Why should I have the vaccine if I’m young and healthy?
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
Coronavirus 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 a first and second of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which has been approved for use in children by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Children can get a 1st dose of the vaccine from the day they turn 12.
Children aged 12 to 15 can get their Covid vaccine in their school, book their vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy, or find a walk-in vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment. If you have your first dose at a walk-in vaccination side, you can book your second COVID-19 vaccination appointment online but you will need to wait 24 hours after your first dose before you are able to book.
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 can help to reduce this risk even further. 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 first and second dose of a Covid vaccine if you're aged 16 or 17 s. Hundreds of thousands of 16 and 17-years-olds in England have already had their Covid vaccine. Most people aged 16 and 17 should have their second dose from 12 weeks after their first dose.
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.
If you have your first dose through your GP surgery, they will contact you when it is time to have your second dose. If you have your first dose at a walk-in vaccination side, you can book your second COVID-19 vaccination appointment online but you will need to wait 24 hours after your first dose before you are able to book.
Alternatively, 16 and 17-year-olds can book a Covid vaccination appointment online or call 119 for assistance with booking a vaccine. When booking online, you will be asked to book appointments for both doses. You can manage your COVID-19 vaccination appointments to view the time of your appointment and rearrange it if you can no longer make it.
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. You’re advised to take a lateral flow test every day for 7 days, or until 10 days since your last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 if this is earlier.
Getting vaccinated 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.
The government has recently accelerated the roll-out of booster jabs.
This content has been reviewed by clinicians and public health professionals
Page last reviewed: 21 December, 2021