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Covid-19 vaccination – What you need to know

Jan 19, 2021 | Blog

The UK made headlines earlier this week for having the highest Covid death rate in the world with almost 1000 people dying each day. As tragic as this situation is, there are signs that things are getting better as our frontline healthcare clients have now had their first vaccinations and the rollout is continuing among the elderly and vulnerable.

As more people get called in for their vaccinations we know there are plenty of questions regarding what’s involved, how much it protects us and what we’re able to do once vaccinated. We’ve put together a handy crib sheet covering those topics for you:

Why do I need two vaccine doses?

We’ve all heard that the vaccination is split across two separate jabs, this actually isn’t unusual for vaccines and is referred to as “prime-boost”, i.e. one shot to prime the body and the other to boost the effect. Anyone with kids undergoing their standard vaccinations will have seen this in practice with measles, mumps and rubella jabs given at both 1 and 3 years old.

The first jab helps your body to develop an immunity response against the virus and offers some limited short-term protection. The second jab comes a few weeks later and acts as a booster which enhances the effect of the first vaccine and strengthens your body’s response to ensure that protection will last in the long run. To achieve the maximum efficiency of the vaccination you must have both doses.

Can I still catch or pass on Covid after the vaccine?

Like all vaccines, the Covid-19 vaccination is not 100% effective. The first jab will become effective a week or two after it is administered and offers some protection on its own. After the second jab the protection is greatly increased, this reduces the chances of catching the virus and those are unlucky enough to catch it can expect to have a far less severe reaction.

At present there is no evidence to say whether you can still pass the virus on after you are vaccinated but the medical profession assume the risk of transmission would be lowered. At present, the universal advice from the healthcare sector is to continue to stick to the rules even after your second dose.

Will I suffer side effects from the vaccination?

Not everyone suffers side effects but some people have reported discomfort in the injected arm, feeling very tired and suffering headaches or minor flu symptoms. If you suffer severe side effects or mild effects lasting longer than a week or so, the advice is to call NHS 111 and tell them you have had the vaccine recently. The government’s Yellow Card website is also actively sourcing data on any side effects so they can ensure maximum safety for everyone.

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