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. The vaccination programme is following the advice of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This advice has been given after considering the balance of risks and benefits of each vaccine.
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. Healthy adults aged under 40 are generally less likely to be seriously affected if they catch Covid, but individual risks vary depending on factors such as age, sex, ethnicity and occupation. They have a high chance of catching and spreading the infection, and this group will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca, as it is important that they are vaccinated as soon as possible to protect them and reduce the chance of passing on the virus.
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 three available vaccines. For these groups, the benefits of the vaccine to protect against serious illness far outweigh any other risk.
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 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.