The research shows that you need both doses of the COVID vaccine to be as fully protected as possible, for as long as possible.
However protection against severe COVID-19 disease is very high after only one dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccines.
The recommended length of time between the 1st and 2nd dose changed to 12 weeks for both vaccines approved for use in the UK on 30/12/20.
The JCVI and public health teams recommendation was based on the high levels of circulating COVID-19, particularly the more transmissible strain of the virus that is now prevalent in our communities, as well as unprecedented pressure on NHS frontline services. The aim of this change was to get as great a population coverage with the 1st dose of either vaccine as quickly as possible, for the most at-risk and vulnerable groups.
The appointment for your 2nd dose of the vaccine will be made by the local vaccination service teams at the time of your 1st dose.
Any changes to these appointments are always considered at great length. Our aim is always to provide as seamless and smooth a service as possible, within this fast moving COVID-19 emergency situation and changing dosing recommendations at a national level.
We will continue to update these FAQ pages to reflect any further national recommendations or changing policy.