being offered a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which has been approved for use in children by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The majority of healthy children aged 12 to 15 will receive their Covid vaccine in their school, with alternative locations provided if needed. Consent will be sought from parents, guardians and carers before vaccination.

Very few healthy children and young people with Covid-19 go on to have severe disease, but offering the vaccine to 12-to 15-year-olds should help to reduce this risk. The vaccine also reduces the spread of Covid-19 within schools and the time out of education.

People aged 16 to 17

You can get your 1st dose of a Covid vaccine if you're aged 16 or 17 to give you protection before returning to school. Hundreds of thousands of 16 and 17-years-olds in England have already had their Covid vaccine.

The NHS will contact you when it's your turn to get the vaccine. You'll be invited to a local NHS service such as a GP surgery, or you can search for a walk-in vaccination clinic here.

If you're 16 or 17, you cannot book your appointment online. If you turn 18 within the next 3 months, you can book your Covid vaccination appointments online.

Personal benefits of having the vaccine

The added benefit of getting both doses of the Covid vaccine is that your life can begin to return to normal. If you’re double vaccinated or under 18, you will no longer need to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19. Two doses of the vaccine also considerably reduces your risk of severe illness, making it safer to go back to the office, work alongside your colleagues and share a house with friends if you’re a student.

If you’re double vaccinated, you can use the NHS Covid pass as proof of your Covid-19 status when travelling abroad or entering some places in the UK such as some nightclubs and music venues.

By getting vaccinated, you’re not just helping yourself, you’re helping everyone get life back to normal.

Read more about the easing of self-isolation rules for double vaccinated people.

This content has been reviewed by clinicians and public health professionals Page last reviewed: 31 August, 2021