Covid-19 Vaccine Questions

Covid-19 Vaccinations FAQ

Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or if I’m planning to get pregnant?

COVID-19 vaccines are strongly recommended in pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy for both women and babies, including admission of the woman to intensive care and premature birth of the baby. On 16 December 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced that pregnant women are now considered a ‘vulnerable’ group within the COVID-19 vaccination programme, emphasising the urgency of them receiving COVID-19 vaccination and booster doses.

What is the advice if you’re of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding?

COVID-19 vaccines are strongly recommended in pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy for both women and babies, including admission of the woman to intensive care and premature birth of the baby.

What is the impact of Covid-19 vaccines on fertility?

There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. There is​ ​no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility. Animal studies of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed that administering these vaccines in rats had no effect on fertility. Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.

Should I still have the vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?

COVID-19 vaccines are strongly recommended to breastfeeding women. There is no plausible mechanism by which any vaccine ingredient could pass to your baby through breast milk. You should therefore not stop breastfeeding in order to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Is it true that the vaccines can cause miscarriage?

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Yellow Card scheme – the UK system for collecting and monitoring information on safety concerns, such as suspected side effects or adverse incidents involving medicines and medical devices, including vaccines – has been analysing reports of miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women who have received the COVID-19 vaccines. The MHRA says there is no pattern to suggest any of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK, or any reactions to these vaccines, increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

What if I find out I’m pregnant after having the vaccine?

If you receive a dose of the vaccine before finding out you are pregnant, or unintentionally while you are pregnant, you should be reassured that the vaccine is safe and effective at any stage of pregnancy.

Can I pass a COVID infection to my unborn baby?

It may be possible for you to pass COVID-19 to your baby before they’re born. But when this has happened, the babies have got better.

I am currently going through or planning to go through IVF. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. You may wish to consider the timing of having a Covid-19 vaccine during your fertility treatment, taking into account that some people may get side effects in the few days after vaccination that they do not want to have during treatment. These include for example, tenderness at the injection site, fever, headache, muscle ache or feeling tired. It may be sensible to separate the date of vaccination by a few days from some treatment procedures (for example, egg collection in IVF), so that any symptoms, such as fever, might be attributed correctly to the vaccine or the treatment procedure. Your medical team will be able to advise you about the best time for your situation.

 

What is the difference between the three vaccines?

Viral vector vaccines (Astra Zeneca) use a modified version of a virus that is different from the virus being targeted to deliver important instructions to our cells. The modified version of the virus is called a vector virus. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines. Instead, mRNA vaccines use mRNA created in a laboratory to teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

Can I choose which type of vaccine I get?

You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. When you book, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you. Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines. You should have the same vaccine for both doses, unless you had serious side effects (such as a serious allergic reaction) after your 1st dose.

I have heard that some countries have withdrawn the Astra Zeneca due to concerns about blood clots. Should I still have my vaccine?

Yes, you should. Although there are some very rare cases of blood clots associated with low platelet levels, the Astra Zeneca vaccine is used for some booster doses where people may be allergic to the contents of the other vaccines, but it is also recommended by the WHO.

Can I mix different vaccines, for instance, If I had Astra Zeneca for my first and second, can I have Pfizer for my booster?

Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine. This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses. Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

I’m Muslim can I have the vaccine?

The British Islamic Medical Association recommend that the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available in the UK for eligible individuals in Muslim communities. Further information from the British Islamic Medical Association can be found here.

Do the vaccines contain any ingredients which are unsuitable for religious groups?

The vaccines do not contain any components of animal origin or foetal cells in their ingredients.

Is it true the vaccines were created using embryonic cells?

The moral issues around the use of vaccines grown on fetal cell lines have been discussed within the Catholic Church. The Church notes that the cells lines are distant from the initial termination, and states that acceptance of such vaccines where there is no appropriate alternative does not signify cooperation with abortion

What does my church say about having the vaccine?

The Give Hope campaign which encourages greater vaccine uptake has the backing from over 40 denominations in the UK including the Church of England, Anglican, Salvation Army, Baptist, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Redeemed Christian Church of God and black majority churches.

Why haven’t I been invited for a vaccination yet?

Everyone over the age of 5 has been offered their two primary doses and those aged 16+ have the offer of a booster dose.

