Thanks to the hard work of medical experts across the world, vaccines for COVID-19 are now being given to people across the country. COVID-19 can have serious, life threatening complications and there is no way to know how you would be affected if you caught coronavirus.
The vaccine is very likely to prevent you from getting COVID-19 symptoms if you are exposed to the virus, and even if you do catch the virus and display symptoms, the vaccine is extremely likely to stop them being so bad that you require a trip to hospital.
To help those in black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities understand the safety, side effects and ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine, here is a short video to clear up some myths which may be causing some doubts in getting this important vaccine:
How safe is the Coronavirus vaccine?
Any vaccine that is approved goes through several clinical trials and safety checks that all licensed medicines must go through. The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) is the Government’s medicines safety agency who ensure the safety of medicines and vaccines.
You can find out more about how vaccines are licensed, tested and monitored on the Oxford University Vaccine Knowledge Project website.
How effective is the Covid-19 vaccine?
The two vaccines currently available in the UK have an efficacy of between 70% and 90% at preventing COVID-19 symptoms, when measured three weeks after the first injection is administered; however, they are also between 95% and 100% effective at preventing severe symptoms and hospitalisation.
Both vaccines require two doses. After the second dose of the vaccine, the efficacy increases further, and the duration of its effect is also increased. However, while the vaccine can prevent you from getting COVID-19 symptoms, it is not yet known if it also stops you from spreading the virus to other people, so it’s still important to follow social distancing guidance, and cover your nose and mouth in places where you are near other people.
Support for those in the BAME community
For those with friends or family in one of the BAME communities, where English may not be their first language, there are leaflets available to help them feel confident in choosing to be vaccinated and protecting themselves against COVID-19, and helping the NHS. If you have family or friends with a health condition, we can help them to get their medication safely too.
Since the first national lockdown, we’ve helped save over 5 million trips outside by delivering medicines directly to our patients’ homes for free, helping to keep our communities safe. We will continue to support patients and the NHS with our service, through the national lockdown and beyond, and are here to welcome anyone who needs our help to get their medication easily and safely.
What’s in the COVID-19 vaccines?
The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal or egg products, or foetal cells or products. They are suitable for people whose faith or dietary requirements mean they cannot have certain types of meat or who follow a vegetarian diet. The full ingredients are published as part of the approval process and are available below.
Further advice for specific faiths or dietary lifestyles can be found here.
How can I get a vaccination?
Pharmacy2U are proud to be assisting the NHS in their mission to get the nation vaccinated against COVID-19. We have opened vaccination clinics throughout the country and are working closely with the NHS to open more clinics in the near future.
The NHS or your GP will contact you when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. You can then go to the national booking system to book your appointment or book with your GP. Check the latest eligibility criteria here.
Here we help explain what to expect after you’ve had your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Concerns about vaccination
- Side effects
Side effects are similar to other vaccinations, and can include muscle pain at the injection site, headaches, and tiredness.
- Needle phobia
A needle phobia is quite common – it’s thought to be a problem for about 1 in 10 of us. It can result in sensations of panic or feeling faint – or actually fainting – because of a rise and then a rapid drop in blood pressure. Here is some helpful advice for anyone who is worried.
Find out more on other vaccinations here.