A booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine.
It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
Who can get a COVID-19 booster dose
Everyone aged 16 and over who had a 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago can get a booster dose.
Some children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for a booster dose if either:
- they live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- they have a condition that means they’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
Conditions that mean they may be at high risk are:
- a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
- Down’s syndrome
- severe or multiple learning disabilities (or they’re on the learning disability register)
- a condition that means they’re more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)
If you had a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because you have or had a severely weakened immune system, you can get a booster (4th dose) from 3 months after your 3rd dose.
How and when to get your COVID-19 booster dose
If you’re eligible, you can get a booster dose at least 3 months after you had your 2nd dose.
If you’re aged 16 or over you can:
- book a vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- go to a walk-in vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
- wait to be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery and book an appointment with them
Eligible children aged 12 to 15 can go to a walk-in vaccination site or wait to be contacted by a local NHS service.
If you had a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because you have or had a weakened immune system, your GP or hospital specialist will invite you for your booster dose when it’s due.
If you have a letter from your GP or hospital specialist inviting you for your 3rd dose, you can get your booster at a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site. You’ll need to bring your letter with you.
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.