Do I have to wait after getting the flu vaccine before I can get the COVID vaccine?

You can have the flu jab at the same time as having the Covid vaccine.

What is being done for the over 70s who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID and who would like to be?

Those that have not had the vaccine will be contacted by their local NHS providers, local government authorities to offer those access to the vaccine.

I am not registered with a GP practice – how can I book my vaccine?

if you are not registered with a GP, please attend the many walks in vaccine centres. You do not need to be registered or have an NHS number. The vaccine is free and accessible to visitors to the UK and those of any immigration status.
Are there any precautions I need to take before or after I receive the vaccine? You should follow existing advice to reduce 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.

I’ve had COVID already/tested positive for antibodies, do I need to be vaccinated?

if you are 12 – 15 or 16-17 years of age you must wait 12 weeks before you have your vaccine, this is either from the first day that symptoms started or confirmed by a PCR or LFT test. If you are over 18 you should have at least 28 days since your symptoms started or when you tested positive with either a PCR or LFT test.

How effective is the first vaccine injection without getting the second one?

It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you.

How long is the course of treatment?

How many injections and over what period of time? the course of treatment is age dependent, please see attached NHS guidance for clarity.

How long do I have to wait between the first and second doses of the vaccine?

People aged 16 or over are eligible for a 2nd and Booster dose. People aged 18 or over should have their 2nd dose from 8 weeks after their 1st dose. Most people aged 16 or 17 should have their 2nd dose from 12 weeks after their 1st dose. Those over 16 must wait 3 months after their second dose before having their booster. Those who need a third primary dose will usually be offered a 3rd dose at least 8 weeks after they had their 2nd dose. They can then have their booster after 12 weeks from their third dose.

What happens if I don’t go for my second appointment?

It is recommended that you get a second dose within 12 weeks of having the first dose. However, if that isn’t possible for some reason, you should get a second dose as soon as you can to give you better long-term protection against the virus.

How long do I have to wait after getting the vaccine before I can leave the clinic?

This is dependent on which dose you are having, which vaccine and whether during your vaccination, you discussed with the clinician that it was best to stay given past vaccine events. First time vaccinated are asked to sit and wait for 15 minutes, if you have previously felt well after your first or second doses you do not have to wait.

What happens if I experience side effects/adverse or unexpected events, how do I report it?

Millions of people have had a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and the safety of the vaccines continues to be monitored. Reports of serious side effects are very rare. You should report any adverse reactions and side effect on the MRHAs ‘Yellow card’ system via their website.

I am a housebound patient and I’m in the criteria of those currently being vaccinated, how will I get my vaccine?

Residents who are housebound will be contacted by their local GP and invited to make an appointment for a local GP or clinician to visit to administer their Covid vaccination at home. This is to ensure that our most vulnerable patients are given vaccinations.

What if I’m not well when its my vaccination appointment?

If you are unwell, it is better to wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine, but you should try to have it as soon as possible. You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and should wait until you are fit and well.

Can my child have the vaccination?

Children aged 5-15 can have their two primary doses and those aged 16-17 can now have a booster.

How do I get a vaccine?

You can book online or attend one of the many walk in vaccination centres, or if you have access problems, speak to one of our Community Health Champions.

What are the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.

You may get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery 1 or 2 days after having your vaccination.

But if you have a high temperature that lasts longer than 2 days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste you may have coronavirus. Stay at home and get a test. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.”

Are there any people who can’t have the vaccine?

There are very few individuals who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine should not be given to those who have had a previous systemic allergic reaction (i.e. more serious than just a local reaction, including immediate-onset anaphylaxis) to: a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine, any component of the COVID-19 vaccine being offered

Or to individuals with: current COVID-19 infection or history of COVID-19 infection within the last 4 weeks, severe illness and/or a high fever on the day of vaccination.
Individuals who have a history of a previous episode of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (HITT or HIT type 2) should not receive the Astrazenca vaccine. These individuals may be offered vaccination with an alternative COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is from a group of known allergens commonly found in medicines and also in household goods and cosmetics. Known allergy to PEG is extremely rare but people with this allergy should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Patients with undiagnosed PEG allergy may have a history of unexplained anaphylaxis or of anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs. The AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain PEG and is a suitable alternative. Medicines containing PEG include some tablets, laxatives, depot steroid injections, and some bowel preparations used for colonoscopy.”

