Should I get it now?
Millions of people have now been vaccinated against Covid. The vaccine is the best defence against the virus, so the sooner you're vaccinated, the sooner you’ll begin to protect yourself and your community. Vaccinating as many people as possible should reduce the levels of local infections too.
Will I have side effects?
Like all vaccines, and medicines, there can be side effects, but most are mild and short-term and not everyone gets them. Any side effects following the jab usually last less than a week.
Will it give me Covid?
You can’t catch Covid from the vaccine. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up protection against the virus, but it will reduce your chances of becoming seriously ill. You need to have both doses for maximum protection.
Will it affect my fertility?
There have been a lot of rumours that the Covid vaccines could affect women’s fertility, but research has shown these are not true. They do not contain any ingredients that could affect fertility and there’s no likely way they could.
Should I be worried about blood clots?
For the vast majority of people, the benefits of the vaccine in providing protection against the serious consequences of Covid far outweigh any risks.
There have been reports of an extremely rare adverse event involving blood clots with low levels of platelets after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Similar conditions can occur naturally, and clotting problems are also a common complication of Covid infection. As a precaution, people whose risk is greater, albeit still extremely small, will only be offered appointments for other vaccines.
Has it been tested?
The approved vaccines have met strict standards of safety and quality. They have been tested on tens of thousands of volunteers in multiple clinical trials and given to millions of people. Reports of serious side effects have been extremely rare, but some vaccines may be recommended for people under 40.
How was it made so quickly?
The Covid vaccines have been developed, assessed and independently approved using the same processes that would normally be used to develop a vaccine. They have been through clinical trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers, a testing process which tells us they are safe and effective.
How does it work?
The Covid vaccine trains your immune system to recognise the virus in your body and produce a rapid response to protect you against it. The vaccine ensures your immune system remembers the virus and provides ongoing protection.
Why should I get it?
Covid can affect anyone at any age and some people can suffer serious complications if they become infected. Even if you think your risk is low, there’s still a chance you can catch it and pass it on to people around you, even if you have no symptoms. The more people who have the vaccine, the less opportunity there is for the virus to transmit.
Should I get it if I have a health condition?
Covid can affect anyone, but some people with underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of catching the virus, becoming seriously ill or even dying. It’s particularly important that these people are vaccinated.
Are there other ways to protect myself?
No other medications are currently approved for the prevention of Covid. Vaccination is the best protection for you, those around you, and the North East. Remember that after your jab, you still need to follow hands, face, space guidance.
Which vaccine will I get?
You won’t be given a choice, and will be offered the vaccine which is being given on the day of your appointment and recommended for your age.
Currently, the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has advised that it is preferable for people under 40 to have a vaccine other than Oxford/AstraZeneca.
Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are mainly being offered to those aged under 40.
Adults aged 40 or over, and adults with health conditions that put them at increased risk from Covid infection, can continue to receive any of the available vaccines. For these groups, the benefits of the vaccine to protect against serious illness far outweigh any other risk.
Should I get my second dose of AstraZeneca?
You get the best protection from two doses. Anyone who has had their first AstraZeneca dose, except those who have experienced blood clots with low platelets should get their second dose.
Whilst your first dose of vaccine gives you some protection against severe disease, having your second dose gives you stronger and long-lasting protection against the virus.
Should I get my second dose?
Yes, because you get the best protection from two doses. Whilst your first dose of vaccine gives you some protection, particularly against severe disease, your second dose gives you stronger and longer-lasting protection against the virus.
How long does protection last?
It’s too soon to know how long protection will last, but it’s thought to be at least 6 months and possibly longer. Booster doses may be needed to maintain protection for you and those around you, or to fight new variants of the virus.
Does it work against the Delta variant?
The Delta variant is the dominant strain of the virus in the UK at the moment. While a recent study has shown that a single dose of vaccine is less effective against this variant than previous versions of the virus, having two doses is highly effective at preventing the disease.