No doubt it’s been a difficult long year for all of us, the pandemic has brought waves of change, loss and worry more than we could have ever imagined.
The NHS COVID vaccination programme has been a glimmer of hope, especially amongst the doom and gloom of lockdowns and variants, thanks to the speed and hard work of all involved in the roll out. The UK is now inviting all adults aged 18 and over and they can now book their vaccination through the NHS booking service via nhs.uk/covidvaccine. You can also call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
With a lot of our British Bindi community being invited, considering or even already had the vaccine, it was important for us to cover some questions our followers (and our team included!) had.
We hosted a Q&A on our Instagram channel, all with questions about the vaccine. There’s a lot of information and messages being passed around, it’s been hard to cut through the noise.
Thankfully we had Dr Pavan, Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a mum of two boys. It was so great to have her join us as a medical professional and specialising in Women’s Health to answer questions. We found 80% of the questions that we heard from our friends and even our call out were around fertility, pregnancy and menstruation, so we were in good hands with Dr Pavan and she answered all concerns, thoughts and worries clearly and sensitively – definitely making a lot of us feel so much more at ease if we had questions around women’s health and the vaccine in particular.
Watch the full video and questions answered about the vaccine here:
We’ve also rounded up FAQs about the vaccine below too:
Can I still get COVID after having the vaccine?
Vaccines offer a high level of protection and Public Health England have published research to show that vaccines reduce infection, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. But no vaccine offers 100% protection against any disease.
How do we know we can trust the vaccine?
. No vaccine is approved for use unless it has met the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. 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 background, and of all ages between 18-84.
How long will the vaccines protect me for?
The vaccines provide a high level of protection for a significant amount of time. Research into exactly how long the protection from the vaccines will last is ongoing. Should booster vaccines be required, the NHS will provide additional doses or boosters as and when necessary.
Do I still have to wear a mask and social distance after I’ve had the vaccine?
It is essential that everyone continues to follow COVID-19 restrictions whether they have had the vaccine or not. A vaccine never gives 100% protection and we don’t yet if vaccinated people can still pass on the virus. This means it is important to: continue to follow social distancing guidance, wear a face covering, cut down on your interactions with other people and remember hands, face, space.
Should I be vaccinated if I have already contracted COVID-19?
Yes. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, has found vaccination is just as important for those who have already had COVID-19 as it is for those who haven’t.
I’m young and low risk. Why do I need to get the vaccine?
Young people have been seriously ill and died from COVID-19, with thousands more still suffering the effects of Long Covid after what might have been a mild initial case. Anyone can get COVID-19, including young people, and anyone can spread it. Getting vaccinated is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and others around you from the virus.
Could the vaccine give me COVID-19?
The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any live virus and they cannot give you COVID. They have been approved by independent regulators whose priority is to ensure the jabs are safe and effective.
Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women?
There have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.
If you are pregnant and have been offered the vaccine, you can discuss the benefits and risk with your GP or healthcare professional.
Can the COVID vaccines cause infertility?
The British Fertility Society (BFS) and Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) say there is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men. If you have further questions, speak to a healthcare professional such as your GP or a practice nurse.
Are the vaccines haram?
The COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in the UK do not contain any components of animal origin. There is a tiny amount of ethanol in the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, which is less than the quantity found in bread. Imams have reviewed the ingredients of the AstraZeneca vaccine and confirmed that it is halal.
Does the COVID Vaccine cause a delay with my period? And if so does that mean the vaccine is affecting my fertility?
Some women have reported noticing changes in their periods after receiving the COVID vaccine. These reports of changes are mild and should not deter you from having the vaccine when you’re invited to. It’s important to remember that many women will experience a temporary change in their periods from time to time during their lives. If you’re concerned about changes in your cycle, or you have any new vaginal bleeding after the menopause, you should speak to your GP.
There is no evidence that the vaccines affect fertility. During the clinical trials a number of women became pregnant by accident – a similar number in the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.
Big thanks to Dr Pavan, who helped out by answering all of our questions.
Pavan has experience in managing obstetric and gynaecological conditions and is passionate about providing women with evidence- based health information in a simple format. She uses her social media platform @doctorpavan to dispel myths surrounding women’s health.