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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 people aged 12 to 15 who are at high risk from COVID-19, once they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination course
  • a seasonal booster (autumn booster) for some people, including those aged 50 years or over, those at high risk from COVID-19 or who are pregnant, and frontline health and social care workers

If you've not had a 1st booster dose yet, you're still eligible and can book anytime. If you're eligible for both, you only need 1 booster during the autumn.

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

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:

  • are at high risk from COVID-19 due to a health condition or a weakened immune system
  • live with someone who has a weakened immune system

How to get a 1st booster dose

If your NHS record shows you're at high risk from COVID-19, you should be invited for a 1st booster.

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.

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 50 or over
  • pregnant
  • aged 5 and over and at high risk from COVID-19 due to a health condition or 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

When to get your seasonal booster

If your NHS record shows you're at high risk from COVID-19, you should be invited for a seasonal booster (autumn booster).

You can have your seasonal 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: 24 October 2022
Next review due: 24 April 2023