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Vaccine information for COVID-19

Types of vaccine

In the UK and Jersey, there are three types of COVID-19 vaccine that are currently being used:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna (Spikevax)

All have been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials.

Currently, the Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine is the main vaccine administered in Jersey. It is safe for this vaccine to be administered, even if you were previously administered a different vaccine.

In Jersey, we will be aligning our vaccination programme roll-out with the UK. No Covishield vaccines have been administered in Jersey or the UK.

All vaccines have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulator Agency (MRHA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Protection and immunity

The COVID-19 vaccine reduces your chance of suffering from severe illness and developing complications.

It is important that you keep up with your vaccination schedule which is different for different age groups.

A booster dose helps increase the protection you provided from your primary course of the vaccine. It is important that you get your booster once you are eligible as the protection from your primary course vaccines will reduce over time.

It takes a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective. You should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection.

Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

After receiving your vaccine, you will still need to follow public health guidance to protect yourself and others.

You must continue to:

  • practice physical distancing where possible
  • wear a face mask where advised
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • ensure good ventilation
  • take regular lateral flow tests
  • book a PCR test if you have any symptoms

Protecting yourself and others from coronavirus

Passing on the virus

Most vaccines reduce the overall risk of infection and reduces the chance of passing on the virus, but some vaccinated people may get mild or asymptomatic infection and can still pass the virus on.

Any infection in a vaccinated person will be less severe and that viral shedding will be shortened.

Dose intervals

Not at risk

Age Eligible for not at risk Wait between doses not at risk Wait between doses if you've had a positive PCR test
​5 to 11
​2 paediatric primary doses
​12 weeks
​12 weeks
12 to 15
2 primary doses
12 weeks
12 weeks
16 to 172 primary doses plus a booster dose
12 weeks
12 weeks
18+
2 primary doses plus a booster dose
8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after second dose)
4 weeks
​75+ or resident in a care home for older adults
​2 primary doses plus a booster dose plus spring booster dose
​8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after last dose)
​4 weeks


At risk

This includes living with an immunosuppressed individual

Age Eligible for at risk Wait between doses at risk Wait between doses if you've had a positive PCR test
​5 to 11

​2 paediatric primary doses

​8 weeks
​4 weeks
12 to 15 2 primary doses plus a booster dose8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after second dose)
4 weeks
16 to 17 2 primary doses plus a booster dose
8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after second dose)4 weeks
18+ 2 primary doses plus a booster dose
8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after second dose)
4 weeks
​75+ or resident in a care home for older adults
​2 primary doses plus a booster dose plus spring booster dose
​8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after last dose)
​4 weeks


Immunosuppressed

If you are immunosuppressed, you should discuss your vaccine timings with your health care specialist

​Age
Eligible for immunosuppressed​​Wait between doses for immunosuppressed
Wait between doses if you've had a positive PCR test
​5 to 11
​2 primary paediatric doses (3 if severely immunosuppressed)
​8 weeks
​4 weeks
​12 to 15
3 primary doses plus a booster dose plus spring booster dose
​8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after last dose)
​4 weeks
​16 to 17

3 primary doses plus a booster dose plus spring booster dose
8 weeks (booster 12 weeks last third dose)
​4 weeks

​18+
3 primary doses plus a booster dose plus spring booster dose
8 weeks (booster 12 weeks after last dose)
​4 weeks

AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine and blood clotting

The JCVI issued a statement on 7 May 2021 on reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding with the first dose of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine for younger people, under the age of 40.

JVCI statement on the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine on gov.uk

The JCVI has advised it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria).

What is the concern?

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine doses given.

This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.

This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines but is being carefully monitored.

What you need to do

The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. 

What to look for after having the vaccine

You should seek medical advice from your GP immediately if you have:

  • leg swelling
  • shortness of breath
  • pain in your chest or abdomen
  • bruising beyond the vaccination site
  • neurological symptoms such as prolonged headache or confusion, especially if occurring within 14 days of vaccination

Blood clotting information in English

Blood clotting information in Portuguese

Blood clotting information in Bulgarian

Blood clotting information in Polish

Blood clotting information in Romanian

Blood clotting information in Hungarian

Blood clotting information in Nepalese

Blood clotting information in Russian

Blood clotting information in Filipino

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The COVID-19 vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile. These vaccines do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.

If you are pregnant, you don't need to do anything differently when booking your appointment. When you arrive for your vaccination at Fort Regent. Make the vaccination team aware you are pregnant so they can offer you the Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as people of the same age or risk group.

Evidence on COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously reviewed by the World Health Organization and the regulatory bodies in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) and Moderna (Spikevax) vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age, and any stage of pregnancy, who are coming for their vaccine.

