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Covid 19 vaccine information

How the vaccines work

Most vaccines work by triggering an immune response to the virus, even though there is no live virus present.

As there is no whole or live virus involved, the vaccine cannot cause disease.

Vaccine content

All Covid 19 vaccines currently offered by the NHS, including the next-generation bivalent vaccine that targets original and newer variants of the virus, are free from gelatine, eggs and all other animal products.

Muslim jurists have said these are permissible and suitable for a halal diet. 

Proof of vaccination

You'll be able to be use proof of vaccination when travelling abroad, or to prove to an employer that you’ve been vaccinated.

For full details on how to demonstrate your status and how to access this, please visit the website.

Vaccine safety

The NHS does not offer any vaccinations until it is safe to do so.

The UK medicines regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved these vaccines and there have been rigorous checks at every stage of their development and manufacturing process.

To learn more about how Covid 19 vaccines were developed, tested, approved and safety visit the NHS Covid 19 safety page.

Pregancy and the vaccine

If you're pregnant, it's important to get vaccinated to protect you and your baby. The antibodies your body produces in response to the vaccine can also give your baby protection against Covid 19.

You're at higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid 19 if you're pregnant. If you get Covid 19 late in your pregnancy, your baby could also be at risk.

If you're pregnant and have not had your first 2 doses and booster dose yet, it's important to get your vaccinations as soon as possible.

There is no link between the Covid 19 vaccine and infertility.

Not only is there no evidence that vaccines cause fertility problems in men or women, medical experts say there is no realistic way they could.

Rumours circulating on social media are false.

For more information visit the NHS page on Pregnancy, breastfeeding, fertility and coronavirus vaccination.

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects.

Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.

Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose.

Very common side effects include:

  • having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection and his tends to be worst around 1 to 2 days after the vaccine
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • general aches, or mild flu like symptoms

As with all vaccines, appropriate treatment and care will be available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following administration.

The mild flu-like symptoms, including headache, chills and fever described above remain the most common side effects of any Covid 19 vaccine.

These generally appear within a few hours and resolve within a day or two. 

Rare side effects that require medical review include:

  • new onset of severe headache, which is getting worse and does not respond to simple painkillers
  • an unusual headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over, or may be accompanied by blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, difficulty with speech, weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • new unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain 

If you experience any of the above symptoms more than four days and within 28 days of Covid 19 vaccination please seek urgent medical advice.

There is no evidence to suggest that individual genetic material will undergo an alteration after receiving the vaccine.

The vaccine will not alter human DNA.

To learn more about side effects and safety, visit the NHS Covid 19 side effects page.

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