Jenny Walrond, NHS Devon CCCG Media and Publications manager
Why should I have the Covid-19 vaccine?
Around 9 in 10 adults in Devon have now had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Analysis by Public Health England suggests that the vaccination programme has prevented between 6.4m and 7.9m infections and 26-28,000 deaths in England alone.
NHS advice states that research has shown the vaccines:
- significantly reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of getting symptoms of COVID-19
- will help reduce your risk of catching and spreading COVID-19
Long Covid can affect people of any age. Research is being carried out into whether the vaccine reduces the chances of developing Long Covid and/or eases the symptoms of Long Covid in existing patients.
Some countries currently require travellers to be vaccinated or show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test. This situation regularly changes and it is best to check before booking any travel. Having the vaccine may make it easier for people to go abroad for work, holidays or to visit family.
Once you have had both doses of the vaccination you will be able to prove your vaccination status by getting the NHS Covid Pass. It is available through the NHS app; which is free to download or online. More information here:
NHS COVID Pass for events and travel – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Where can I find information in other languages?
NHS England has produced leaflets about Covid19
- The government has published easy read leaflets on the Covid-19 vaccination, what to expect afterwards and information for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding in 21 languages.
Is it safe?
Each of the vaccines are tested on tens of thousands of people across the world. They are tested on both men and women, on people from different ethnic backgrounds, representative of the UK population and of all ages between 18-84.
Pfizer/BioNTech trials took place in the US, Europe, Turkey, South Africa and South America. Approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants had racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds
AstraZeneca trials took place in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. The non-white demographic in the UK trial was 7.1%. In the Brazil trial it was 31.4% and in South Africa it was 87%.
Vaccine safety monitoring is ensured at the national, regional, and global level.
Internationally WHO supports the set up of safety monitoring systems for COVID-19 vaccines in every country. WHO works with vaccine manufacturers, health officials and other partners to track safety concerns and potential side effects on an ongoing basis.
In the UK The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority approves vaccines for use. The MHRA is globally recognised for requiring the highest standards of safety, quality and effectiveness for any vaccine. It has responsibility in law to continuously evaluate all products on the UK market.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is an independent group of experts who advise the Government health departments in the four UK nations on immunisations and the prevention of infectious disease. They consider vaccine safety, efficacy and look at the impact and cost effectiveness of immunisation strategies. The JCVI looks at data on the impact of a disease, data from clinical trials and modelled data, then advises on the best way to get these vaccines to the public.
Government advice states that:
- There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant.
- COVID-19 vaccines offer pregnant women the best protection against COVID-19 disease which can be serious in later pregnancy for some women.
- The JCVI has recommended that the vaccines can be received whilst breastfeeding.
What side effects may I get?
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 or being sick
More serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting, are very rare.
Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines side effects and safety
Which vaccine will I be offered?
All first doses being offered in Devon are now Pfizer or Moderna (mRNA vaccines). Details of which vaccine are being offered are shown in advertising for walk in clinics.
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology has been rigorously assessed for safety, and clinical trials have shown that mRNA vaccines provide a long-lasting immune response. mRNA vaccine technology has been studied for several decades, including in the contexts of Zika, rabies, and influenza vaccines. mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines and do not interfere with human DNA.
How can I get my vaccine? First and Second doses
You do not need an NHS number to book your vaccine in Devon.
You can book an appointment on the national booking system website or by phoning 119.
Details of walk in clinics can be found on NHS Devon CCG’s social media pages and at:
If you have any problems accessing your vaccine you can contact the Devon Vaccine Support Team:
- Please remember to dress appropriately for the weather, and it’s a good idea to bring a drink along with you
- Please wear a face covering, unless you are exempt
- You will need to provide your name and date of birth
- You do not need to provide identification
- When you arrive on the vaccination site one of our team of marshals will greet you and help you find your way for your vaccination
Second doses are given 8 weeks after the first. You can book your second dose through the national booking service or visit a walk-in clinic offering the same vaccine as your first dose.
If you are unable to attend a booked appointment please remember to cancel.