Slowly the nation are now being offered a booster dose of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to have a booster.
What is coronavirus or COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a very infectious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is more serious in older people and those with certain health conditions.
Why you are being offered a COVID-19 booster?
Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to wane over time. This booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first 2 doses and give you longer term protection.
The booster will help to reduce the risk of you needing admission to hospital due to COVID-19 infection this winter.
Timing of booster
The booster is being offered at least 6 months after your last dose. Like your previous doses, the vaccine will be given in your upper arm.
Protection against severe disease from the first 2 doses seems to decline very slowly. So don’t worry if your booster vaccine is given a few weeks after the 6 months time-point. The booster dose should help to extend your protection into the next year.
Which vaccine you will be offered?
You will be given a booster dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. These vaccines have already been given to millions of people in the UK.
You will be offered the right vaccine for you which may be the same or different from the vaccines that you had before.
Common side effects
As with your previous dose the common side effects are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK, and include:
having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection – this tends to be worst around 1 to 2 days after the vaccine
general aches, or mild flu like symptoms