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How to get a 1st and 2nd dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

Everyone aged 5 (on or before 31 August 2022) and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Children who turned 5 on or after 1 September 2022 can only get a 1st and 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if they’re either:

  • at high risk due to a health condition or because of a weakened immune system
  • living with someone who has a weakened immune system

If you have not had a 1st or 2nd dose yet, you're still eligible and can get them anytime.

People at high risk from COVID-19 aged 5 to 15

You should be told if you or your child are at high risk from COVID-19.

You may be at high risk from COVID-19 if you have some conditions, including:

  • a long-term lung condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma (if you need steroid tablets) or cystic fibrosis
  • a long-term heart condition, such as congenital heart disease or chronic heart failure
  • a long term condition of the kidney, liver or digestive system
  • a long-term problem with the brain or nerves, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, an inherited condition or autism
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities (or being on the learning disability register), such as Down's syndrome
  • diabetes or another hormone disorder, such as Addison’s disease
  • a weakened immune system, due to a medical treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy), a condition (such as leukaemia), a genetic condition or from having an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • problems with the spleen, having no spleen or having a condition that can affect the spleen (such as sickle cell disease)
  • a serious genetic condition that affects multiple systems in the body, such as mitochondrial disease
  • being pregnant (all stages)
  • living in a long-stay nursing and residential care home as a younger adult

This list is a summary and does not cover everything. There are other health conditions that might mean you are at high risk from COVID-19

People at high risk from COVID-19 aged 16 and over

You should be told if you or your child are at high risk from COVID-19.

You may be at high risk from COVID-19 if you have some conditions, including:

  • a long-term lung condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma (if you need steroid tablets) or cystic fibrosis
  • a long-term heart condition, such as congenital heart disease, chronic heart failure or atrial fibrillation
  • long term kidney disease (CKD) stage 3, 4 or 5
  • a severe liver disease, such as cirrhosis
  • a long-term problem with the brain or nerves, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease, myasthenia gravis, or a stroke or transient ischaemic attack
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities (or being on the learning disability register), such as Down's syndrome
  • diabetes or another hormone disorder, such as Addison’s disease
  • a weakened immune system, due to a medical treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy), a condition (such as leukaemia), or from having an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • problems with the spleen, having no spleen or having a condition that can affect the spleen (such as sickle cell disease)
  • being severely obese (having a body mass index (BMI) over 40 or above)
  • a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
  • being pregnant (all stages)
  • living in a long-stay nursing and residential care home as a younger adult

This list is a summary and does not cover everything. There are other health conditions that might mean you are at high risk from COVID-19

How to get the COVID-19 vaccine

You can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by:

You may also be contacted by a local NHS service such as your GP surgery.

If you book online, you'll be asked to book appointments for both doses.

If you had your 1st dose at a walk-in vaccination site, you can book your 2nd COVID-19 vaccination appointment online. You'll need to wait 24 hours after your 1st dose before you can book.

Information:

If you cannot book appointments online, you can call 119 free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service

How long to wait between your 1st and 2nd dose

Once you've had your 1st dose you need to wait several weeks before getting your 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

You need to wait:

  • 8 weeks (56 days) if you're aged 18 or over
  • 12 weeks (84 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17
  • 8 weeks (56 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17 and at high risk from COVID-19

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 15

What to do if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19

If you or your child have COVID-19, or symptoms of COVID-19 but have not had a test, you should wait until your symptoms are better before you get the vaccine.

You should ideally wait:

  • 4 weeks (28 days) if you're aged 18 or over
  • 12 weeks (84 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17
  • 4 weeks (28 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17 and at high risk from COVID-19, or live with someone who has a weakened immune system

This starts from the date your symptoms started or from the date of a positive test, whichever was earlier.

Page last reviewed: 24 October 2022
Next review due: 24 April 2023