Types of vaccine
In the UK and Jersey, there are three types of COVID-19 vaccine that are currently being used:
- Pfizer BioNtech vaccine
- AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine
- Moderna vaccine
All require two doses to provide the best protection. All have been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials.
We have limited supplies of the vaccine and so you'll be offered the vaccine that is available. You'll be advised of the vaccine at your appointment.
We would strongly recommend that you have the vaccine that is offered to you. You can choose to wait, however we recommend you receive the vaccine as soon as is possible to keep you safe.
In Jersey, we will be aligning our vaccination programme roll-out with 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 has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from the disease. Each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and shown to be safe.
All vaccines offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. The second dose completes the course and is particularly important for longer term protection.
After one dose of a vaccine, the level of protection from COVID-19 is:
- Pfizer about 89%
- AstraZeneca 73%
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.
Even 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
- wear a face mask
- wash your hands carefully and frequently
Protecting yourself and others from coronavirus
Passing on the virus
Evidence on whether the COVID-19 vaccination reduces the chance of passing on the virus isn't clear. Most vaccines reduce the overall risk of infection, but some vaccinated people may get mild or asymptomatic infection and can still pass the virus on.
It's highly likely that any infection in a vaccinated person will be less severe and that viral shedding will be shortened.
The MHRA authorisation requires that the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines should be administered in two doses.
It's vital you complete the full course of your vaccination and receive your second dose.
Second doses of the vaccine are scheduled between 4 and 12 weeks from the date you receive your first dose.
To make sure the programme continues to operate efficiently and wastage is minimised, the appointments are batched together based on the vaccine type. This means we have the right vaccine for you. We will not use a different vaccine for your second dose, unless there is a clinical need.
We have a system that double checks all second doses, and we'll contact you with appointment details.
Prioritising the first dose
Throughout this pandemic we have always been guided by the latest scientific advice.
Evidence shows that one dose of either vaccine provides a high calculated level of protection from COVID-19.
It will also have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting health services.
AstraZenca 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 vaccine for younger people, under the age of 40.
JVCI statement on the AstraZeneca vaccine on gov.uk
The JCVI has advised it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AstraZeneca.
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 vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of
AstraZeneca 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. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.
Over 40 years of age or with underlying medical conditions
You should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines.
Healthy person 18 to 39 years of age
We have reviewed our vaccine schedule for Islanders under 30 years old and have incorporated this into our planning. You will be offered the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine.
If you have already had your first dose of AstraZeneca without suffering serious side affects you should complete the course. You'll receive a text message or email with your second dose appointment.
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 or Moderna 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. In the USA, around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and no safety concerns have been identified.
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 and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age who are coming for their first dose.
Anyone who has already started vaccination and is offered a second dose whilst pregnant, should have a second dose with the same vaccine unless they had a serious side effect after the first dose.
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.
Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a higher risk of intensive care admission than women of the same age who are not pregnant. 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 underlying clinical conditions are at even higher risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19.
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
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
Or if you are:
- over the age of 35
- in your third trimester of pregnancy (over 28 weeks)
- of black and Asian minority ethnic background
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 to get longer lasting protection. You do not need to delay this second dose.
If you have already had a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you can have your second dose with the same vaccine when this is offered.
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.
Vaccinations for under 16 year olds
The JCVI has announced that children between the ages of 12 to 15 with specific underlying health conditions including severe neuro-disability, Downs syndrome, immunosuppression or severe learning disabilities and those who are close household contacts of people with immunosuppression are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.
Jersey's Vaccine Programme is not yet in a position to offer the vaccine to these groups. However, we are working with Jersey's leading Paediatricians, the Children's Commissioner, CYPES and Law Officers to make sure the vaccine can be administered to this group in a safe, legal and ethical way at the earliest opportunity.
Like all medicines, vaccines can sometimes cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. 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 to 2 days after the vaccine
- feeling tired
- 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 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:
isolate at home
- 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
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)
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 English (PDF)
Healthcare workers Portuguese (PDF)
Healthcare workers Polish (PDF)
Healthcare workers Romanian (PDF)
Healthcare workers Bulgarian (PDF)
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)