Getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you've had COVID-19

Even if you’ve had COVID-19 you should still get any COVID-19 vaccinations you’re eligible for. It’s recommended you wait 3 months after testing positive before getting any COVID-19 vaccination.

Why you need to stay up to date with your vaccinations

Having COVID-19 does not provide the same level of immunity as getting vaccinated. We also know that your protection from the primary course of the vaccine decreases over time.

To keep your immunity levels high, stay up to date with your vaccinations - including boosters. This will lower your chances of getting very sick from COVID-19 and ending up in hospital.

Why 3 months?

After you’ve had a COVID-19 infection, your antibody levels will be high as your immune system has a big response.

Your immune system is maxed out, so if you get a vaccination soon after you’ve been infected, you might not get the best possible protection.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine sooner than 3 months might reduce your immune response to the vaccine.

A gap of 3 months gives your body time to wind back down and get the most benefit from a vaccination.

However, if you are at high risk of severe disease if you do catch COVID-19 again, it’s recommended that you talk to your GP or other specialist for advice on timing of your next dose. It might be appropriate for you to receive your COVID-19 vaccine sooner than 3 months.

If you’re under 18

The 3-month interval should only be shortened for 5-17-year-olds in exceptional circumstances and should be assessed by a GP or specialist. 

Children and young adults have a good immune response to vaccines, and there is less data available on providing COVID-19 vaccines to children and adolescents less than 3 months after infection with COVID-19.

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