Who will be offered the coronavirus vaccine

Everyone aged 12 and over is now eligible for vaccination.

Vaccine drop-in clinics

All mainland health boards are offering coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine drop-in services as the vaccination programme has nearly completed first doses for all adults in Scotland.

If you are aged 12 or over, you can attend a drop-in clinic.

More about vaccine drop-in clinics

The coronavirus vaccine is free to everyone in Scotland. Do not share your bank details with anyone offering you the vaccine for a fee.

Why you should be vaccinated

Vaccinating people as quickly as possible will help drive infection rates down, particularly as a significantly more infectious and faster-spreading strain has developed.

The coronavirus vaccine can reduce your risk of developing coronavirus and make your symptoms milder if you do get it.

The vaccine is not mandatory but NHS Scotland strongly recommends you get the vaccine when offered it.

Find out more about how you will be vaccinated

Who is being offered the coronavirus vaccine?

NHS Scotland are following the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice and are vaccinating those most at risk first, and those who work closest with them.

If you are not registered with a GP or do not have Community Health Index (CHI) number you can still get the vaccine by phoning the helpline on 0800 030 8013.

Adults aged 18 and over

Everyone aged 18 and over on (and including) 31 October 2021 has now been invited for a vaccine. This includes:

  • residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  • front line health and social care workers
  • clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  • those aged 18 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  • all adults with a learning disability – mild, moderate, severe and profound
  • unpaid carers
  • household contacts of those who are severely immunosuppressed
  • adults experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping

You should use NHS Scotland's appointment tracker to check if you have an appointment scheduled for your first or second dose.

You may receive the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, depending on your circumstances.

More about the vaccines

Young people aged 16 and 17

All young people aged 16 to 17 years will be offered a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Scotland. The timing of the second dose will be confirmed later.

In line with the latest advice from the JCVI, they will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Those 16 and 17 year olds with specific risk factors should be offered two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with an interval of 8 weeks between doses.

Some people aged 16–17 are already able to receive two doses of the vaccine, including if they are:

  • clinically extremely vulnerable, or have a specific underlying health condition
  • an unpaid carer
  • a frontline health or social care worker

If you’re a young person with questions about the coronavirus vaccine, you can find out more in the Young Scotcast - Covid Concerns podcast.

Children aged 12 to 15

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommend that children and young people aged 12 to 15 years of age, who are considered at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) should be offered 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

This includes children and young people with:

  • severe neuro-disabilities
  • Down's syndrome
  • underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression
  • a diagnosis of learning/intellectual disability

The JCVI also recommends that children and young people aged 12 to 15 who live with someone who is immunosuppressed should be offered the vaccine.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have provided advice on the universal vaccination of children and young people aged 12 to 15 years against coronavirus

From Monday 20 September 2021, all other children aged 12 to 15 can receive the vaccine. 

Underlying health conditions

People aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system are now eligible for a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Your clinician will decide if you should receive a third dose. There's no need for you to take any action - your health board will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Read further information about the vaccine and health conditions

Read more about the health conditions that put people aged 16 years and over at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.

Younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings

Many younger adults in residential care settings will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine because they fall into one of the clinical risk groups (for example learning disabilities).

Given the likely high risk of exposure in these settings, vaccination of the whole resident population is recommended.

Younger residents in care homes for the elderly will also be at a higher risk of exposure. Although they may be at lower risk of mortality than older residents, they should be offered the coronavirus vaccine.

Unpaid carers

Unpaid carers aged 16 to 64 are now being offered vaccination alongside adults with eligible at-risk health conditions (priority group 6).

Those unpaid carers aged 65 and over will have been offered the vaccine earlier in priority groups 2 to 5.

Unpaid carers being prioritised for vaccination are those who provide face-to-face care (without payment) for someone else due to a disability, ill-health, frailty or addiction issues.

Unpaid carers will be invited to get their coronavirus vaccine by phone or letter.

This information sheet from the Scottish Government has more information about additional support for unpaid carers.

If you are not registered with your GP as an unpaid carer, you can now register for a vaccine by phoning the COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013.

Frontline social care workers

The JCVI definition of frontline social care workers is:

  • those working in long-stay residential and nursing care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high levels of illness or death
  • social care staff directly involved in the care of their patients or clients
  • others involved directly in delivering social care such that they and vulnerable patients/ clients are at increased risk of exposure

Frontline social care workers working directly with local authority or NHS services will be contacted by their local health board for vaccination.

Social care workers in the private/independent or third sector

A letter has been issued to the third and independent sector which provides further advice for staff to self-assess their eligibility for vaccination.

It includes information for social care workers to arrange their vaccination appointment. Speak to your employer for more information.

Clinically extremely vulnerable

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are those who were recommended by the NHS to shield.

Everyone in this group will be eligible for a vaccination at the same time as those aged 70 and over. People with underlying health conditions who are not on the shielding list will be offered the vaccine shortly after that.

Highest risk groups who were recommended to shield

Self-registration portal

You can register for a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination through the online self-registration portal.

This is a convenient and immediate way to register for your coronavirus vaccine and receive your vaccination appointment details.

For more information go to our self-registration page.

Who should not get the vaccination

You should not get the coronavirus vaccine if you've had a severe anaphylactic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine or a previous dose of the vaccine.

Before you're vaccinated, tell the person giving you the vaccine if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

This will affect very few people, but you will be able to ask any questions at your appointment.

Further information about the vaccines and their ingredients

Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the vaccine

If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, read more about the coronavirus vaccine and pregnancy.