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Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine 3rd dose

NHS information about the COVID-19 vaccine 3rd dose for people with a weakened immune system, including who can get a 3rd dose and how to get one.

People with a weakened immune system are being offered a 3rd dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. This is also known as a 3rd primary dose.

If you had a weakened immune system when you had your first 2 doses, the vaccine may not have given you as much protection as it can for people who do not have a weakened immune system.

A 3rd dose may help give you better protection.

Information:

The 3rd vaccine dose for people with a weakened immune system is different to a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

A 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses.

This includes people 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 a 3rd dose

You'll usually be offered a 3rd dose at least 8 weeks after you had your 2nd dose.

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

If you think you're eligible for a 3rd dose but have not been contacted, speak to your doctor.

If you're eligible, your GP or hospital consultant should contact you to let you know you can get a 3rd dose.

You may also get a letter from the NHS 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.

If you're aged 18 or over, you can also book your 3rd dose appointment online.

You'll need to bring a letter from a doctor confirming you're eligible for a 3rd dose to your appointment.

If you're aged 12 or over, you can go to a walk-in vaccination site to get your 3rd dose without needing an appointment.

You'll need to bring a letter from a doctor confirming you're eligible for a 3rd dose to the vaccination site.

If you do not have this letter, you must bring either:

  • a hospital letter that describes the condition or treatment that caused you to have a weakened immune system
  • a prescription or a medicine box with your name and the date showing when the medicine was prescribed

These must show that you had a weakened immune system at the time of your 1st or 2nd dose. A clinician at the site will check to make sure that you're eligible for a 3rd dose.

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