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How to get a booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

There are 2 booster doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine you may be able to get:

  • a 1st booster for everyone aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, once they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination course
  • a seasonal booster (autumn booster) for some people, including those aged 65 years or over, those at higher risk or who are pregnant, and frontline health and social care workers

If you have not had a booster dose yet, you're still eligible and can book anytime.

1st booster

1st booster for people aged 16 and over

If you're aged 16 or over you can get a 1st booster dose if you:

  • have completed your primary COVID-19 vaccination course (1st and 2nd dose, plus an additional primary dose if you have a severely weakened immune system)
  • had your previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago

1st booster for some children aged 12 to 15

You can get a 1st booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you are aged 12 to 15 and have:

  • a weakened immune system or live with someone who has a weakened immune system
  • a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
  • Down's syndrome
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities (or you're on the learning disability register)
  • a condition that means you're more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)

You need to have completed your primary COVID-19 vaccination course and had your previous dose at least 3 months ago to get a 1st booster dose.

How to get a 1st booster dose

If you've not had a 1st booster yet, you can:

If you're aged 12 to 15, you'll need to bring the letter, text or email inviting you to get a 1st booster dose.

If you do not have an invitation, you can bring a letter from your GP or hospital specialist about your condition, or a letter from the GP or hospital specialist of the person you live with confirming that anyone they live with should get a 1st booster.

Information:

If you cannot book an appointment 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.

Seasonal booster

You can have a seasonal booster dose (autumn booster) of the COVID-19 vaccine if you are:

  • aged 65 or over
  • pregnant
  • aged 5 and over and at high risk due to a health condition
  • aged 5 and over and at high risk because of a weakened immune system
  • aged 5 and over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system
  • aged 16 and over and a carer, either paid or unpaid
  • living or working in a care home for older people
  • a frontline health and social care worker
Information:

Currently certain people are being prioritised for getting a seasonal booster. Others, including those aged 50 to 64 who are not at higher risk, will be able to get it later in the autumn 2022.

When to get your seasonal booster

You can have your seasonal booster (autumn booster) if it's been at least 3 months since you had your previous dose.

If you have not had a 1st or 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yet, you should have them as soon as possible.

If you have a severely weakened immune system you should get an additional primary dose before you get a booster.

How to get a seasonal booster dose

To get a seasonal booster (autumn booster) dose you can:

If you live in a care home for older people, contact your care home manager about getting vaccinated.

What to bring to your appointment

If you’re aged under 50, it can help if you bring your invitation, an NHS letter describing your condition or treatment, or a repeat prescription slip or medicine box with your name on it to your appointment.

If you don’t have any of these, you should still be able to get vaccinated, but you may have to speak to a healthcare professional first.

What to do if you've had 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.

Information:

COVID-19 booster dose and flu vaccine

Some 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.

Find out more about the flu vaccine

More information

Page last reviewed: 16 September 2022
Next review due: 28 October 2022