Vaccines train the immune system to recognise the organisms that cause disease. All the Covid vaccines approved for use in the UK work by giving the immune system the instructions to build the Covid spike protein which is found on the outside of the virus.
When you have your jab, your immune system recognises that the spike proteins are part of a virus and produces an immune response. Your immune system produces memory cells that remember the shape of the spike protein and cause a rapid response to protect you from the virus should you encounter it.
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.
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.