The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine has started in the UK and The James Cook University Hospital is among the first in the world to start to vaccinate staff and patients who are most at risk.
The vaccine has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Visit NHS.uk/covidvaccine for more details.
Who will get the vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert group, has recommended that the NHS offers these vaccines first to those at highest risk of catching the infection and of suffering serious complications if they catch the infection.
This includes older adults, frontline health and social care workers, care home residents and staff, and those with certain clinical conditions. When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.
The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine and it is important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.
Will the vaccine protect me?
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine.
Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
Will the vaccine have side effects?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.
Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. Although you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus.
Very common side effects include:
- having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1-2 days after the vaccine
- feeling tired
- general aches, or mild flu like symptoms
Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for two to three days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection. You can take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) and rest to help you feel better. Do not exceed the normal dose.
Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111.
Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?
You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.
The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in your normal sense of taste or smell
If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test. If you need more information on symptoms visit nhs.uk
If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card if possible) so that they can assess you properly.
- Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
- When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments. Help us by arriving promptly at your appointment time, observing the social distancing rules in place and having your email / mobile number handy.
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives
While the vaccine may help protect you from coronavirus, it’s still important to follow social distancing guidance and other restrictions to keep each other safe.
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