Is it a live vaccine?

NO. none of the approved vaccines in the UK are live vaccines.

Have the vaccines been tested in people over 80 years old or just in younger populations?

The vaccine trials have had significant testing in all ages groups, including children ages 5-11, 12-15 and 16+.

Is there gluten in the vaccine as I am coeliac?

Gluten is a family of proteins found in certain cereal grains. COVID-19 vaccinations do not contain gluten.

Will the vaccine fully protect me against Covid-19?

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 increase protecting those people who either do not respond fully to the vaccine or who are unable to have the vaccine because of allergic reactions.

If I have the vaccine will I be immune for life?

Can I still catch COVID after I’ve been immunised? Work is ongoing to look into the effective duration of the vaccine. Yes you can catch covid after being vaccinated, but the symptoms are much less severe and it also reduces the possibility of you passing it to another person.

Has the vaccine been rushed? Is it safe?

For a vaccine to reach the general public it will have to work and be safe.

There may be a misconception that vaccine research takes a long time but it isn’t the research that takes the time – it’s all the steps beforehand, like getting funding and approval. What’s sped up in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is the funding. The UK Government funded trials to get them up and running quickly.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Medicines Research Authority have sped up the process of approval – things like administrative paperwork that used to take months is now being done in days. This is what’s brought down the time for delivery of the clinical trials.

Processes have been streamlined and run in parallel. The length of the trials themselves has not been shortened, and the usual safety measures remain in place and high standards must still be met.

It has also been enabled by new technology, including the ability to rapidly manufacture vaccines. And supply – the vaccine is being produced already so that as soon as it’s known to be safe and effective it can be made available.

I have an immune disorder. How will I be sure the vaccine is safe?

There are very few individuals who cannot receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines due to a health condition. Where there is doubt, rather than withholding vaccination, appropriate advice should be sought from the relevant specialist, or from the local immunisation or health protection team, to allow individuals to make an informed decision

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:

  • A confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A confirmed anaphylactic reaction to any components of the vaccine.
  • Current COVID-19 infection or history or COVID-19 infection within the last 4 weeks.
  • Severe illness and a high fever on the day of vaccination.
  • Individuals who have a history of a previous episode of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (HITT or HIT type 2) should not receive the Astrazenca vaccine. These individuals may be offered vaccination with an alternative COVID-19 vaccine.

Do the ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine include animal products or egg?

The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.

What is in the AstraZeneca vaccine?

One dose (0.5 ml) contains: COVID 19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S* recombinant) 5 × 10^10 viral particlesThis product contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The other ingredients are: L-histidine, L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, magnesium chloride hexahydrate, polysorbate 80, ethanol, sucrose, sodium chloride, disodium edetate dihydrate, water for injections

*Recombinant, replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector encoding the SARS CoV 2 Spike glycoprotein. Produced in genetically modified human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells.”

What is in the Moderna vaccine?

This vaccine contains polyethylene glycol/macrogol (PEG) as part of PEG2000-DMG.

One dose (0.5 mL) contains 100 micrograms of messenger RNA (mRNA) (embedded in SM-102 lipid nanoparticles). Single-stranded, 5’-capped messenger RNA (mRNA) produced using a cell-free in vitro transcription from the corresponding DNA templates, encoding the viral spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2.

The other ingredients are: lipid SM-102, cholesterol, 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC), 1,2-Dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 (PEG2000-DMG), trometamol, trometamol hydrochloride (tris HCl), acetic acid, sodium acetate trihydrate, sucrose, water for injections”
What is in the Pfizer vaccine? “The active substance is BNT162b2 RNA. After dilution, the vial contains 6 doses, of 0.3 mL with 30 micrograms mRNA each.

This vaccine contains polyethylene glycol/macrogol (PEG) as part of ALC-0159

The other ingredients are: ALC-0315 = (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), ALC-0159 = 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, cholesterol, potassium chloride, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, sodium chloride
disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, sucrose, water for injections

Do vaccines contain aborted foetal cells?

There is no material of foetal or animal origin in either vaccine.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.

