Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Right for You?
Published On Jun 13, 2022
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Everyone aged 5 and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. People aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose. People aged 12 and over who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses, will be offered a 3rd dose and a booster (4th dose).
People aged 75 and over, people who live in care homes for older people, and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will be offered a spring booster.
Types of COVID-19 vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use are:
- Moderna vaccine
- Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
- Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
- Janssen vaccine
- Novavax vaccine
Which Vaccine Will I Get?
You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. If you book online, you'll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you. Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines.
How well do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
Anyone who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill or have long-term effects (long COVID). The COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others.
Research has shown the vaccines help:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
- protect against COVID-19 variants
- The 1st dose should give you some protection from 3 or 4 weeks after you've had it. But you need 2 doses for stronger and longer-lasting protection.
Most people also need a booster dose to help improve the protection from the first 2 doses of the vaccine. There is a chance you might still get or spread COVID-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it's important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19.
Side effects and safety
The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. They can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them. Any side effects are usually mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
- a sore arm from the injection
- feeling tired
- a headache
- feeling achy
- feeling or being sick
- More serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting, are very rare.
Vaccines save millions of lives each year. The development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are a crucial step in helping us get back to doing more of the things we enjoy with the people we love.