Manchester's Director of Public Health answers the community's COVID-19 vaccine questions
Having a vaccine is a really important step in how we fight COVID 19 and we understand that people may have fears, so David Regan, Manchester's Director of Public Health has answered the following questions which have been fed back to us through community groups:
I am in a Tier 4 area. Will vaccines still be provided and should I still attend my appointment?
Yes. Getting the Covid-19 vaccine, or any other vaccine, is an important medical appointment and so is within the rules wherever you live. Vaccinations will continue as normal in all areas regardless of what Tier they are in. If you have booked or are offered an appointment, please attend it. The place that you choose to have your vaccine will keep you safe from Covid through a range of measures including cleaning and disinfecting and having social distancing in waiting areas. Please also wear a face covering to your appointment. You should also take the usual steps to minimise your risk as you travel to your appointment.
Who will get the vaccine and when will they get it?
The NHS has started vaccinating people to protect against Covid-19. An independent group of experts has recommended that the NHS first offers the vaccine to those who are at highest risk of catching the virus and suffering serious complications.
This includes those aged 80 and over, older adults in care homes and frontline health care workers. When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccine will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.
People who are housebound and are unable to get to a local vaccination centre may have to wait for supply of the right type of vaccine. This is because it is not yet possible to transport the current available vaccine between people’s homes due to the nature of the vaccine.
People who are housebound will be contacted when the appropriate vaccine is available. For most people this will be a letter, either from their GP or the national NHS. This letter will include all the information you will need to book appointments, including your NHS number. Please do not contact the NHS to get an appointment until you get this letter.
The vaccine had been developed very quickly – how can we know It is safe?
I’m sure a lot of people will want to ask this and that’s very understandable.
And, yes the vaccine has been completed at speed –but that’s because we are In a pandemic and it is a priority with our best scientific minds working on it, and dedicated to it.
The vaccine has undergone months of rigorous testing and will only be used once the strict safety approvals have been met. This includes approval from the MHRA, the official UK regulator, like all other medicines and devices.
I’m going to have it and I hope my family will too.
Does it change your DNA?
No, it definitely doesn’t. The content of the Covid vaccines does not go anywhere near our own genetic material and has no ability to change it or us.
There’s lots of rumours about it containing human or animal products?
No, it doesn’t contain either human or animal products (so no porcine content either).
I’ve heard you can catch flu from the flu jab – can you get Covid from this vaccination?
Taking flu first: the flu vaccination used in our country does not contain live virus, so it does not – and cannot – give anyone flu.
If people do feel a bit under the weather after a flu jab it is because their own immune system is kicking in after the vaccination. Sometimes, if people catch a cold at the same they think it is due to the vaccination, but it isn’t -it’s just a coincidence.
The Covid vaccination does not contain the actual virus, so it’s physically impossible to catch the disease from it.
What if I’ve had Covid already – will the vaccination work for me?
Even if you have had Covid, and were eligible for the vaccination, it would be a good idea to have it. This is because we still do not know how long immunity lasts. Having the jab would help to ensure your immunity is as strong as it can be.
Will I be forced to have the vaccination?
No, you won’t, it is by choice. If you decide against it you would need to be aware that you are at greater risk of the virus and of passing it on.
I’ve heard that the vaccine trials did not include people from ethnic minority backgrounds – is that true?
No, trials did include people from ethnic minority backgrounds. The vaccine producers did make a call for more volunteers recently so that the study matched vulnerable groups – just like they did with the over 65s too.
Should I leave a gap between getting the flu and Covid vaccines?
We are also encouraging people to have their flu vaccination as soon as possible. The flu vaccine is important because if you're at higher risk from coronavirus, you're also more at risk of problems from flu. Research shows people can catch both diseases at the same time, with serious and potentially serious consequences.
People also need to have at least 7 days between a flu and a Covid vaccine.
Community Briefing note and Q&As on COVID vaccinations in Manchester
Information about how the community vaccination for COVID-19 is being organised in Manchester and the city’s Director of Public Health Dave Regan answers community questions about the vaccine.
This Information available to download in PDF format in the following languages:
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Polish, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Yiddish.