The Covid-19 vaccination programme is well underway, over 12 million people in the UK have already had their first vaccination.

However, some people are unsure about some of the things they have heard about the vaccinations.

To help reassure you and dispel some of the myths that are currently circulating, Central Bedfordshire Council has pulled together some of the common misconceptions and answers for you.

The vaccine was approved too quickly to be safe

The speed of development, testing and approval was because of global investment, scientists working hard and manufacturing getting ready to make the vaccines before it was approved, not because of short cuts. The vaccines have been through the same rigorous trials as others.

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.

Watch this video to understand more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ixp2mD6gZg

Will the vaccine give me Covid-19?

No you cannot catch Covid from the vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine uses only part of the genetic code of the virus to stimulate the body to trigger the immune system but this cannot give you Covid. Watch this video to understand more: https://youtu.be/QwO37P3v9Lk

Can the vaccine change my DNA?

No. The Pfizer vaccine uses mRNA technology, this teaches our cells to make protein that triggers a protective immune response. mRNA never enters the cell nucleus where the DNA is kept.  Watch this video to understand more: https://youtu.be/3BFfe7UuNkM

The vaccine contains pork or other animal products

Pork gelatine is used in some vaccines, but not the Covid-19 vaccines being used in the UK, namely the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca, nor the Moderna vaccines contain any animal products.

Information about the vaccinations is available on the Muslim Council of Britain website, and from the British Islamic Medical Association. Both sites examine frequently asked questions and look at the truth behind each statement.

If I’ve had the Covid-19 vaccine, can I still infect other people?

The Covid-19 vaccine should protect you from becoming sick, but it may not stop you picking up the virus and spreading it to other people. So, it is really important that you continue to remember hands, face, space.

Why do I need both doses of the Covid- 19 vaccine?

The Covid-19 vaccine is given as two doses, and it is important to have both. Your body builds up better protection to Covid-19 when the vaccine is given in two, smaller doses, with time in between.

Advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose and should be given towards the end of this 12-week period. This will help ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible. There are no safety concerns where people have already had their second dose earlier than 12 weeks after their first dose.

What information will I need to give out when I book my vaccination?

You will be asked for your name and date of birth (DOB). If you know your NHS Number this will help to speed up the process but is not essential.

What are the side effects when you have had the vaccine?

When you have had the Covid-19 vaccination, you may have some mild side effects. These can include:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in or a heavy arm
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.

99.97% recover from Covid-19, but 3% get major side effects from the vaccine

These numbers are false. Over 100,000 have died having tested positive for Covid-19 in this country alone and our hospitals are full to capacity with people suffering from the effects of Covid-19.

Over 12 million people have had their first vaccination jab in the UK already.

The small risk of minimal and often short terms side effects far outweighs the risk of long term complications or death from Covid-19.