Although the overall risk from COVID-19 disease in pregnant women and their new-born babies is low, in later pregnancy some women may become seriously unwell and need hospital treatment. Catching COVID-19 and needing hospital treatment as a pregnant woman can double your chances of having a still birth. Women with COVID-19 disease are also 2 to 3 times more likely to have their babies early than women without COVID-19.

Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a much higher risk of intensive care admission than women of the same age who are not pregnant.

Pregnant women with underlying clinical conditions are at even higher risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19. It is therefore very important to get vaccinated.

Risk factors for pregnant women

You are at more risk from COVID-19 than women of the same age who are not pregnant if you have underlying medical conditions such as:

  • immune problems
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • asthma

Or if you are:

  • overweight
  • over the age of 35
  • in your third trimester of pregnancy (over 28 weeks)
  • of black and Asian minority ethnic background

Getting pregnant

There is no need to avoid getting pregnant after COVID-19 vaccination. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant.

If you are 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 first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will give you good protection. You need the second dose and booster dose to get longer lasting protection.

Breastfeeding

The benefits of breast-feeding are well known.

The JCVI has recommended that the vaccines can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations from the USA and the World Health Organization.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have a decision guide and other information you may find helpful.

If you would like to discuss COVID-19 vaccination in regards to pregnancy, you should contact your GP, midwife, obstetrician or speak to the healthcare professional during your visit to the vaccination centre. 

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can sometimes cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.

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 to 2 days after the vaccine
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • general aches, or mild flu like symptoms

Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2 to 3 days, a high temperature is unusual and may mean you have COVID-19 or another infection. An uncommon side effect is the swelling of the glands. These symptoms normally last less than a week.

You should rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging). Do not exceed the normal dose.

Very rare cases of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis and pericarditis)

Worldwide, there have also been recent, rare cases of inflammation of the heart called myocarditis or pericarditis reported after COVID-19 vaccines, although it is not yet clear that these are caused by the vaccines.

These cases have been seen mostly in younger men in the USA within several days after vaccination. Most of these people recovered and felt better following rest and simple treatments. You should seek medical advice urgently if you experience:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart

If your symptoms get worse

If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, contact your GP or healthcare professional. If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them your vaccination card) so that they can assess you properly.

You can also report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card scheme. The Yellow Card scheme is the UK system for collecting information on suspected adverse drug reactions to medicines.

You can't catch COVID-19 from the vaccine

You can't catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it's possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.

Although a mild fever can occur within a day or two of vaccination, if you have any other COVID-19 symptoms or your fever lasts longer:

  1. isolate at home
  2. call the coronavirus helpline and arrange to have a test

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • new continuous cough
  • high temperature
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

Easy read

Vaccine guidance English Easy Read (PDF)

Second dose of vaccine English Easy Read (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine English Easy Read (PDF)

Why you need to wait English Easy Read (PDF)

Vaccine and pregnancy English Easy Read (PDF)

Vaccine booster injection guidance English Easy Read (PDF)

Translated information

Island-wide leaflet

Island-wide leaflet Portuguese (PDF)

Island-wide leaflet Polish (PDF)

Island-wide leaflet Romanian (PDF)

Island-wide leaflet Bulgarian (PDF)

Island-wide leaflet French (PDF)

Guidance for adults

Vaccine guidance for adults under 50 English (PDF)

Vaccine guidance for adults over 50 English (PDF)

Vaccine guidance for adults Portuguese (PDF)

Vaccine guidance for adults Polish (PDF)

Vaccine guidance for adults Romanian (PDF)

Vaccine guidance for adults Bulgarian (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine

What to expect after the vaccine English (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Portuguese (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Polish (PDF)

What to expect  after the vaccine Romanian (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Bulgarian (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Hungarian (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Russian (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Nepalese (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Filipino (PDF)

What to expect after the vaccine Spanish (PDF)

Why you need to wait for the vaccine

Why you need to wait English (PDF)

Why you need to wait Portuguese (PDF)

Why you need to wait Polish (PDF)

Why you need to wait Romanian (PDF)

Why you need to wait Bulgarian (PDF)

Healthcare workers

Healthcare workers English (PDF)

Healthcare workers Portuguese (PDF)

Healthcare workers Polish (PDF)

Healthcare workers Romanian (PDF)

Healthcare workers Bulgarian (PDF)

Pregnancy

Vaccine and pregnancy English (PDF)

Vaccine and pregnancy Portuguese (PDF)

Vaccine and pregnancy Polish (PDF)

Vaccine and pregnancy Romanian (PDF)

Vaccine and pregnancy Bulgarian (PDF)


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