How many doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine am I eligible for

Everybody aged 5 and over (on 31 August 2022) is eligible for 2 doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The number of additional doses they may be eligible for depends on their age and if they have any additional risk factors.

What are additional risk factors?

Additional risk factors are:

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People aged 18 and over

People aged 18 and over are eligible for 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccine plus a booster dose. They'll be offered their second dose of the vaccine from 8 weeks after their first dose. The booster dose will then be offered at least 12 weeks after the second dose.

Some people with additional risk factors are eligible for additional doses (third primary dose and winter booster dose). The third primary dose will be offered 8 weeks after the second dose. The winter dose will then be offered at least 12 weeks after any previous dose.

If an adult aged 18 or over and has recently had a confirmed coronavirus infection, they should wait 4 weeks from date of test or first symptoms (whichever is earlier) to get the vaccine.

People aged 16 to 17

People aged 16 to 17 are eligible for 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccine plus a booster dose. They'll be offered their second dose of the vaccine from 12 weeks after their first dose. The booster dose will then be offered at least 12 weeks after the second dose.

Some people with additional risk factors are eligible for additional doses (third primary dose and winter booster dose). The third primary dose will be offered 8 weeks after the second dose. The winter dose will then be offered at least 12 weeks after any previous dose.

If a young person aged 16 to 17 has recently had a confirmed coronavirus infection, they should wait 12 weeks from date of test or first symptoms (whichever is earlier) to get the vaccine. If they have additional risk factors or live with someone who has a weakened immune system, they can have their vaccine from 4 weeks from date of test or first symptoms.

Children and young people aged 5 to 15

Read about the coronavirus vaccine for children and young people aged 5 to 15

Third primary dose

A third primary dose of the coronavirus vaccine is being offered to people with a severely weakened immune system. This third primary dose is an extra ‘top-up’ dose to help increase the level of protection for people who may not have generated a full immune response to the first 2 doses and might be less protected than the wider population.

A third primary dose is different from a booster dose. A booster dose is an additional dose to extend the duration of protection from previous doses.

If you've never received a coronavirus vaccine or a blue invitation letter

If you've never received a coronavirus vaccine or a blue invitation letter, and you're 16 or over, you can register online for an appointment. This allows NHS Scotland to send you alerts and information digitally rather than through the post. You need to be registered with a GP practice to use this service. If you aren't, you can phone the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013.

Use the coronavirus vaccine registration service

If you're under 16, you should phone the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013.

If you don’t have a GP practice

You can still get your coronavirus vaccination even if you aren’t registered with a GP practice or don’t have a Community Health Index (CHI) number.

You should phone the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 and they'll help you.

How do I know if I’m at risk?

Some people who have additional risk factors are eligible for additional doses.

Severely weakened immune system

Severely weakened immune system includes those who had or have:

  • blood cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • lowered immunity due to treatment (such as steroid medication, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • lowered immunity due to inherited disorders of the immune system
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • diseases that affect the immune system such as poorly controlled HIV
Weakened immune system

Health conditions or treatments that may mean people have a weakened immune system include:

Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment

  • those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients
  • adults aged 16 years or over with HIV infection (at all stages)

Genetic disorders affecting the immune system

For example:

  • deficiencies of IRAK-4 or NEMO
  • complement disorder
  • SCID

Immunosuppressive or immunomodulating biological therapy

Including, but not limited to:

  • anti-TNF
  • alemtuzumab
  • ofatumumab
  • rituximab
  • patients receiving protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • individuals treated with steroid sparing agents such as cyclophosphamide and mycophenolate mofetil

Steroid medication

  • adults aged 16 or over treated with or likely to be treated with systemic steroids for more than a month at a dose equivalent to prednisolone at 20mg or more per day
  • children and young people aged 5 to 15 years treated with or likely to be treated with high or moderate dose corticosteroids

Blood cancers

  • those with haematological malignancy, including leukaemia and lymphoma
  • adults aged 16 or over with myeloma

Auto-immune diseases

Those who require long term immunosuppressive treatment for conditions including, but not limited to:

  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • scleroderma
  • psoriasis

Non-biological oral immune modulating drugs for children and young people aged 5 to 15 years

  • methotrexate
  • azathioprine
  • 6-mercaptopurine
  • mycophenolate

If you feel your condition or medication does not appear on the list, please talk to the clinician that manages your condition. They may be able to refer you to your NHS Board for vaccination if appropriate.

Last updated:
23 September 2022

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