Content from government website
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a virus which can make you feel poorly.
Coronavirus can make older people and people with some health conditions more poorly.
People with a learning disability are also more likely to become poorly if they get coronavirus.
It is really important to keep ourselves and others safe from coronavirus.
Coronavirus is sometimes called COVID-19.
One way we can keep ourselves safer and healthier this winter is by having our coronavirus and flu vaccines to help stop us getting very poorly.
Coronavirus booster vaccine
Some people will be offered a coronavirus booster vaccine. This booster vaccine will keep you safer for longer.
The people who will be offered it are:
- everyone over 18 years old
- health and social care workers
- registered carers
- people who are at more risk because they have certain health conditions. This includes people who are 16 years old or older and are on the Learning Disability Register
- people who are autistic and have some types of health conditions which could make them more poorly if they got coronavirus
Why is a booster vaccine important?
The protection from the coronavirus vaccines doesn’t last forever in your body, so it is important to get your booster vaccine to help keep you safe for longer.
When should you have a booster vaccine?
If you are in one of the groups above, you will be called by your doctor to have your booster 6 months or more after your second coronavirus vaccine.
The second vaccine will still help to keep you safe until you get your booster.
Your doctor might suggest that you get your flu vaccine at the same time as your booster vaccine. This is safe to do.
What type of booster vaccine will you be offered?
There are many different types of coronavirus vaccines.
You might not get the same type of vaccine as you had before, but you will be given the one that is right for you.
Some things you might feel after your booster vaccine
After having the booster you might:
- have a painful, or heavy feeling in the arm where you had your vaccine for 2 or 3 days
- have a headache
- find that your muscles hurt or you are feeling tired
- feel like you have the flu
If this happens you should rest and take paracetamol if you can. Check with someone if you are not sure and always make sure you follow the information on the box.
You may feel hot or cold, but this should not last more than 2 or 3 days. If you feel very hot or cold and poorly for more than a few days and have other coronavirus symptoms stay at home. You should do a coronavirus test in case you already have coronavirus. Ask someone to help you if you need to.
If you need support, but it is not an emergency, then ring 111.
Call 999 in the case of an emergency.
A few people have had problems with their hearts after having the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. These are 2 types of coronavirus vaccines. This has mostly happened in young men in the first week after their vaccine. Most people felt better after resting and having some simple treatments.
You should ring 999, if:
- you are finding breathing difficult
- you have chest pain, or your heart is beating in a different way than usual after you have had your booster vaccine
Is there anyone who should not have a coronavirus booster vaccine?
Most people can have the coronavirus booster vaccine safely.
If you were very poorly after having your other coronavirus vaccines, you should talk to your doctor.
Can you still catch coronavirus after having the vaccine?
The booster vaccine doesn’t stop everyone from getting coronavirus, but if you do get it, it should stop you becoming very poorly.
It may also take a few days for your body to get some protection from the booster.
If you have not had your first 2 coronavirus vaccines
If you have not had your first 2 coronavirus vaccines, you should have them as soon as you can.
To book your vaccines speak to your doctor to book an appointment and tell them about any reasonable adjustments you may need.
If you want to get your vaccines at your local pharmacy or at a large vaccination centre, call 119 or book online.
After you have had 2 vaccines, you will need your booster after 6 months.
Visit NHS.UK for more information about the coronavirus vaccination.
The What to expect after COVID-19 vaccination: easy-read leaflet tells you more about what to expect after your vaccine and possible side effects. You can read it online, download it or call 0300 123 1002 and ask for a paper copy to be sent to you.
The Coronavirus Yellow Card website is where you can report any other symptoms you get after having the vaccine. You might want to ask someone to help you with this.