Vaccines are safe
The Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you and others around you the best protection against the virus.
Like every other vaccine, the Covid-19 vaccine has been thoroughly tested to ensure it is safe for all. Furthermore, the independent regulator (MHRA) would not approve any vaccine if it was not found to be safe.
Covid-19 vaccine safety
Like all medicines, Covid-19 vaccines can cause side effects, however not everyone who receives the vaccine will experience them. In clinical trials, side effects following the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine were found to be mostly mild to moderate and resolved within a few days.
The most common side effects are as follows:
- aches and pains of the muscles and/ or joints,
- headache and/or fever
- tenderness at injection site.
Pain and fever can be treated with paracetamol, if proving troublesome.
A full list of side effects for the AstraZeneca vaccine can be found on the GOV.uk website.
Protection from Covid-19 begins 2 weeks after your first vaccine dose, and both vaccines are highly effective in protecting you against the virus. However, there is a small possibility that you will develop Covid-19 after having the vaccine, especially during the first few days following your inital vaccination.
If you notice any side effects please talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. If you are concerned about a side effect it can be reported directly via the Coronavirus Yellow Card reporting site
By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines.
When to speak to your doctor or nurse
You should let your doctor or nurse know if any of the following applies to you, before you have your vaccine:
- If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after any other vaccine injection
- If you currently have a severe infection with a high temperature (over 38°C). However, a mild fever or infection, like a cold, are not reasons to delay vaccination
- If you have a problem with bleeding or bruising, or if you are taking a blood thinning medicine (anticoagulant)
- If your immune system does not work properly (immunodeficiency) or you are taking medicines that weaken the immune system (such as high-dose corticosteroids, immunosuppressants or cancer medicines).
- If you are taking, have recently taken or might take, any other medicines or vaccines.
What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to have a baby please tell your doctor or nurse. They can answer any questions you may have and discuss whether you can be given the vaccine.
Covid-19 vaccine ingredients
The Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca does not contain any components of animal origin.
A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found here.