The booster vaccination programme
We advise that those with CGD and X—linked carriers who are invited to have the booster vaccine to have the vaccine.
A booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
Who can get a COVID-19 booster dose
Everyone aged 16 and over who had a 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago can get a booster dose. Some children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for a booster dose if either:
- they live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- they have a condition that means they're at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
If you had a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because you have or had a weakened immune system, you can get a booster dose from 3 months after your 3rd dose.
Vaccination in other parts of the UK
- NHS Inform: COVID-19 booster vaccination in Scotland
- Public Health Wales: COVID-19 vaccination in Wales
- nidirect: COVID-19 vaccination in Northern Ireland
Find out more about the COVID-19 booster vaccine
Q. Should I contact my immunology centre or GP about getting the COVID vaccination?
A. No, all services are over stretched. Wait to be contacted by the NHS, your NHS number is being used to track people wherever you are vaccinated. In some areas you will be contacted by a Hub not your own GP, but they will contact you. Your immunology centre will not have any vaccine and will not have a means to liaise with the vaccination hubs.
Q. Who will let me know when I can get the COVID vaccine?
A. The NHS is working through a priority list as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). You SHOULD NOT contact the NHS or your local GP surgery about the COVID vaccination. The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine. This will be in the form of a letter/email from your GP or the NHS. It will include all the information you need to book appointments, including your NHS number.
Do not respond to texts, emails or messages that are not from your GP/NHS or that ask for personal details including bank details. There are a number of scams using COVID vaccination to get peoples' details. You will either be sent an appointment or there will be a web booking system, but you will not have to enter personal details.
Q. What do I need to bring with me to the vaccination centre?
A. If you are taking medication, please bring a list of these with you to the vaccination centre. Do not bring the medicines themselves.
If you are taking a blood thinner called 'warfarin' you will also be going for regular blood tests to monitor the thickness of your blood using a test called INR. The INR test result is a number (for example 2.5). Please make sure you know your latest INR reading and when that was last checked. If you don't know this, you can get if from your GP surgery.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, lasting no longer than a week, and not everyone gets them. These may include: a sore arm where the needle went in; feeling tired; a headache; feeling achy; feeling or being sick.
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to. If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.
Read about the coronavirus vaccines at
You can report side effects at Yellow Card Scheme - MHRA
Q. Can I catch COVID from the vaccines?
A. You cannot catch COVID from the vaccines. But it is possible to have caught COVID and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID, stay at home and arrange to have a test. If you need more information on symptoms visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/symptoms/
Q. Can I be vaccinated if I have had a severe allergy?
A. The Pfizer vaccine is not recommended for people who have had anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) to drugs or vaccines. It is still recommended when there is a history of allergy without anaphylaxis, but this would be discussed with you. Every person attending for vaccination will be asked. If you cannot have the Pfizer vaccine, you will be added to a wait list for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine.
Q. Do I need to be registered with a GP to get the vaccine?
A. To get the vaccine, you will need to be registered with a GP surgery. If you aren't you will have to get registered or wait until the vaccine is offered more widely at other locations.
Q. Can I have pay for a private COVID vaccination?
A. COVID vaccines will ONLY be available through the NHS.
Q. Do I have a choice about what COVID vaccine I’ll receive?
A. The vaccine you will be offered will be dependent largely on the supplies available from the manufacturers and the logistics of the roll out of the COVID vaccine programme.
Q. It is good news about the RNA based vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech indicates, but is this suitable for people with CGD and X-linked carriers?
A. There is no reason to believe that people with CGD and X-linked carriers wouldn’t have a normal vaccine response but this vaccine represents a new class of vaccine which relies on translation of injected mRNA into SARS CoV 2 spike protein and for the protein to then be presented to the immune system by antigen presenting cells. Ultimately it will be important to have evidence of vaccine immunogenicity in patients with NADPH oxidase defects.
Q. Are any of the vaccines being developed for COVID, live vaccines?
A. None of the COVID vaccines being developed are live. It is important to emphasise that CGD patients, and carriers, where advised medically, should receive all vaccines except those specifically contraindicated (e.g., live BCG, live Salmonella). Particularly regarding the different types of COVID vaccine (and flu vaccines), they are not contraindicated.
Q.Would the pneumonia jab help me to avoid COVID secondary infections? Is this the flu jab?
A.The flu and pneumonia jabs are different and are effective against different microorganisms. Pneumonia jab is effective against Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and the flu vaccine against different strains of the flu virus. See https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/how-flu-vaccine-works/
Q. I have had the pneumonia vaccine. Does that give me any protection against COVID-19?
A. This vaccine specifically protects against infection with a bacterium called pneumococcus, which can cause a secondary bacterial chest infection in someone who has a viral pneumonia, but the vaccine does not protect against coronavirus itself.
Please note the vaccines for flu and pneumonia will not offer any protection against COVID.
Q. Does having a flu vaccine weaken an elderly immune system leaving you more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection?
A. There is no known link to flu vaccines "weakening" immune systems and no known link between COVID and influenza other than both are viruses and like many cough and cold viruses started circulating in the winter months. The combination of COVID and flu in the elderly would likely be a very bad one, so we continue to encourage uptake of flu vaccine as a source of protection when possible.
Q. How safe are the vaccines and who will monitor their safety?
A. All vaccines undergo extensive safety testing and must meet exacting standards to progress through the different stages of clinical trials. Their use must be approved and licensed before their use through expert review of all trial data through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). They check that the trial meets the necessary efficacy and safety levels. You can find out more about this process at http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/vaccine-development
Q. How will the safety of the vaccines be monitored after the vaccination programmes start?
A. The safety of the vaccines will be monitored on an ongoing basis, as with all licensed drugs. This is undertaken by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through the Yellow Card Scheme. Reports of suspected side effects are sent to the MHRA by drug companies (who are obliged to pass on any reports of suspected side effects that are defined as serious), health professionals, and patients themselves.
The data are evaluated each week, and the reported side effects are compared against the expected side effects as detailed in the information sheet for the vaccine. If a previously unidentified reaction emerges, or the frequency of reactions is not in line with what is expected, then the MHRA will investigate carefully. What happens next depends on the kind of side effect identified, but options include insisting that details of the new side effect are given in the product information leaflet or giving out warnings identifying groups of patients who should not be given the vaccine. In rare circumstances, the vaccine may be withdrawn from use.
Q. How long will it take for herd immunity to COVID-19 to develop within the UK population?
A. Herd immunity usually requires 60-70% of the population to have had the infection or be vaccinated, so in the UK that is approximately 40 million people.
Q. Will the vaccines stop the spread of COVID?
A. It is unlikely that a vaccination programme will be able to fully stop the spread of the COVID virus unless we see high level uptake of a highly effective vaccine. The disease may well become endemic in the global population like flu and have to be managed on a yearly basis through vaccination programmes. This means that everyone, and most importantly those clinically vulnerable should continue to take measures to protect themselves from catching the virus.
Q. How can I find out more about the development of COVID vaccines and vaccination programmes?
A. These websites may be helpful:
Page updated 18 January 2022
Video from Public Health England : 3 min video from PHE on vaccine process
UK Government site : COVID Vaccine
USA FDA (Food & Drug Administration) : COVID Vaccines
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention : Facts about COVID Vaccines