If I receive a RNA-based vaccine what are the implications for it tampering with my DNA in longer term?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccine are the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines currently being used in the UK.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work by introducing a molecule (mRNA) into the body which instructs the body’s cells to build a protein similar to those found in the virus that causes COVID-19. The protein is then recognised by the immune system which produces antibodies which will provide protection against COVID-19 infection.

This introduction of mRNA into your body does NOT change the DNA of the human cells, it is read by cells to make a protein to mount an immune response, then will be destroyed within days by your body. It will not be incorporated into your DNA.

What if I have allergies, should I get the vaccine?

Any person with a history of anaphylaxis to any component of the vaccine should not receive it. A second dose of the vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of it. Advice should be sought from an Allergy Specialist in this situation.

Vaccine recipients should be monitored for 15 mins after the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, with a longer observation period when indicated after clinical assessment.

If you had a reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, inform your vaccinator or GP as you may require a prolonged observation period or they may need to seek advice from an Allergy Specialist.

The Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is from a group of known allergens commonly found in medicines and also in household goods and cosmetics. Known allergy to PEG is extremely rare but people with this allergy should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Patients with undiagnosed PEG allergy may have a history of unexplained anaphylaxis or of anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs. The AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain PEG and is a suitable alternative.

Medicines containing PEG include some tablets, laxatives, depot steroid injections, and some bowel preparations used for colonoscopy.

You can still have the COVID-19 vaccine if you have an allergy to penicillin, latex, insect stings, dust mites, and food including nuts and eggs, as long as you are not allergic to any component of the vaccine (listed below).

I am a vegetarian, can I have the COVID-19 Vaccination?

The Covid019 vaccine does not have any animal products within it.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Any coronavirus vaccine must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. No long-term complications have been reported.
Do they have ingredients which are unsuitable for vegans? The Pfizer-BionTech vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products. The MHRA have confirmed the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca does not contain any components of animal origin.

I am a transplant recipient/I am on the transplant waiting list, how can I find out information about the vaccine specific to my clinical situation?

You can receive a transplant whether you have had the Covid-19 vaccination or not, as long as you are eligible. Being on the active waiting-list for a transplant is dependent, not on vaccination status, but a range of clinical factors.

Does drinking alcohol impact on how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is?

There is no evidence to indicate that drinking alcohol within the recommended weekly limits will have any impact on the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Will there be enough vaccine available to vaccinate the whole population over time?

Yes, there is sufficent vaccine for the population from the ages of 5 -11 and 12 and above for all primary doses and subcequent booster doses.
Will the vaccine be free if I’m in a priority group? Will it be free if I’m not? The vaccine will be provided free to all UK residents. You will not be charged and can only get it through the NHS. Please do not agree to any vaccination where you will be charged. These are not genuine vaccinations and could cause harm.

Will other measures (social distancing/face coverings/lockdowns) still apply to me if I’ve had the vaccine?

The government has removed remaining domestic restrictions in England. There are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19: get vaccinated, let fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meet outside, consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces.

Vaccination protects you from getting seriously ill and dying from COVID-19. For the first fourteen days after getting a vaccination, you do not have significant levels of protection, then it increases gradually. For a single dose vaccine, immunity will generally occur two weeks after vaccination. For two-dose vaccines, both doses are needed to achieve are required to provide the highest level of best immunity possible.

Can I still spread the virus to others if I am vaccinated?

Yes you can continue to spread COVID-9 if you are fully vaccinated, however to R rate (how transmissible it is) is much reduced., which will help in not passing it on to others.

Will the vaccine become a yearly injection like the flu vaccine?

No decision has been made to if the vaccine will be a yearly dose. However, a number of vaccine manufacturers are currently working on combining both the flu and COVID19 vaccine.
Can I still spread the virus to others if I am vaccinated? yes you can continue to spread COVID19 if you are fully vaccinated, however to R rate (how transmissible it is) is much reduced., which will help in passing it on to others.

If I have been in contact with someone who has had Covid-19 do I need isolate?

Guidance is continually changing as more is known about the virus, the best way is to refer to the attached document, which highlights both length of time and the testing procedure needed.  The latest advice is on the NHS website.

What percentage of the population needs to get the vaccine to have herd immunity?

According to the World health organisation (WHO) it is unknown at what levels are needed for the population to reach herd immunity, Therefore, the best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine lead to people having a positive COVID-19 nose or throat swab test?

