How effective and safe the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is for people with Parkinson's, and what you need to know about the roll out.
This page was last updated on 23 September 2021 at 10am. This advice is updated as new information becomes available.
Is the vaccine safe for people with Parkinson's?
The UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world. All approved vaccines meet the strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the UK’s medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
So far, millions of people have been given a coronavirus vaccine. Reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or clotting problems, have been very rare.
Our Clinical Director, Dr Donald Grosset, advises:
"The vaccine is safe for people with Parkinson's. There is no interaction with Parkinson's medication. Parkinson's is specifically included as one of the conditions that is in a 'clinical risk group' and every adult with Parkinson's should get the vaccine."
Am I currently eligible for the vaccine?
There are different vaccination timetables depending on where you live. Most people with Parkinson’s, and their carers, should have been contacted about their vaccination by now.
Find out about the roll out, and how to book your vaccination, where you live:
Between 3 and 12 weeks after your first vaccine, you'll be invited for your second dose. It is important that you have this vaccine to boost your protection against coronavirus. You will have 2 doses of the same vaccine.
I'm a carer for someone with Parkinson's. When will I get my vaccine?
If you provide regular unpaid care or support for someone with Parkinson’s, you may be eligible for the vaccination now, regardless of your age.
If you care for someone with Parkinson’s, find out about vaccination arrangements where you live:
How will I get the vaccine?
The NHS will invite you for a vaccination when it is your turn. You might get the vaccine:
- in your local hospital
- at a nearby vaccination hub
- via your GP or pharmacist
- at your care home.
The vaccination is not compulsory.
Be alert to fraud. There have been reports of scams asking you to book your vaccine or pay for the vaccine, claiming to be from the NHS. Scams can be via text message, letter, phone call, email or door-to-door.
If you've had the vaccine
The vaccine isn’t 100% effective, but it dramatically reduces your risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus. And it reduces your risk of passing on the virus to others.
People who have been double vaccinated have a strong level of protection against the virus, so you can be more confident about working, travelling and socialising safely. But as restrictions ease, you can continue to take any measures that feel suitable and right to you, for example by avoiding crowded places or asking visitors to your home to wear face coverings. Read more of our latest advice on coronavirus and Parkinson's.
If you've had the coronavirus vaccine and are experiencing side effects, please report it on the government's Yellow Card website.
Will I receive a booster?
Following a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a booster vaccine programme will start across the UK in September. This additional vaccination will increase your protection against coronavirus in the winter months.
Anyone over 16 with Parkinson's, and unpaid carers, will be called for a booster dose of the vaccine. People will be called in the same priority order as the initial roll out.
The booster dose should be given 6 months after your second dose of the initial vaccination to give the best protection. You will be advised about which vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or Oxford/AstraZeneca) is best for you. This may be different to your initial vaccine.
For the majority of people, the NHS will be in contact with you to arrange your booster dose when it's your turn. In Scotland, an online booking system will open in October for eligible people aged 16 to 69 to book their booster dose.
If you haven't already had your flu vaccine by the time you're eligible for your coronavirus booster, you may be offered both at the same time. It is safe to do this.
Getting my coronavirus vaccination: Hamish's story
Hamish, 78, lives in Inverness in Scotland and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2016. He received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccination in February 2021 and said:
"From start to finish, it was a job very well done and since having the jab, I’ve had no side effects - other than relief."