The sooner you get it, the better. All of the Covid vaccines that have been approved for use in the UK are effective against the disease, and there’s increasing evidence they reduce transmission of the virus. Vaccinating as many people as possible should reduce local levels of infection and allow restrictions to ease.
If you are currently unwell, self-isolating, or waiting for a Covid test, you should delay getting your vaccination until later. Pregnant women may wish to discuss when to have the vaccine with their doctor.
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.
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.