No. The vaccines being used produce a protective immune antibody response which can be measured by serology blood tests.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.  The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following: a new continuous cough, a high temperature, a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.  If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

Can you catch Covid-19 twice?

When you get infected with a virus, you usually gain some protection against further infection (reinfection) from the same virus through your immune system – this is called immunity and can be short-lived or long lasting. Immunity can also mean that you could still get infected with the same virus but may be protected against severe disease.

Were the trial participants reflective of a multi-ethnic population?

The Public Assessment Reports contain all the scientific information about the trials and information on trial participants.
For the Pfizer trial, participants included 9.6% black/African, 26.1% Hispanic/Latino and 3.4% Asian.
For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine 10.1% of trial recipients were Black and 3.5% Asian.

We have seen no evidence to suggest any of the vaccines will work differently in different ethnic groups.

I’ve had the flu vaccine, why do I need the COVID-19 Vaccine? The flu and COVID-19 vaccines have been specifically designed to produce an immune response for their respective viruses. This means a vaccine for one will not protect you from the other. If you are eligible for both vaccines, you should have them both, and they can now be given at the same time if the health professional deems it suitable to do so.

Can we eradicate Covid-19?

Although comparisons and studies are ongoing, there is no current evidence to suggest that this is likely in the near future.
Will the vaccine protect me? 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.

What proportion of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity?

When a high percentage of the population is vaccinated, it is difficult for infectious diseases to spread, because there are not many people who can be infected. For example, if someone with measles is surrounded by people who are vaccinated against measles, the disease cannot easily be passed on to anyone, and it will quickly disappear again. This is called ‘herd immunity’, ‘community immunity’ or ‘herd protection’, and it gives protection to vulnerable people such as newborn babies, elderly people and those who are too sick to be vaccinated.
How quickly could COVID vaccines stop the pandemic? The impact of COVID-19 vaccines on the pandemic will depend on several factors. These include the effectiveness of the vaccines; how quickly they are approved, manufactured, and delivered; the possible development of other variants and how many people get vaccinated.

Whilst trials have shown several COVID-19 vaccines to have high levels of efficacy, like all other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines will not be 100% effective. WHO is working to help ensure that approved vaccines are as effective as possible, so they can have the greatest impact on the pandemic.

Will the vaccines work with the new strains?

The COVID-19 vaccines are expected to provide at least some protection against new virus variants and are effective at preventing serious illness and death. That’s because these vaccines create a broad immune response, and any virus changes or mutations should not make vaccines completely ineffective. If any of these vaccines become less effective against one or more variants, it will be possible to change the composition of the vaccines to protect against these variants. Data continues to be collected and analysed on new variants of the COVID-19 virus.

While we are learning more, we need to do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus in order to prevent mutations that may reduce the efficacy of existing vaccines. This means getting vaccinated, letting fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meeting outside, considering wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces

Will COVID-19 vaccinations provide long-term protection?

It is unknown currently if the COVID19 vaccines will provide long term protection. Ongoing trials by manufacturers are constantly assessing the short/medium and long term effectiveness of the vaccines.
Will other vaccines protect from COVID-19? “Currently, there is no evidence that any other vaccines, apart from those specifically designed for the SARS-Cov-2 virus, will protect against COVID-19.

However, scientists are studying whether some existing vaccines – such as the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, which is used to prevent tuberculosis – are also effective for COVID-19. WHO will evaluate evidence from these studies when available.

What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?

Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. They prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year. Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely. Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced. However, if people stop having vaccines, it’s possible for infectious diseases to quickly spread again.

Why are vaccines important?

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent disease and save lives – now more than ever. Today there are vaccines available to protect against at least 20 diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles. Together, these vaccines save the lives of up to 3 million people every year.

When we get vaccinated, we aren’t just protecting ourselves, but also those around us. Some people, like those who are seriously ill, are advised not to get certain vaccines – so they depend on the rest of us to get vaccinated and help reduce the spread of disease.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination continues to be critically important. The pandemic has caused a decline in the number of children receiving routine immunizations, which could lead to an increase in illness and death from preventable diseases. WHO has urged countries to ensure that essential immunization and health services continue, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

FAQ answers are based on public information or verified sources.  The information is not produced by Stronger Together or Thurrock CVS.

All information contained in the FAQs on this page have come from one of the following sources: