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Second dose information

Posted in Our priorities

Booking your second dose

Anyone over 12 years old can get a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

You'll need to book a 2nd dose for 8 to 12 weeks after your 1st dose, or you can visit a walk in clinic once you're eligible. If you have your 1st dose through your GP surgery, you'll be contacted when it's time to book your 2nd dose.

 

How will I be invited for the second dose of my vaccination?

If you have booked your first appointment online or by calling 119, you will normally book your 2nd appointment at the same time as your first. If you have booked an appointment directly with your local GP vaccination service, you will usually organise your 2nd appointment with them as well.

If you’ve attended a walk-in clinic for your first dose, you can also attend a walk-in clinic for your second dose. You can find the locations and opening times here.

Can I have my second dose in a different place?

If you book online, you'll be shown the closest available appointment locations. Most people will have their second dose at the same location they had their first dose.

If you had your first dose through a GP service, you'll be be invited for your second dose through the same GP service.

If you had your first dose at a Hospital Hub site, you should be invited or be able to book your second dose at the same location.

There are circumstances in which it may be appropriate for you to get your second dose in a different location to their first dose, for example, discharged outpatients, students, doctors in training on rotation to hospitals, people who have become housebound or moved into a care home since their first dose, or patients who have moved to a new house to somewhere a long way away from where they had their first dose.

How effective is the first vaccine injection without getting the second one? 

It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you.

Immunity is not instant once you have received your vaccination. It will take a time for your body to produce the antibodies needed to produce an effective immune response to fight future COVID-19 infection. It is important that even after you have had the COVID-19 vaccine you adhere to the current public health advice including social distancing and practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene.

What happens if a person has the first jab but not the second? 

Pfizer, Moderna and the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines have been authorised on the basis of two doses. This is because evidence from the clinical trials shows this gives the maximum level of protection. The evidence doesn’t show any risk to not having the second dose, other than not being as protected as you otherwise would be. We would urge everyone to show up for both of their appointments for their own protection as well as to ensure we don’t waste vaccines or the time of NHS staff.

If I had the Pfizer vaccine in the first jab, can I have the AstraZeneca vaccine for my second one?

If you have a first dose of one vaccine, your second dose will be of that same vaccine too. In certain exceptional circumstances, for example, an extremely bad reaction to the first dose, where the type of first dose is unknown or unavailable, different types of vaccine may be given (Public Health England’s Green Book.)

Public Health England, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have all been very clear that in the absence of trial data to show it is safe and effective, doses should not be mixed.

What happens if I don’t go for my second appointment?

The first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will provide short term protection. It is important to get the second dose to provide fuller, longer term protection against COVID-19.

What is the second dose guidance for pregnant women?

PHE’s Green Book advises that ‘Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age, because of more extensive experience of their use in pregnancy. Pregnant women who commenced vaccination with AstraZeneca, however, are advised to complete with the same vaccine’. ‘If a woman finds out she is pregnant after she has started a course of vaccine, she may complete vaccination during pregnancy using the same vaccine product (unless contra-indicated). Alternatively, vaccination should be offered as soon as possible after pregnancy.’