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Step ahead of COVID-19 with the vaccine

Most teens can now get the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s safe, effective and saves lives.

Having the vaccine will also help us get back to doing the things we enjoy, like going to parties or proms, and seeing friends and family.

It’s important to know the facts. Before making a choice, take a look at our answers to some of the most common questions about the vaccine (below).

How to get vaccinated

Your questions answered

Yes. The NHS does not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to specific age groups until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so. Like any medicine, there are lots of rules about using vaccines.

When a vaccine is created, there are checks at every stage to make sure it is safe. Once it is in use it is checked to make sure that it continues to be safe. The NHS website has more information about safety of the vaccine.

Like all medicines, the COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Most side effects are mild and usually don’t last longer than a week, for example:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

You might also get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery a day or two after your vaccination. You can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to. If your symptoms get worse or you're worried, you can talk to your doctor or call 111.

If you have a high temperature that lasts longer than two days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have COVID-19. Stay at home and get a test.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine, but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

Yes, getting the vaccine is easy.

Full vaccination offers the best protection. If you are over 18, you will usually be given two doses – you can get your second jab eight weeks after your first.

If you are aged 16 or 17, one dose is usually recommended – you can get your second jab near your eighteenth birthday, as long as it has been eight weeks since you had your first.

Anyone over 16 can book appointments online or call 119.

Walk-in clinics are also available - there's no need to book, just turn up.

Yes, it’s really important to get the vaccine, even if you’ve already had COVID-19. You may have some immunity if you’ve had Coronavirus, but we don’t yet know how long this will last or if it stops you from catching COVID-19 again.

Taking up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine will help keep you safe.

Yes, getting the vaccine is very quick. The vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. If you are under 18, one dose is usually recommended. If you are over 18, you will usually receive two doses. You will be offered the second dose eight weeks after having the first dose.

You can find out more about the vaccine on the NHS website.

Any period side-effects are short-term. Some say they have had unusually heavy, painful or long periods after receiving the jab but it is not known if the vaccine was the cause.

There are possible reasons why the vaccine might cause changes to periods. The jab causes an increase in activity in the immune system, which also plays a role in the menstrual cycle.

These changes might feel worrying, but there is nothing to suggest they affect your fertility or cause long-term health damage.

Yes, it’s important to keep protected after you’ve had your vaccine as there is a chance you might catch or spread the virus even if you’ve been vaccinated.

After the first dose, it can take a week or two to build up some protection from the virus, and people who have had the vaccine can still carry COVID-19.

After your vaccine, choose to:

  • Wear a face covering in crowded places
  • Test regularly even if you don’t have symptoms
  • Let fresh air in if you’re indoors
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly

This is very important if you are living with, looking after, or seeing someone who is clinically vulnerable.

Information, collated by the Interfaith network is available to reassure faith groups that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and have been independently tested to the highest standards.

The British Islamic Medical Association have also produced a helpful guide for the Muslim community about the vaccine ingredients.

Locally in Hampshire faith leaders have produced video clips that you might find helpful.

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain egg or animal products. The vaccines are suitable for all people. You can read a detailed review of the vaccines and their ingredients here:

When you are fully-vaccinated, you can prove it with the NHS COVID Pass.

The NHS COVID Pass shows your Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details or test results.

If you're aged 16 or over, you can get an NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad. Children under the age of 18 do not need to show a COVID Pass to get into venues in England.

You can get a digital version by:

Check out ways to get there on foot, by bike or public transport using My Journey