Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccination

Spring booster dose for high risk groups

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advise a spring dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for:

  • adults aged 75 years and over (or who will turn 75 by 30 June 2022)
  • residents in care homes for older adults
  • individuals aged 12 years and over who have a weakened immune system

If you're in one of these groups, you may have already received a booster dose last autumn or winter.

As you're now also eligible for the spring booster dose, NHS Scotland will contact you to arrange your appointment at the right time for you. Please wait to be invited forward.

The spring booster dose will usually be offered around 6 months since your last dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Some people may be invited sooner than this (at least 3 months since their last dose) to help protect them against any increase in coronavirus infections.

Why am I being offered a spring booster dose?

Coronavirus infection may be more serious in older people and people with a weakened immune system. Protection from the vaccine may be lower and may wear off more quickly in these groups.

The spring booster dose is being offered as a precaution to those at high risk. The spring booster dose should help to reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, or being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

If you're invited for a spring booster dose due to a weakened immune system, but you do not think this describes your current condition, please phone 0800 030 8013 if you would like to cancel this appointment.

How many doses will I need?

At this time you'll be offered the spring booster dose to help improve your protection.

You may be offered another booster dose as well as your flu vaccine in the autumn.

What if I’ve missed other doses of the coronavirus vaccine?

If you have not yet had all your primary doses of the vaccine you should have them as soon as possible.

If you have not yet had your booster dose during autumn or winter, but you have had your all your primary doses, you can have the spring booster dose as long there has been at least 3 months since your last dose.

Booster dose for everyone else

Everyone aged 16 and over is eligible for 2 primary doses of the coronavirus vaccine, followed by 1 booster dose. If you've not yet taken up the offer of a booster dose, you can log in to book your booster dose using the same username and password details you set up for your first 2 doses of coronavirus vaccine.

NHS Scotland will contact eligible 12 to 15 year olds about how to get their booster dose.

If you live in NHS Western Isles or NHS Orkney local health board areas, you will not need to book an appointment online as local arrangements are in place.

Why the booster dose is important

Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to reduce over time. The coronavirus vaccine booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first 2 doses and give you longer-term protection.

You can get the booster dose any time at least 3 months (12 weeks) after your second dose.

Who is eligible for the booster dose?

The JCVI recommends that the booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine is offered to:

  • everyone aged 16 years or over
  • older adults living in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 12 years and over with a severely weakened immune system who have had a third primary dose
  • children and young people aged 12 to 15 years who are at increased risk from coronavirus due to underlying health conditions
  • children and young people aged 12 to 15 years who live with someone with a weakened immune system

Find out when eligible children and young people aged 12 to 17 years will be invited for their booster dose.

People aged 18 and over will be offered a booster dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Children and young people aged 12 to 17 years will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for their booster dose. AstraZeneca may be given as your booster dose if you have medical reasons that mean you cannot have Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.

How to get your coronavirus vaccine booster dose

NHS Scotland recommends that you book an appointment for your coronavirus vaccine booster at least 3 months (12 weeks) after your second dose. If you can't find a date, venue and time that suits you on the online booking portal, come back later as new clinics are being added regularly.

If you need help booking an appointment, phone the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 (open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Some areas are offering coronavirus vaccine booster drop-in clinics. You can check what is available in your local area on the Vaccine drop-in clinics page or by visiting your health board’s social media account.

If you go to a drop-in clinic to get your coronavirus vaccine booster but already had a future appointment booked, NHS Scotland will automatically cancel the booked appointment for you.

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.

Read information about children and young people aged 12 to 17 years who have recently tested positive for coronavirus

After getting the booster dose

Read the Waiting after the coronavirus vaccination leaflet for information about how long you should stay at the clinic after your vaccination.

Rearrange your appointment

You should rearrange your appointment if you cannot attend.

If you do not show up for your scheduled appointment you will not be able to book a new appointment online.

You will need to phone the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 to book a new appointment.

You should log in as usual and click 'view appointment'. You will then be given the option to 'reschedule'.

Last updated:
05 May 2022