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Information about COVID-19 vaccines for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus

The COVID-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out across the UK. All adults over 18 are now invited to book their first, second, third or booster dose.

Vaccine side effects

There’s no evidence that any of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK will cause hearing loss or tinnitus.

Some drugs are known to be ototoxic, which means they can cause damage to the inner ear and cause hearing loss. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the UK have ototoxicity listed as a possible side effect.

A small number of people have reported hearing or tinnitus related side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccine side effects and how to report them through the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme.

How to get your COVID-19 vaccine

There are many ways you can get a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK: 

  • you can book an appointment directly 
  • you can attend a walk-in vaccination centre 
  • you can wait to be contacted by the NHS to book an appointment.

According to the government, you should only be contacted by letter, text or email.

However, we’ve heard of people with hearing loss being contacted over the phone. We’ve raised this as an issue with the government and we’re trying to ensure communication preferences are shared with vaccination hubs.

If a phone call is not suitable for you, make sure your GP surgery knows this and has your preferred contact methods on record.

Use our health and care communication card to share your communication preferences with your GP surgery. Download our health and care communication card.

Relay UK is a service to help deaf people and those who have hearing loss or are speech impaired to communicate over the phone. Learn how to use Relay UK.

You do not have to pay for the vaccine

The vaccine will always be free on the NHS.

We’ve heard of instances of people claiming to be from the NHS and seeking payment for a vaccine. This is fraud. The vaccine is only available through the NHS and the NHS will never ask for a payment. No one representing the NHS will arrive at your home unannounced to give you the vaccine.

Where to find information about the COVID-19 vaccine

If you live in England

Read information about COVID-19 vaccinations in England on the NHS website

If you live in Northern Ireland

Read information about COVID-19 vaccinations in Northern Ireland on HSC COVID-19 NI

If you live in Scotland

Read information about COVID-19 vaccinations in Scotland on NHS inform

If you live in Wales

Read more information about COVID-19 vaccinations in Wales on NHS Wales

If you use British Sign Language (BSL)

The UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) have produced a series of videos for BSL users.

Information on the booster programme

What to expect when you get the COVID-19 vaccine

Information for women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant or breastfeeding

Find more information about the vaccines in BSL on the SignHealth website.

If you’re over 45 and use BSL

Book an appointment online on the NHS website.

If you can’t book using the NHS website, you can call 119 via InterpretersNow.

At the vaccination centre

You’ll be asked to sign a consent form. Watch a BSL version of this form below.

If you live in Northern Ireland and use BSL or Irish Sign Language (ISL)

View British Deaf Association’s videos on Facebook

If you live in Scotland and use BSL

Read information about COVID-19 vaccinations for BSL users in Scotland on NHS inform

If you live in Wales and use BSL

Read information for BSL users on NHS Wales

Jessica, one of our Senior Rehabilitation Officers, recently received her first dose of the vaccine at Lincoln Hospital. Watch Jessica explain what it’s like, so you know what to expect on the day.

Read a transcript of this video