A booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine.
It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
Vaccination in other parts of the UK
Who can get a COVID-19 booster dose
You can get a booster dose if you had a 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago and:
- you are aged 18 or over
- you are aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
- you are a frontline health or social care worker
- you live or work in a care home
- you are aged 16 or over and are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
- you are aged 16 or over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.
Health conditions that put you at high risk from COVID-19
Conditions that put you at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 include:
- long-term lung conditions (such as severe asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis)
- long-term conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels (such as congenital heart disease, heart failure and peripheral arterial disease)
- long-term kidney disease
- long-term liver conditions (such as cirrhosis and hepatitis)
- conditions affecting the brain or nerves (such as dementia, Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy or stroke)
- severe or multiple learning disabilities
- Down's syndrome
- problems with the spleen or the spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
- severe obesity (a BMI of 40 or above)
- severe mental conditions (such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder)
- a condition or treatment that makes you more likely to get infections
- a condition your doctor advises puts you at high risk
How and when to get your COVID-19 booster dose
If you're eligible, you'll be offered a booster dose at least 3 months after you had your 2nd dose.
Most people can:
- book a vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- go to a walk-in vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
- wait to be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery and book an appointment with them
People who work for an NHS trust or a care home will usually get their booster dose through their employer.
If you have a weakened immune system and have had a 3rd dose of the vaccine, you can get a booster dose from 3 months after your 3rd dose.
Your GP or hospital specialist will invite you for your booster dose when it's due.
If you have a letter from your GP or hospital specialist inviting you for your 3rd dose, you can get your booster at a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site. You'll need to bring your letter with you.
Book your vaccination appointment online
You can pre-book your booster dose online if it's been 2 months (61 days) since you had your 2nd dose and you are:
- aged 18 or over
- aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19
- a frontline health or social care worker
You'll be offered appointment dates from 3 months after the date of your 2nd dose.
Find a walk-in vaccination site
You can get your booster dose at a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site if you had your 2nd dose at least 3 months ago and you are:
- aged 18 or over
- aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19 – you’ll need to bring your letter inviting you to get your booster dose or a letter from your doctor about your health condition
- a frontline health or social care worker – you’ll need to bring proof of your employment such as your workplace photo ID, a letter or a payslip from your employer within the last 3 months
If you do not get a letter but you have a health condition and you think you’re eligible, contact your GP surgery.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?
Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine.
This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses.
Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
COVID-19 booster dose and flu vaccine
Most people who can get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible for the annual flu vaccine.
If you are offered both vaccines, it's safe to have them at the same time.