Do I need to be vaccinated to access support, fundraise or volunteer at the Stroke Association?

We continue to offer everyone affected by stroke access to our services. This way we can continue to rebuild lives after stroke. As such, we don’t ask the stroke survivors we support, our volunteers, supporters, or staff about their vaccination status.

But we do believe having an effective vaccine is the best way to protect the most vulnerable, our friends and our families, and will save tens of thousands of lives. We’ve joined a coalition of charities encouraging people to attend their vaccine appointment. Earlier in the vaccine rollout, we also campaigned for better recognition of stroke as a priority group 6 condition, and our Helpline team has been supporting stroke survivors to get the vaccine. 

Should I get the Coronavirus booster and flu vaccines at the same time?

Yes, it’s perfectly ok to get the Coronavirus booster and your flu vaccines at the same time.

These come as two separate vaccines and you might not get them both in the same arm. So, if you’ve got one-sided weakness or an atrophied muscle in one of your arms, you should speak to your GP about where to have your vaccines. They might suggest having them at different times, or having one of them in your leg, which some people prefer.

Should stroke survivors take the vaccines?

Having an effective vaccine is the best way to protect the most vulnerable, saving tens of thousands of lives. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna coronavirus vaccines, following the strictest tests for safety and effectiveness. The Stroke Association encourages everyone to book and attend both of their vaccine appointments. 

Should children and young people have the vaccine?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises the government on vaccinations, has looked at the available evidence around vaccinating children and young people under the age of 18. 

Young people aged 16-18 have already started receiving their vaccines and now the JCVI is advising that people aged 12-15 should also be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine too. Vaccination for this age group will be done through school and alternative provisions will be made for those who are homeschooled. Many clinically vulnerable young people or those who live with clinically vulnerable people have already received the vaccine. 

How do we know the vaccines are safe?

Like all vaccines, the three Covid-19 vaccines have gone through rigorous and extensive safety checks and continue to be subject to checks throughout the rollout.

The vaccines were tested on thousands of people and the MHRA has confirmed that they have passed strict tests for safety, quality and effectiveness. No safety checks or protocols have been missed, despite the speed at which the vaccines have been approved.

We know that having an effective vaccine is the best way to protect the most vulnerable, saving tens of thousands of lives. The Stroke Association encourages everyone to book and attend both of their vaccine appointments. If you have any concerns about your individual situation, please speak to your GP. 

Should stroke survivors take the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine?

The MHRA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the World Health Organisation have all said that the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine is safe and that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks. The benefits of receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh any risks, even for people under the age of 40 or with underlying health conditions, which includes stroke survivors. 

We know that vaccines are the best way to protect against the effects of the coronavirus, which is why we’re encouraging all stroke survivors to attend their vaccination appointments. 

Are the vaccines safe for stroke survivors who are taking statins or other anticoagulants?

If you are taking anticoagulation medication your doctor will check that it’s ok for you to receive the vaccination injection. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your doctor or with the clinician giving you the injection. 

I’m a stroke survivor, when will I get a vaccine?

If you are aged 18 and over, you can now visit the national booking service and book your vaccine at larger vaccination centres or a pharmacy. To help the NHS at this time please attend both of your vaccination appointments. 

Can I choose which arm to have the vaccine in?

You can choose which arm to have your vaccine in. If you have paralysis in one arm, your doctor might recommend that you have it in your good side, especially if the muscle in your affected arm appears to be wasted. You should speak to your doctor if you have paralysis in one arm and are concerned about having your vaccine in your good side. 

I’m a carer, when will I get a vaccine?

If you are aged 18 and over, you can now visit the national booking service and book your vaccine at larger vaccination centres or a pharmacy. To help the NHS at this time please attend both of your vaccination appointments 

You can also access a guide to the coronavirus vaccine for older adults

I had my stroke in childhood. Am I eligible for the vaccine?

All adults are now eligible for a vaccine, and so are young people aged 12+. If you’re an adult and need your vaccine, visit the national booking service to find out more and book an appointment. Young people aged 12+ will receive their vaccine in school.  

Should I attend my second vaccine appointment?

Yes. We are encouraging stroke survivors to attend both of their vaccine appointments. Having an effective vaccine is the best way to protect the most vulnerable, saving tens of thousands of lives. If you have had a first dose of the vaccine, you will be offered a second dose of the same vaccine to ensure you are protected. You should discuss any concerns with your GP or healthcare professional. 

When can I get my booster vaccine?

Some people are already being offered their booster vaccine. Boosters are being offered in the same priority groups as the first round of vaccines. At the moment, you won’t be offered a booster until at least six months have passed since your second vaccine. We’re still waiting to hear more information about how the rollout will work and we will update this page when we know how you can arrange to get your booster. 

Should I contact my GP or phone 111 for a vaccine appointment?

If you are aged 18 and over, you can now visit the national booking service and book your vaccine at larger vaccination centres or a pharmacy. To help the NHS at this time please attend both of your vaccination appointments. 

We should all still follow the latest government guidance on staying safe from coronavirus. This advice applies in England. There is separate guidance for people in WalesScotland, and Northern Ireland

You can find the latest information and advice regarding Covid-19 and the vaccine on the government’s dedicated pages. You can also contact our Helpline on 0303 3033 100 or email helpline@stroke.org.uk