Here are some FAQ's in regard to the COVID VACCINATION, these are national FAQs hopefully answering more general questions related to the vaccine.  Please do not contact the practice about the COVID vaccine, you will be contacted in due course in accordance to the First Phase Guidelines.  For more specific information on we, as a practice are delivering the vaccine and pertinent questions related to Poplar Grove Practice please read "COVID FAQS PERTINENT TO POPLAR GROVE PRACTICE"


What vaccine for COVID-19 is currently available?

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is available. This vaccine is shown to offer up to 95% effectiveness and has been given regulatory approval by the MHRA. The Astra/Zeneca Oxford Vaccine will be available soon.


Is the NHS confident the vaccine is safe? 

Yes. The NHS will not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.  The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said this vaccine is very safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes. 

 As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.


Allergic reactions

You should not have the vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to medicines, vaccines or food. If you do have a reaction, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately


Will the vaccine stop me from getting Covid-19?

The COVID-19 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.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this 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. 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.


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
  • headache
  • general aches, or mild flu 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.


Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No. However 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.


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.


How long does the vaccine take to become effective?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of the vaccine.


I think I’ve already had COVID-19 so do I still need to be vaccinated?

Yes, you should get vaccinated. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is their time to do so.


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. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both but normally separated by at least a week.


Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from flu?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family and patients from flu this winter.


Can I drive after having the vaccine?

You should be safe to drive after having the vaccine but as a precautionary measure you will be asked to wait 15 minutes after the injection to make sure that you are feeling OK.


Does the vaccine contain any animal products?

No. The Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.


Can I bring someone with me to the appointment?

We are trying to keep the number of people on site to a minimum to reduce the risk of infection but if you need assistance, then of course of you can bring someone with you. Please make sure you are both wearing face coverings.