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Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine 3rd dose

People with a weakened immune system are being offered a 3rd dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. This is also known as a 3rd primary dose.

If you had a weakened immune system when you had your first 2 doses, the vaccine may not have given you as much protection as it can for people who do not have a weakened immune system.

A 3rd dose may help give you better protection.

Information:

The 3rd vaccine dose for people with a weakened immune system is different to a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

Who can get a 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses.

This includes people who had or have:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections
  • a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for a 3rd dose

When to get your 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

You'll usually be offered a 3rd dose at least 8 weeks after you had your 2nd dose.

Your doctor may suggest a different time depending on if you have any ongoing or planned treatment that affects your immune system.

If you think you're eligible for a 3rd dose but have not been contacted, speak to your doctor.

How to get your 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

If you're eligible, your GP or hospital consultant should contact you to let you know you can get a 3rd dose.

You may also get a letter from the NHS advising that you may be eligible and to discuss this with your doctor.

Your doctor will discuss with you how you can get your vaccine. You'll usually get vaccinated at your local hospital or a local NHS service such as a GP surgery.

If you're aged 18 or over and have a letter from a GP or hospital consultant confirming you're eligible for a 3rd dose, you can also:

Children and young people aged 12 to 17 can get a 3rd dose at a walk-in vaccination site if:

  • it's been 8 weeks since their 2nd dose
  • they have a letter from a GP or hospital consultant confirming they're eligible

Page last reviewed: 26 November 2021
Next review due: 10 December 2021