Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to reduce over time. The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first two doses and give you longer term protection.
The booster dose can be offered any time at least 6 months (24 weeks) after your second dose and will help reduce the risk of you needing to go to hospital due to coronavirus this winter.
If you're eligible, your flu and coronavirus booster vaccines will be given at the same time, one in each arm.
Who is eligible for the booster dose?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that the booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine is offered to:
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- frontline health and social care workers
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- adults aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health
conditions that put them at higher risk of severe coronavirus
- adult carers (aged 16 or over)
- household contacts (aged 16 or over) of immunosuppressed individuals
You will be offered a booster dose of either Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. AstraZeneca may be given as your booster dose if you have medical reasons that mean you cannot have Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.
Before getting the booster dose
If you have not had either your first or second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, you should arrange to have them.
Register for your coronavirus vaccine
You will still need the booster dose but the timing of it will depend on when you had your first two doses.
How you will be invited for vaccination
NHS Scotland are following the JCVI advice and offering a booster dose to those most at risk first.
Residents in care homes and care home staff
Your local health board is making arrangements with your care home to give you your flu and coronavirus booster vaccine at the same time.
You will be vaccinated in your care home setting.
If you are a member of staff working in a care home for older adults, you will likely be offered both vaccinations at work. You can book an appointment online if you were unable to be vaccinated at work.
Those aged 70 and over and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable
If you are aged 70 or over or if you were previously on the shielding list and are aged 16 or over, you will receive a vaccine invitation.
This may be an invitation letter or you may be contacted by your GP offering you an appointment to receive both a coronavirus booster and flu vaccination.
Frontline health and social care workers
If you're an eligible frontline health and social care worker, you can book your coronavirus booster online.
Eligible healthcare workers and social care workers may receive their flu vaccination with their coronavirus booster vaccine.
Other eligible groups
You are eligible for both a flu vaccine and a coronavirus booster if you are:
- an adult aged 50 and over
- an adult carer, unpaid carer or a young carer aged 16 years or over
- aged 16 and over and a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed
Depending on when you had your second dose of coronavirus vaccine, you may need two separate appointments.
You will be able to book an appointment via the online portal soon.
Letters will then be issued to anyone in these groups who haven’t booked an appointment.
More information is available in this coronavirus booster leaflet.