Health chiefs are warning that adults who test positive for coronavirus must wait at least 28 days after the date of their test or when symptoms started before getting a booster.
Wandsworth GP Dr Caroline Scott has answered a string of questions from patients about who can get jabs and when.
The information helped Lauren Rafter, who received a positive test result after playing sport.
In a video message – here – after receiving her booster last week at the Nelson Medical Centre, she said: “I just got my booster today – 28 days after a positive PCR, having caught Covid from my netball team. It was very, very easy and I would encourage everyone to get it if they can.”
Dr Scott reminded parents that the wait for people aged 12 to 17 after a positive Covid-19 test is different – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends a gap of 12 weeks to a first or second vaccination for young people of this age group, who are not at high risk from the virus.
“This is because evidence suggests that a 12-week gap may reduce the already extremely low risk of heart inflammation after a vaccine,” Dr Scott said. “The 12-week gap does not apply to children at higher risk from the virus and those who live with vulnerable adults, who should wait for 28 days.”
Dr Scott stressed that people who have recovered from Covid-19 still need to be jabbed to get “the best protection”.
She said: “While having had the virus may give you some immunity, only being fully vaccinated with your first, second and booster dose, if eligible, can offer you the best protection from the virus. Even if you’ve already had coronavirus, you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of another infection and the seriousness of your symptoms.”
Dr Scott also set out the gaps between doses for different age groups:
- Over-18s should have their second dose at least eight weeks after their first dose and a booster dose at least three months after the second
- 16 and 17-year-olds should have their second dose twelve weeks after their first dose and their booster 12 weeks after their second dose.
- People aged 12-15 can get a first dose of the vaccine from the day they turn 12. Most children can get a second dose 12 weeks after they had their first dose.
The following vaccinations can be booked:
- 1st and 2nd doses for people aged 12 years old and over
- boosters for people aged 16 years old and over
- 3rd doses for people with a severely weakened immune system aged 16 years old and over.
For more information on these and other frequently asked questions, visit
Help – I’ve had COVID! When can I get my vaccination? – South West London CCG (swlondonccg.nhs.uk).