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COVID-19 vaccines are currently being offered to those who are at the most risk from the complications of COVID-19. The vaccines have been approved as safe and effective by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The vaccines require two doses to give you the best protection against the virus, and the second dose should take place between 3 and 12 weeks after the first dose.  Here we help explain what to expect after you’ve had your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Are there side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects are similar to other vaccinations, and can include muscle pain at the injection site, headaches and tiredness. There is a possibility of an allergic reaction to any vaccine but this is very rare and all vaccination staff are prepared for this. More information on the side effects can be found here.

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 symptoms until after your vaccination. Symptoms can be found here and if you develop any of these, you should stay home and arrange to have a COVID-19 test. 

Do I still have to follow government guidelines after having my COVID-19 vaccine? 

Yes. Even after you have had your vaccine, it is still very important to follow government guidance to protect others. It is still unknown whether the vaccine will stop you from catching and passing the virus so you should still:

  • Practice social distancing 
  • Wear a face mask 
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently 

What do I do next?

You should plan to attend your second appointment, which will be from 3 weeks to 12 weeks after your first vaccine. It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection. 

What if I am not well for my second appointment? 

If you are unwell, it is better to wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine, but

you should try to have it as soon as possible. You should not attend a vaccine appointment

if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well.

Will the vaccine protect me from getting COVID-19?

The COVID-19 vaccines are shown to reduce the chance of you experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, however no vaccine is 100% effective so you should still continue to follow government advice and take precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having the vaccination, but symptoms of the virus should be less severe. 

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. 

Patients need to wait to be contacted by the NHS or their GP before booking to have the COVID-19 vaccine. The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccination. When you have been invited for a vaccine you MUST make an appointment through the NHS national booking system to get your vaccine. 

Book your appointment

More answers to frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 vaccinations can be found here