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Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine

A coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine dose 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.

Who can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine

Booster vaccine doses will be available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a 2nd dose of a vaccine at least 6 months ago.

This includes:

  • people aged 40 and over
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (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
  • diabetes
  • 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 vaccine

If you're eligible, you'll be offered a booster dose at least 6 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
Information:

People who work for an NHS trust or a care home will usually get their booster dose through their employer.

Book your vaccination appointment online

You can book your COVID-19 booster dose online if it's been 5 months (152 days) since you had your 2nd dose and you are:

  • aged 40 and over
  • aged 16 and 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 6 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 6 months ago and you are:

  • aged 40 and over
  • aged 16 and 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 vaccine and flu vaccine

Most people who can get a COVID-19 booster 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.

Find out more about the flu vaccine

More information

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccination booster dose on GOV.UK

Page last reviewed: 25 November 2021
Next review due: 9 December 2021