Covid-19 Vaccine - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Effectiveness of Vaccines

Do I need a vaccine even if I have recently been infected with COVID-19?

You need to wait 28 days if you are 18+ and 12 weeks if you are under 18 before getting your COVID-19 vaccination, but evidence suggests that protection from vaccination lasts longer than antibodies acquired from infection. Having your COVID-19 vaccines help protect you and others in the future.

How effective are the vaccines?

(Safety and effectiveness information)

The MHRA have said these vaccines are highly effective, but to get full protection people need to come back for the second dose – this is really important.  

To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advise that the second dose of all three vaccine types currently available should be scheduled 8 weeks apart. There is compelling evidence that the delay between the doses leads to a more effective immune response.

Full protection kicks in around two weeks after that second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you act on that and get yourself booked in as soon as possible. Even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance.    

Will the vaccine protect you?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine.

The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – you can still catch COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe and your risk of passing it on to others is significantly reduced.

Why do we need booster vaccines?

There is good data that suggests that vaccine effectiveness from all vaccines reduces over time. This is much like natural immunity, although vaccine-induced immunity is still lasting longer than that from most natural infections. The purpose of the booster this winter is to get more vulnerable people winter ready and to prevent hospitalisations during the winter period. By getting the booster jab- and flu jab if eligible- we are doing our bit to protect ourselves and others, and importantly, the NHS.

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