Is the vaccine free?
Yes, the vaccine is free from the NHS. Approved vaccines are only available from the NHS, so any companies offering private COVID-19 vaccines should not be accepted.
What is being done against vaccine fraud?
The vaccine is only available from the NHS and is provided free of charge. No offers should be accepted from private companies offering the vaccine, as they will not be able to get hold of an approved vaccine, so we won’t know what is in the vaccines they possess. In addition, the NHS will never ask for your bank information including card details, PIN or banking password. The NHS will never come to your home offering the vaccine on the spot. The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
AFTER THE VACCINE
Do you still get vaccination cards?
Vaccine cards are no longer given out when being vaccinated. Your vaccine status is available on the NHS app, provided by the department of health and social care. You can also contact 119 for a paper copy to be given, to you if you do not have access to the app.
Do I still need to wear a mask or socially distance?
Wearing a mask and social distancing is no longer required, however it is still encouraged, particularly in crowded areas where the virus is more likely to spread.
Will the vaccine make me ill?
The vaccine does not contain the whole virus or live parts of the virus, so it cannot give you COVID-19. However, you can experience side effects which are often mild and can include a sore arm, feeling tired or achy, a headache, nausea and vomiting. Allergic reactions and blood clots have been reported, but are extremely rare.
Will it cause me to test positive for COVID-19?
No the vaccine won’t cause you to test positive for the virus – the protein made by the body in response to the vaccine is not produced in the areas where the swab is taken. The vaccine will cause a positive response on an antibody test however, as antibodies are what help fight infections and are produced in response to the vaccine.
How long does it take to have protection from the virus?
Protection from the virus is not immediate and it can take 2-3 weeks for a good antibody response to be achieved. Over time, the immune response decreases slowly, which is why we need to get the 1st, 2nd and booster doses of the vaccine. No vaccine provides 100% protection against any virus and the COVID vaccine is no exception to this.
The vaccine causes blood clots, why would I take it?
Blood clots have been reported in a very small number of people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, with an incidence of 1.8 in 1,000,000. Contraceptive pills for example have a blood clot risk of 1 in 1,000. So while they can occur, they are extremely rare. There is currently no evidence of association with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe as they were made too quickly?
While it’s true they were developed rapidly, they still underwent the same testing as other vaccines and other medication. The basis of the technology that was used for the vaccines has been in development for a number of years before the virus came into common circulation and was ready to be adapted. All three clinical trial stages were fully completed before it was released, as required. Stage 4 trials always take place after release, as a way of gathering data on newly released vaccines and medicines.
Has the vaccine been tested on patients of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds?
Yes, 42% of global trial participants and 30% of U.S. trial participants are of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. There is no evidence to suggest that the available vaccines work differently in people of different ethnic groups.
What is in the vaccine?
The vaccines are free from ingredients such as preservatives, eggs, gelatin or any other animal products. They are also free from metals including iron, nickel and lithium. The vaccine does not contain the whole virus or any live parts of the virus so it can’t cause COVID-19. The Astra-Zeneca vaccine does contain a small amount of ethanol (alcohol) but this is less than what is found in natural foods.
Are the vaccines Halal?
There are no pork or animal derived ingredients within the approved vaccines in the UK, and so are Halal.
Will the vaccine stop me from getting COVID-19?
The vaccine won’t stop you from getting COVID-19. The vaccine helps your body to build an immune response against the virus, so that when you come into the contact with the virus your body doesn’t need to build up a new response. Therefore, it allows the body to fight the virus much quicker. This can stop the effects of the virus from being as severe, also reducing the chance of hospitalisation long term effects.
Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
It is recommended that patients who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy receive the COVID -19 vaccine, as it is not harmful in either pregnancy or breastfeeding.
People have said it can cause infertility, is that true?
There is currently no evidence that the vaccine has any negative effects on a person’s fertility. The vaccine produces a response to the virus in the same way the body would naturally after having COVID-19. There is no evidence the virus will cause infertility either.
Why should my child get vaccinated?
COVID-19 has been seen to be typically milder in children. However, as in adults, severe illness does still occur, leading to hospitalisation and in some cases children have died. Children aged 5 and above are able to receive the vaccine.
RECEIVING THE VACCINE
How are we given the vaccine?
The vaccine is given through an injection into the upper arm which only takes a few seconds and in most cases only a small scratch is felt when receiving the vaccine.
Do I need an appointment to get the vaccine?
Patients receiving their first, second (and third) doses of the vaccine don’t need an appointment and can walk into any of our vaccination sites as a walk-in. See our COVID-19 Vaccinations page for details.
Why do we need to have it more than once?
The effectiveness of the vaccine can diminish over time and in order to maintain a high level of effectiveness, it is recommended to get both primary doses and the subsequent booster dose(s).
Do I have to wait after receiving the vaccine?
Initially there was a 15 minute observation period after the Pfizer and Moderna jab, to make sure your body did not react badly to the vaccine. Now more data has been obtained, it has been shown that severe adverse effects immediately after receiving either vaccine are rare, and the waiting period is no longer required as a result.
If I have had COVID-19, do I still need the vaccine?
Contracting the virus does give a level of natural immunity to the virus depending on how severe the illness was. However this is highly variable and not as effective at preventing future severe illness as the vaccine is. Therefore it is still highly recommended to get the COVID vaccines.
I currently have COVID-19, can I still get the vaccine?
If you have COVID-19, you aren’t able to have the vaccine until you have recovered. The NHS recommends waiting 28 days from the date you tested positive or symptoms first started.
Should I take pain killers such including paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen before the vaccine?
It is not currently recommended to take painkillers before the vaccination to prevent side effects, as they are not always required and could be taken unnecessarily. If you do have side effects after taking the vaccine, such as fever, aches and pains or headaches, then you can take paracetamol and ibuprofen or aspirin. Ibuprofen and aspirin should not be taken together.