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

There are 3 types of booster for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine:

  • A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available for everyone aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, who have had a 2nd dose of the vaccine at least 3 months ago.
  • A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available for anyone who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses and who had an additional primary dose (3rd dose) of the vaccine at least 3 months ago.
  • A spring booster of the COVID-19 vaccine is available to people aged 75 and over, people who live in a care home for older people, or people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system.

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

Information:

If you've had a positive COVID-19 test, you need to wait before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

People aged 18 and over, and young people aged 12 to 15 at high risk from COVID-19, need to wait 4 weeks.

Young people aged 16 and 17 who are not at high risk from COVID-19 need to wait for 12 weeks.

If you or your child have symptoms of COVID-19, but have not had a test, you should wait until your symptoms are better before you get the vaccine. You can talk to a healthcare professional at the vaccination site about this.

Boosters for people aged 16 and over

If you're aged 16 or over and had your 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago, you can:

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.

Boosters for some children aged 12 to 15

Some children aged 12 to 15 can get a booster dose if they had a 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago and they either:

  • have a condition that means they're at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • live with someone who has a weakened immune system

Eligible children can:

If you get vaccinated at a walk-in site, you'll need to bring the letter, text or email inviting you to get a 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 booster.

Information:

If you're not sure if you or your child are at high risk, see who is at high risk from COVID-19.

Boosters for people with a severely weakened immune system

If you have or had a severely weakened immune system when you had your first 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, you may have been offered an additional primary dose (3rd dose) of the vaccine.

You can get a booster dose from 3 months after you had your additional primary dose.

A GP or your hospital specialist will invite you for your booster dose when it's due.

You can also book your appointment online or go to a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for people with a severely weakened immune system

Spring boosters

You will be offered a spring booster if you:

  • are aged 75 and over
  • live in a care home for older people
  • are aged 12 and over and have a weakened immune system

COVID-19 may affect you more seriously if you are in one of these groups. The spring booster is being offered to help reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

When to get your spring booster

You will be contacted by the NHS when you are due a spring booster. You will usually be offered an appointment around 6 months after your last dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are eligible for a spring booster, but 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 need to get an additional primary dose (3rd dose) before you get a booster.

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine for people with a severely weakened immune system

How to get your spring booster

You will be contacted by the NHS and invited to book your spring booster when it's due.

You may be offered appointment dates from 3 months (91 days) after your last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But try to book an appointment around 6 months after your last dose to get the best protection from your spring booster.

Book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment online for your spring booster if you are:

  • aged 75 and over
  • aged 12 and over and have a weakened immune system

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

If you think you are eligible for a spring booster but did not get an invite, contact your GP surgery or hospital specialist.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination spring boosters for those aged 75 years and older residents in care homes on GOV.UK

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: 10 May 2022
Next review due: 28 October 2022