At your coronavirus vaccination appointment

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine will be given in 2 doses. It offers good protection within 2 to 3 weeks of the first dose.

The vaccine will be given as an injection in the upper arm. It'll only take a few minutes to get the coronavirus vaccine, and it's available free from NHS Scotland.

During vaccination, strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place.

The latest evidence suggests the first dose of the vaccine provides protection for most people for up to 12 weeks. As a result of this evidence, when you can have the second dose has changed. This is also to make sure as many people can have the vaccine as possible.

Second dose

You'll be advised when to return for your second dose. The second dose can be given between 3 and 12 weeks after the first.

The second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer-term protection. It's important to get both doses to protect yourself against coronavirus.

Appointment for your second dose

For people who have received their first vaccination and are due to receive their second dose between now and Monday 4 January 2021, these appointments should continue as planned.

For those who have received their first vaccination and are scheduled to receive their second dose after Monday 4 January 2021, the second dose appointment should be rescheduled in the 12th week after the first dose.

For those scheduled to receive their first vaccination from Thursday 31 December 2020, an appointment to receive the second dose should be scheduled in the 12th week after the first dose.

If you feel unwell

If you're unwell on the day of your appointment, you should still go for your vaccination if it's a minor illness without fever.

If you feel very unwell your vaccine may be postponed until you have fully recovered.

Do not attend your vaccine appointment if you feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus. Self-isolate and book a test instead.

If you've already had coronavirus

Even if you’ve already had coronavirus, you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of another infection and the seriousness of your symptoms if you do get it again.

If you've recently tested positive for coronavirus – even if you have no symptoms – you should wait until 4 weeks after the date you were tested before getting the vaccine.

The vaccine is your best protection against coronavirus. NHS Scotland strongly recommends you get the vaccine as soon as it's offered to you.

Preparing for the vaccination

On the day of your vaccine, wear practical clothing so it’s easy to access your upper arm.

If you have a fear of needles or feel anxious, try to stay calm and let the person giving you your vaccine know. They will be understanding and can support you.

You should ideally wait 7 days between the coronavirus vaccine and any other vaccination.

Follow FACTS

After you get the vaccine you will still need to follow the latest government advice.

So in the meantime, and possibly for some time to come, it’s still important to follow FACTS:

  • F – Wear a face covering
  • A – Avoid crowds
  • C – Clean your hands regularly
  • T – Two-metre distance
  • S – Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms