Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases. It's much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and attempting to treat them.
Vaccines can reduce or even eradicate some diseases, if enough people are vaccinated. Since vaccines were introduced, diseases like smallpox and polio that used to kill or disable millions of people are gone from the UK.
The long-term response to the pandemic requires a safe and effective vaccine to be available for all who need it. It’s a way to keep you, your friends and family safe, potentially leading to a lifting of restrictions.
The full prioritisation list for vaccines and is as follows (in order of priority):
If you have had a positive COVID test you need to wait 28 days before you attend for a COVID vaccination. This is 28 days either from the day you began to feel unwell with COVID symptoms or the day you had your test if you did not have any symptoms.
Vaccination to at-risk groups will take place at the most appropriate settings to encourage uptake. This includes administering vaccination to at-risk individuals in their usual place of residence. The three models of delivery are:
No, the NHS has been working together with local partners to ensure that people are not disadvantaged because of where they live, whether they own a car or if they are able to get about. This is why the NHS has developed three different models of delivery.
Recruitment of workforce has focused on those who already have experience in handling vaccinations but may currently work outside of NHS settings, for example, independent nurses or allied health care professionals.
All vaccines will present different logistical requirements, but the NHS has been planning for all eventualities, and people should be assured that the vaccine they will be offered is available because it has been assessed and approved by experts as being safe and effective.
As people have to complete a course of two vaccinations and the programme will be delivered in a phased approach to ensure those most at risk are vaccinated first, it is not possible to choose one vaccine over another.
You should follow existing advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as this will enable you to avoid becoming ill with COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, before and after vaccination. Wear a face covering when attending the Vaccine Clinic.
The UK operates a system of informed consent for vaccinations. There are no plans in place to make the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory.
When patients are vaccinated, they are likely to receive a vaccine record card that notes the date of their vaccination, the suggested date for their second dose and details of the vaccine type and batch.
All vaccinations are recorded on the patient's record with their GP.
The purpose of the vaccine is to prevent you from getting COVID-19 infection, this should reduce the chances of you being able to spread the infection by becoming ill. However, as the vaccine is new it has not yet been possible to establish if vaccination will prevent carriage of the virus in the nose and throat of people who have been vaccinated. More information will become available on this as these vaccinations are rolled out more widely and the impact on virus spread can be assessed. The best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend and to continue to follow measures to reduce spread like social distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene and face coverings where advised.
The current vaccines have demonstrated a high level of protection against COVID-19 but no vaccine provides 100% protection. However, as more people in the population are vaccinated with an effective vaccine the risks of circulating virus should decrease protecting those people who either do not respond fully to the vaccine or who are unable to have the vaccine because of allergic reactions.
The vaccines currently available in the UK do not contain living organisms, and so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system. People who should not receive the vaccine include:
One concerning rumour that has caught people’s attention online is that the COVID-19 vaccine can have an impact on fertility. There is no evidence that the vaccine can impact fertility. It has been incorrectly suggested that COVID-19 vaccines will cause infertility because of a shared amino acid sequence in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and a placental protein. The sequence, however, is too short to plausibly give rise to autoimmunity.
Patient leaflets explaining the different vaccines and ingredients will be developed and information made available to people prior to vaccination so they can make an informed decision.
Recipient information including ingredients for all of the approved vaccines:
It is important that we all take steps to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the wider community by taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The British Islamic Medical Association made statements on the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines encouraging those eligible to get vaccinated at:
The MHRA has confirmed the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin. None of the vaccines given contains fetal cells in their ingredients.
Some side effects may include:
All patients are given information on the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The first Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations took place on 8 December 2020 and the first AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines were given on 4 January 2021.
You cannot catch Covid from the vaccines. But it is possible to have caught Covid and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment. If you have any of the symptoms of Covid, stay at home and arrange to have a test. If you need more information on symptoms visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/symptoms/
No vaccines should be wasted. The NHS have asked GPs to have care homes on ‘speed dial’ if there are any doses left over.
PHE will employ existing surveillance systems and enhanced follow-up of cases to monitor how effective the vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes including infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality and onwards transmission. It is likely to be some time until we have sufficient data to provide a clear picture of how long the protective effect of vaccination lasts.
The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine do not contain any components of animal origin.
It is essential to follow the same rules as everyone else, even after vaccination. Stay at home if possible whether you had the vaccine or not.
This means it is important to:
Almost all children with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild disease and the vaccines have not yet been tested in younger children. The Committee advises that only children at very high risk of catching the virus and serious illness, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities in residential care, should be offered vaccination.
There is no evidence to indicate that drinking alcohol within the recommended weekly limits will have any impact on the vaccine’s effectiveness.
The vaccines currently available in the UK do not contain living organisms, and so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system.
The requirement for regular booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine is not yet recommended because the need for, and timing of, such boosters has not yet been determined.
The purpose of the vaccine is to prevent you from getting COVID-19 infection, this should reduce the chances of you being able to spread the infection by becoming ill. However, as the vaccine is new it has not yet been possible to establish if vaccination will prevent the carriage of the virus in the nose and throat of people who have been vaccinated. More information will become available on this as these vaccinations are rolled out more widely and the impact on virus spread can be assessed. The best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend and to continue to follow measures to reduce spread like social distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene and face coverings where advised.