Busting the Myths about the Covid-19 Vaccine
You will have likely seen or heard information about the COVID-19 vaccine, in the news, on the TV or on social media. As the national vaccination campaign programme continues it’s important that we all have clear, factual information available.
We have pulled together the latest facts, based on scientific advice, using the latest guidance from the UK Home Carers Association and the Department of Health and Social Care.
1. How Many Covid-19 Vaccines Are There?
The UK has secured access to seven different possible vaccines. Currently, two vaccines are rapidly being rolled out across the UK. These are: Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine; and AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine. Other vaccines are being deployed to increase the pace and volume of the national vaccination programme.
2. How Safe Are The Covid-19 Vaccines?
Every COVID-19 vaccine is assessed on a case-by-case basis and will only be authorised once it has met globally recognised standards of effectiveness, safety and quality by The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the UK’s independent regulator. The regulator’s role is to ensure medicines and vaccines work effectively and are safe for use. The regulator ensures:
There are extensive checks and balances required at every stage of the development of a vaccine;
No stages in the vaccine development process are bypassed; and
All vaccines are tested through three phases of clinical trials to ensure they meet their ‘gold standard’.
The COVID-19 vaccines are no different and have to meet the ‘gold standard’ before they are released.
3. Why Should I Have The Covid-19 Vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine saves lives and reduces hospitalisations. Unless you are advised by a qualified medical professional not to take the vaccine, having it is the best way for you, and those around you, to be safe from COVID-19.
4. How Do I Get A Covid-19 Vaccine
Look out for a letter, call, or even text message from your GP surgery or a central letter advising you to book your vaccine online.
5. Are There Side Effects From Taking The COVID-19 Vaccine?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. The regulator (MHRA) always considers side effects when assessing candidate vaccines for use. Some side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines may include:
- A sore arm where the needle went in
- Feeling tired
- A headache
- Feeling achy
- Feeling or being sick
- 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.
6. How Many COVID-19 Vaccines Will I Need?
Currently, you will be asked to take two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The first dose should give you good protection, but you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection. The vaccine will be most effective after your second dose.
7. Is It Safe To Mix With Other People After My First Or Second Dose Of The Covid-19 Vaccine?
No. We need to create ‘immunity in the community’. Even if you have had the vaccine you may still be at risk as your immunity builds. Others may still be waiting to receive the vaccine. So, it’s vitally important that you continue to follow COVID-19 restrictions until we advise that it’s safe to do otherwise.
8. What Myths Are Out There Surrounding COVID-19 Vaccines?
Social media and some news sources can provide information that is unreliable, and this can cause concern. Here are some myth statements and responses.
“The COVID-19 vaccine won’t work or isn’t really needed”
This is not true:
- The COVID-19 vaccines have been tested and trialled by The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the UK’s independent regulator. The regulator’s role is to ensure medicines, devices and vaccines work effectively and are safe for use.
- The vaccine saves lives and reduces hospitalisations. Unless you are advised by a qualified medical professional not to take the vaccine, having it is the best way for you, and those around you, to be safe from COVID-19.
- The COVID-19 vaccine is urgently needed and supporting their distribution across our locations is the top priority of ExtraCare’s COVID-19 task force.
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