Why is second dose of COVID-19 vaccine so important?

Posted: 30th April 2021

For many of those who were vaccinated at the start of the programme, the time will come over the next few weeks to return for their second dose.

For the two-dose vaccines such as Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, receiving one dose does provide you with some protection, though we do not know the full extent of the protection or how long it might last. Receiving only one dose is not as useful as receiving the full second dose.

Basically, the first dose of the vaccine starts the process of building up protection. The second dose works to greatly reinforce this protection. Moreover two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.

Given the spread of the virus and the serious health risk it poses, the second dose is strongly recommended.

If you’re contacted to attend your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, please make every effort to receive it. It’s important to fully protect you and your communities.

The NHS has been planning meticulously to ensure that people can get that second dose when it is the right time for them to do so, and all vaccination services have now received supply allocations for the first three weeks for second doses to allow them to plan clinics.

Over 11 million second doses have already been administered, and four out of five people aged 70 and over have now had their second dose.

The same vaccine should be used for both doses, and there is enough supply going to the right places to ensure that people can get their second dose within 12 weeks of their first.

The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection from COVID-19, everyone will need to get a second dose.

We are therefore urging people to come forward for their second dose of the vaccine when they are contacted or if they have an appointment booked.

People who received their first dose in a hospital hub or through a GP service will be contacted to receive their second dose, if they haven’t already. You do not need to contact the NHS.

People who booked their appointments through the national booking service (online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by ringing 119) will have booked both their first and second appointments at the same time.

People who rang 119 will have been given details of their second appointment over the phone.

People who booked online can remind themselves of their the place and time of their second dose using the ‘manage my appointments’ section on www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.

People who booked through their local vaccine site, will have been notified by text or call. Please visit www.salford.nhsvaccinations.co.uk or call 0800 953 0116 to make an appointment.

Remember to protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you MUST still follow any national or local restrictions and:

  • practise social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands regularly