The vaccines used to protect against coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines help to build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective. Some people may still get coronavirus despite having a vaccine, but any illness should be less severe.

The coronavirus vaccine you'll be offered

A variety of coronavirus vaccines are available. You'll be offered the most suitable one for your condition or age.

For a limited number of people, the vaccine you receive will depend on clinical reasons. For example, severe allergy.

Are there are any reasons I should not get the coronavirus vaccine?

There are very few people who should not have the vaccine.

The vaccines should not be given to people who have had a confirmed severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to:

  • any of the vaccine ingredients
  • a previous dose of the same vaccine

If you’ve had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine, you should discuss this with your health professional. It’s important that you tell the person giving you the vaccines if you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction to anything.

If you are receiving any medicines, treatment or therapy at a hospital or specialist clinic, tell the person giving you the vaccine.

Can the coronavirus vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines?

Coronavirus vaccines can be given at the same time as most other vaccinations. Most people will be able to get their flu and coronavirus vaccine at the same appointment.

Will the vaccine protect me?

A coronavirus vaccine reduces the chance of your suffering from severe illness or dying from coronavirus.

Protection from the vaccine usually starts two weeks after you've had it. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective. You might still get coronavirus, but your symptoms are likely to be milder.

I've had coronavirus vaccines before, do I need another dose?

It's important to keep up to date with the coronavirus vaccines you're offered. Your level of protection against coronavirus may fade over time. NHS Scotland recommends you come forward every time you are invited to keep your protection topped up.

Manufacturer leaflets

Read the patient information leaflets for the coronavirus vaccines

Last updated:
18 August 2023