Book your vaccine.
Grab a jab.
Join the millions.
These are words you hear daily at the moment, and you probably already know how important your Covid-19 vaccination is. BUT – what if the idea still makes you nervous?
Nearly 90% of adults in the UK have now had their first vaccine dose. That’s over 46 million people who have made an important step towards protecting themselves and their loved ones. But if you still need some questions answered before you join them, we’ve got you covered.
Is it safe? Will it protect me? What about the infertility rumours? And those blood clots?
If you still have questions, we’re here to help you out… This is what we know about the Covid-19 vaccines:
The speed at which the vaccines have been made available to us does not mean they have been rushed or that important steps in the testing process were skipped.
Global collaboration in effort, knowledge and funding have meant that scientists have been able to work at record speed. All the vaccines have all gone through the same trials and checks that every other licensed medicine goes through. They have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness as approved by the independent MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).
The side effects of the virus are worse
Most people will not die from Covid-19 – that much is very true, but some people develop severe complications and need hospital treatment.
Some people also develop long-lasting symptoms such as extreme tiredness and chronic breathlessness that go on to affect their daily lives. This is called Long Covid and there is, at the moment, no known cure. The changes might be permanent, can affect anyone, regardless of how healthy you are, and these long-term effects are still being investigated by scientists.
The best way to protect yourself from Long Covid is – (you guessed it) – getting your jab.
You can get jabbed if you’re pregnant
Soon after the vaccines were issued people became concerned that they were not recommended to pregnant people. This is standard practice with all new medicines and, now that more data is available, the JCVI (Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisations) has updated their advice. You can, and definitely should, still have your Covid-19 vaccination if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccines decrease your chance of conceiving, or that they will cause issues in the future.
It’s important to note that while pregnant you are at increased risk of getting severely ill or experiencing pregnancy complications if you get Covid. Thousands of pregnant people across the country have already been safely vaccinated and you should protect yourself and your baby as best you can by getting yours too.
As for those breastfeeding – you do not have to stop to get your jab!
You can find out more about Covid-19, pregnancy and fertility at the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website and if you do have concerns, please speak to your doctor who can help make an informed decision.
We don’t know much about natural immunity
Covid-19 is a very new disease and scientists are still working out precisely how the body fends off the virus. There is scientific data to indicate that if you have had coronavirus, your body will contain neutralising antibodies for several months afterwards. What is not known is how long those antibodies last or how much protection they give you.
It is relatively uncommon to have Covid-19 more than once, but it does happen.Soe, even if you have had Covid-19 already, it is recommended to have the vaccine for the protection of yourself and others.
You can read about immunity to Covid-19 in more detail at the British Medical Journal website.
Covid causes more blood clots
When the AstraZeneca vaccine became the focus of blood clot investigations, it was a huge concern for everyone and, understandably, caused a lot of nervousness around the vaccines in general.
The clots associated with the vaccine were extremely rare – to date, only 10 people have developed this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given. A recent study of over 500,000 people found that you are 10 times more likely to suffer a serious blood clot from Covid-19 itself than you are from being vaccinated. The virus causes inflammation throughout the body which makes you much more likely to develop blood clots of any type, amongst other complications.
If you have had your first dose of the AstraZenca vaccine and experienced no complications you should still get your second jab. If you have concerns, please discuss these with your GP.
For more details on about blood clots and the Covid vaccines, GOV.uk have issued guidance to answer as many questions as possible on their website.
So… let’s get back to normal, and stay there
We’ve spent over a year in and out of lockdowns and have reached a point where we can move forward and manage the virus – but this will only be possible through vaccination. To stop the spread of coronavirus, we need to achieve population immunity and we hope that the points addressed here have helped ease any concerns you have.
Join the millions who have already had their vaccine and help us live safely with Covid-19.