To be fully protected, you need a (COVID-19) booster vaccine.
Booster vaccinations are now available to anyone
- aged 16 or over
who has had a 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago.
Vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15
Clinically vulnerable 12 to 15-years-olds who are most at risk from coronavirus can now get their COVID-19 booster jab.
This includes children who are receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy, those with leukaemia, diabetes, chronic diseases or severe mental illness, and those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed.
All children aged 12 to 15 can get a 1st dose and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (including children who turn 12 on the date of vaccination).
Most children can:
- get their vaccine at school
- book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
Vaccinations for young people aged 16 and over
You can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you're aged 16 or over.
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
How and when to get your COVID-19 booster dose
If you're eligible, you'll be offered a booster dose at least 3 months after you had your 2nd dose.
Most people 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
People who work for an NHS trust or a care home will usually get their booster dose through their employer.
If you have a weakened immune system and have had a 3rd dose of the vaccine, you can get a booster dose from 3 months after your 3rd dose.
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.
Book your vaccination appointment online
You can pre-book your booster dose online if it's been 2 months (61 days) since you had your 2nd dose and you are:
- aged 18 or over
- aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19
- a frontline health or social care worker
You'll be offered appointment dates from 3 months after the date of your 2nd dose.
Find a walk-in vaccination site
You can get your booster dose at a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site if you had your 2nd dose at least 3 months ago and you are:
- aged 18 or over
- aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19 – you’ll need to bring your letter inviting you to get your booster dose or a letter from your doctor about your health condition
- a frontline health or social care worker – you’ll need to bring proof of your employment such as your workplace photo ID, a letter or a payslip from your employer within the last 3 months
If you do not get a letter but you have a health condition and you think you’re eligible, contact your GP surgery.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?
Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine.
This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses.
Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
COVID-19 booster dose and flu vaccine
Most 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.
You can find more Easy Read documents about what to expect at your vaccine appointment and some reassurance about fertility and the vaccine on the government website.
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease.
However, even when fully vaccinated, you can still have the virus and pass it on to to others - especially to those who have not been vaccinated. This could be dangerous for people who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
Because the protection from the vaccine slowly reduces, booster doses are being made available through the NHS for people aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15. People aged 12 and over who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses, will be offered a 3rd dose and a booster (4th dose). People aged 75 and over, people who live in care homes for older people, and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will be offered a spring booster.
No vaccine is 100% effective, and it takes both jabs and a booster to build up the most effective protection.
Vaccinations offer the very best protection against serious COVID-19 infection.
Being healthy or young doesn’t reduce your risk of catching COVID-19 or passing it on, which is why it is important to get a vaccination when it is offered to you.
The vaccines that are being used have been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of tens of thousands of people.
By mid-September almost 82% of people aged over 16 in the UK, had received both doses of the vaccine. Over 89% had received their first dose. And vulnerable people are starting to be contacted about their third, booster vaccinations.
Sefton GP, Dr Pete Chamberlain has shared this video on the local COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Staff giving you the vaccine will be wearing personal protective equipment and will follow all cleaning and disinfection requirements.
The UK’s national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised on 16th April, 2021 that pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine.
In its statement, the Committee said that there have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines in relation to pregnancy. This means the vaccines should be offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.
In this video, JCVI member Dr Maggie Wearmouth provides advice about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy.