Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
Vaccinations for Covid have now begun to be delivered across Lewisham.
Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
The vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs.
It’s being given to:
- some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks
- people who live or work in care homes
- health care workers at high risk
The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Frequently asked questions
Why are you offering me a Covid vaccination now?
As an older adult (have a long-term health condition), COVID-19 can be very serious for you and in some cases fatal. Government and NHS advise says that you should have the COVID-19 vaccine if you are aged 65 years and over.
Why do I need two vaccinations?
Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. Although you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus.
Will the vaccine protect me?
The 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 – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination but it should be less severe.
Will the vaccine have side effects?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them.
Very common side effects include:
· having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1-2 days after the vaccine
· feeling tired
· general aches, or mild fu like symptoms Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for two to three days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection.
You can rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) to help you feel better. Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111. 8 COVID-19 VACCINATION If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card if possible) so that they can assess you properly.
I have had my flu vaccine; do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?
The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. Advice says that you should have both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week
Can I catch Covid 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 the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment. The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
• a new continuous cough
• a high temperature
• a loss of or change in your normal sense of taste or smell
If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test.
What should I do if I am not well when it is my next 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 ft and well.
Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?
The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus. So, it is important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you. To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to: • practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current guidance www.gov.uk/coronavirus