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.
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 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.
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.