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How long after Covid can I have my booster jab? Wait time for vaccine after coronavirus infection explained

Everyone aged 16 and over who had a second dose of the Covid vaccine at least three months ago can get a booster dose

A booster dose of the Covid vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses and helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from the virus.

But if you’ve recently had Covid-19, you may be wondering how long you have to wait until you can have your booster jab.

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Here’s what you need to know.

How long after Covid can I have a booster vaccine?

If you’ve tested positive for Covid-19 you will need to wait four weeks (28 days) from the day of your positive test before you can have a Covid booster jab.

This gap will help to separate any side effects of the vaccine from effects of your illness.

If you’ve already booked your Covid booster appointment and then test positive, make sure to log in and reschedule your booking.

If you are experiencing any Covid symptoms, you should not attend your booster jab appointment. Instead, you should take a test and self-isolate until you get your results.

You can get a booster dose if you had a second dose of the Covid vaccine at least three months (Photo: Shutterstock)

Who can get a COVID-19 booster dose?

Everyone aged 16 and over who had a second dose of the Covid vaccine at least three months ago can get a booster dose.

Some children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for a booster dose if either:

  • they live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • they have a condition that means they’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid

Conditions that mean they may be at high risk are:

  • a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities (or they’re on the learning disability register)
  • a condition that means they’re more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)

How do I book the Covid booster?

If you’re eligible, you’ll be offered a Covid booster dose at least three months after you had your second dose.

Most people can:

  • book a vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
  • go to a walk-in vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
  • wait to be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery and book an appointment with them

People who work for an NHS trust or a care home will usually get their booster dose through their employer.

Which Covid vaccine will I get?

Most people will be offered a Covid booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine, which means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your first and second doses.

Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.