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.
The 3rd vaccine dose for people with a weakened immune system is different to a booster vaccine dose.
Who can get a 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
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
If your immunosuppression started at least two weeks after your second dose of vaccination, it is unlikely you will need a third dose at this stage, but please discuss this with your specialist.
How and when to get your 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
If you’re eligible, your GP or specialist should contact you to let you know you can get a 3rd vaccine dose.
You may also get a letter from the NHS advising that you may be eligible and to discuss this with your doctor.
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.
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 your GP surgery.
If you think you’re eligible for a 3rd dose but have not been contacted, speak to your doctor.