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Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for people with a severely weakened immune system

NHS information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for people with a severely weakened immune system, including who can get an additional primary dose and boosters, and how to get vaccinated.

Anyone aged 5 or over who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, will be offered an additional primary dose (3rd dose) before any booster doses.

The first 2 doses may not have given as much protection as they can for people who do not have a severely weakened immune system. An additional primary dose may help give better protection.

People aged 12 or over will also be offered at least 1 booster dose.

A booster helps improve the protection from previous doses of the vaccine. It helps give longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

People with a severely weakened immune system include those who had or have:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections
  • a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for an additional primary dose

You'll usually be offered an additional primary dose at least 8 weeks after you had your 2nd dose.

Your GP or hospital specialist may suggest a different time depending on if you have any ongoing or planned treatment that affects your immune system.

If you're over 12, you can get a booster dose from 3 months after your additional primary dose.

If it has been at least 3 months since you had your booster dose, you can also get a spring booster.

If you have not had any booster doses yet, you can get a spring booster from 3 months after your additional primary dose.

If you're eligible, the NHS will usually invite you to get your additional primary dose or booster.

You may get a letter advising that you may be eligible and to discuss this with your doctor.

Your doctor will discuss with you how you can get your vaccine.

You'll usually get vaccinated at your local hospital or a local NHS service such as a GP surgery.

Information:

If you think you're eligible for an additional primary dose or a spring booster but have not been contacted, you can book a vaccination or find a walk-in site near you.

If you or your child are aged 5 or over, you can book your additional primary dose or booster appointments online.

You'll need to bring with you either:

  • a letter from your GP or hospital specialist inviting you for an additional primary dose or booster
  • a hospital letter that describes the condition or treatment that caused you to have a severely weakened immune system at the time of your 1st or 2nd dose
  • a prescription or a medicine box with your name and the date showing when the medicine was prescribed – this must show that you had a severely weakened immune system at the time of your 1st or 2nd dose

If you think you’re eligible for an additional primary dose or booster but you do not have a suitable letter, prescription or medicine box, you may still be able to get your vaccination.

If you or your child are aged 5 or over, you can go to some walk-in vaccination sites to get your 3rd dose without needing an appointment.

You will need to bring with you either:

  • a letter from your GP or hospital specialist inviting you for an additional primary dose or booster
  • a hospital letter that describes the condition or treatment that caused you to have a severely weakened immune system at the time of your 1st or 2nd dose
  • a prescription or a medicine box with your name and the date showing when the medicine was prescribed – this must show that you had a severely weakened immune system at the time of your 1st or 2nd dose

If you think you’re eligible for an additional primary dose or booster but you do not have a suitable letter, prescription or medicine box, you may still be able to get your vaccination.

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