How do I book my vaccines?
We’ve listed the most common questions about the vaccine programme in the UK. You might also like to watch our recent webinar with Dr Dima El-Sharkawi, which you can find on our YouTube Channel.
Why am I being asked to come in for more vaccine doses?
Extra doses of the vaccine is being offered to those who are immunocompromised, which includes everyone living with WM. These extra doses aim to increase the level of protection gained from the vaccine.
What is the difference between the normal dose of the vaccine and a booster vaccination?
The booster dose (which should be your fourth Covid jab) differs slightly from the other doses as for some types of vaccine, you will only receive a half-dose.
I didn’t see an increase in my antibodies between the first and second vaccine doses, will having more doses make any difference?
Some research has shown that antibodies increase between the first and second doses. The idea behind the extra doses is to boost these even further. This means even if you still don’t have higher antibody levels, a third dose could offer you more protection.
It’s also important to remember that antibodies are only one measure of immune response, and you may still be offered some protection by the first two doses even if you have low antibody response, which is why it’s recommended that everyone with WM books in a third vaccination.
What extra doses are available to me?
As someone who is immunocompromised, you should be offered the following doses:
- Doses 1 and 2 – Everyone in the UK has been offered two primary doses, and as someone who is immunocompromised, you should have already had these
- Dose 3 – only available for severely immunocompromised people, 8 weeks after their 2nd dose. This was first offered in September 2021 but due to problems with the roll out, some people got it later than this
- Dose 4/booster dose – severely immunocompromised people are eligible for this dose 3 months after their 3rd primary dose. For some vaccines, like Pfizer, you will receive the same dosage as your primary jab, but for others, like Moderna, it will be a half dose.
- Dose 5 – the JCVI announced immunocompromised people would be eligible for fifth jab as part of a Spring booster campaign. The NHS recommend to have this 6 months after your 4th dose but appointments are available anytime from 3 months after your last dose. Because of the delay many people with WM experienced in the roll out of the 3rd and 4th doses, we recommend that you book your 5th dose as soon as you can. See the Green Book (p28) for more details. You can book your vaccine on the NHS Booking system or by calling 119.
- Dose 6 – A booster dose has been recommended for immunocompromised people in the Autumn, to counter any potential wave this winter, a season where the threat is highest. Plans have yet to be finalised for how this will be rolled out, and we’ll keep you updated when details are announced.
I haven’t been able to book my vaccine, what should I do?
You should have by now received your third dose. According to the roll out, most immunocompromised people should also have had their fourth/booster jab, but we know that due to delays this might not have happened.
If you’re having problems getting your jabs, show your GP this guidance from the JCVI which details who is eligible for the third dose. You should be able to get your vaccine at a mass vaccination centre if you present them with a letter from your GP or consultant stating that you are eligible for the extra vaccine. If you’re in England, this letter might be of help when talking to them. You will only be eligible for your 3rd dose 8 weeks after your second, and your fourth/booster dose 3 months after your third.
Guidance around the roll out of the fifth dose for immunocompromised people has yet to be published and we’ll update these pages when we know more.
You can find specific guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on their respective information pages.
My third dose was recorded as a booster, can I still get my fourth dose?
You will still be eligible for a 4th dose of the vaccine. We know that some centres mistakenly recorded third jabs as boosters, but this shouldn’t stop you from getting another jab. If you have been identified as severely immunocompromised, then you are eligible for a fourth dose, no matter how the third dose is recorded. Your fourth dose will simply be recorded as a second booster.
Can I get my flu jab?
Yes, you can get your flu jab at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccination. When the vaccination programme was rolled out, initial advice said to keep 7 days between the COVID-19 and flu jabs. However recent guidance confirms that there is no harm in having these vaccinations at the same time.