Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have been authorised on the basis of two doses, because the evidence from the clinical trials shows that this gives the maximum level of protection. Your second dose will be the same vaccine as your first dose.

To ensure that as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advise that the second dose of both vaccines should be scheduled up to 12 weeks after the first dose. The evidence doesn’t show any risk to not having the second dose, other than not being as protected as you otherwise would be. Please be reassured that there are no safety concerns in the new guidance, and it will not impact on how effective the vaccination is in protecting you from COVID-19 once the course is complete. The second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer-term protection. It’s important to get both doses to protect yourself against coronavirus.

You do not need to do anything to arrange your second dose. If you booked your first dose through the national booking service (online or by calling 119), you should already have a second appointment booked and should have a record card with details of your next appointment written on it; this will be around 12 weeks after your first appointment and at the same location where you received your first dose. If you received your first dose at a GP-led vaccination hub, you will be contacted to arrange an appointment to receive your second dose. Please wait to be contacted. Please do not turn up at a vaccination centre without an appointment.