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coronavirus vaccine

After approving the recommendation of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency(MHRA) to licence the us of the Pfizer and BioNTech covid vaccine last week, today marks a significant landmark for the fight against Covid-19. The UK has become the first nation on earth to approve and commence the vaccination of the Covid-19 vaccine. This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. 

Front-line health staff, those aged over 80, and care home workers will be first in line for the vaccine. 

Although care home residents were placed at the top of the priority list agreed by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), they are not getting the very first vaccinations.This is because the chosen hospital hubs already have the facilities to store the vaccine at the required temperature. But Mr Hancock, the Health Secretary said the government was doing everything it could to overcome these “significant challenges”.

HOW IS THE VACCINE ADMINISTERED?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

It’s given as 2 doses, at least 21 days apart.

HOW SAFE IS THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

After having both doses of the vaccine most people will be protected against coronavirus.

It takes a few weeks after getting the 2nd dose for it to work.

No vaccine is 100% fool proof so there is a little chance you might still get coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

This means it is very important to:

  • continue to follow social distancing guidance
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES?

Most side effects are similar to the season flu vaccines such as:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy

These are usually mild and you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.

If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection.

If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.

It’s very rare for anyone to have a serious reaction to the vaccine (anaphylaxis). If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes.