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Questions about second doses


Why do I need the second dose? 

The first dose of the vaccine offers good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection everyone must get a second dose.

Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID with symptoms, to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to pass the virus onto others.


Does being fully vaccinated change the rules/restrictions?

Yes. People who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.


How soon after my first vaccination, will I get my second dose?

In line with the latest guidance, the NHS is now offering second doses between 8 and 12 weeks after the first dose, instead of the 11 to 12 weeks as specified in previous guidance. 

This applies to both the vaccines currently being used (AstraZeneca and Pfizer).


What kind of vaccine will it be?

You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have - but when you book, you'll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you.

Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines.

For example:

  • if you're pregnant or under 40 you'll only be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
  • if you're under 18, you'll only be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

You should have the same vaccine for both doses, unless you had serious side effects (such as a serious allergic reaction) after your 1st dose.


How do I get my appointment for a second dose?

If you booked your first appointment through the national NHS Booking System and/or received your first dose at the regional vaccination centre or at a local pharmacy or hospital, you should have been invited to make a second appointment when you booked the first.

If you didn't for any reason, you can go online and book your second dose now at: 



If I go to a different vaccine site for my second dose, will the staff there know which vaccine I’ve already had? 

Yes. All vaccination sites have access to the same patient record system and they will ensure that you are given a second dose of the same vaccine you received for your first dose.