The booster vaccine programme is beginning to rollout across Tayside and Fife and those eligible will soon be invited for their appointment.
But while some are being offered boosters, others are being offered what is known as a ‘third dose’ instead.
So, what is the difference between a booster vaccine and a third dose? And who should be getting each type of vaccine?
We’re answering all your questions about third Covid vaccine doses and who is entitled to one.
What is the third Covid vaccine dose?
A third primary dose of the Covid vaccine is being offered to those who are severely immunosuppressed and have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases.
This group are being offered a third dose because of the nature of their underlying health condition or the medical treatment they are receiving.
This is because their condition or treatment may impact the body’s ability to build a full immune response to the Covid-19 vaccine.
How is this different to the booster vaccine programme?
The rollout of third primary doses is separate to the booster vaccine programme.
Most of the population will only need two primary doses, plus a booster for those who are eligible.
But those most vulnerable will be offered a third dose – and any booster they have would be their fourth Covid vaccine.
This is because research has shown 40% of immunosuppressed patients had low or undetectable immune responses after two doses of the Covid vaccine.
Therefore, to boost immunity, a third dose is needed in those who are immunosuppressed, to improve protection.
A third primary dose is a ‘top-up’ dose for those who may not have generated a full immune response to the first two doses.
In contrast, a booster dose is a later dose to extend the duration of protection from the primary course of vaccinations.
It should be administered no earlier than six months after the completion of the primary course (usually two doses for the majority of the population).
Is there any difference between a third vaccine and a booster?
There is no difference with what is in the vaccine, regardless of whether it’s your third dose or booster: The only difference is the terminology.
So, someone having Pfizer as their third dose would have the same vaccine as someone getting Pfizer for their booster: there is no difference in the make up of each vaccine.
Will people who get a third dose also need a booster?
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Advice on booster vaccination is distinct from, and does not supersede, recent advice from the JCVI regarding a third primary vaccine dose for persons who are severely immunosuppressed.
“The JCVI will review at a later date whether such persons require a further booster dose following completion of their three-dose primary vaccine course.”