Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccination

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.

You can get the booster dose any time at least 6 months (24 weeks) after your second dose and it will help reduce the risk of you needing to go to hospital due to coronavirus this winter.

A booster dose is different from a third primary dose for people with a severely weakened immune system.

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:

  • older adults living in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all adults aged 40 years or over
  • adults aged 16 years or over with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe coronavirus
  • unpaid carers aged 16 years or over
  • adults aged 16 years or over who live with someone with a severely weakened immune system

You'll 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.

If you're eligible for both the flu and coronavirus booster vaccines, but have only received one of them so far, please book an appointment to receive the other vaccine. You can have your next vaccine any time after the first, as long as your coronavirus booster dose is 6 months (24 weeks) after the date of your second coronavirus dose.

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'll still need the booster dose but the timing of it will depend on when you had your second dose.

If you've recently tested positive for coronavirus

If you've recently tested positive for coronavirus, you should wait until 4 weeks after the date you were tested to get any dose of the vaccine. You should do this even if you have no symptoms.

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.

If you're eligible, your flu and coronavirus booster vaccines may be given at the same time, one in each arm. It’s safe to get the coronavirus and flu vaccines at the same time, and it’s as effective as getting them at different times.

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More information is available in this coronavirus booster leaflet.