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The following will answer some of the most common queries after having the first dose.

You are required to have two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, 12 weeks apart. You may not be protected until at least seven days after your second dose of vaccine.

There is no evidence currently that the new strain will be resistant to the vaccine we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal. Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccine. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.

No. Both vaccines have been authorised on the basis of two doses because the evidence from the clinical trials shows that this gives the maximum level of protection. No vaccine is completely effective and it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. Two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. It is important that anyone who has had the vaccine continues to follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask as well as the additional measures in place where they live.

To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advise that the second dose of both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine should be scheduled up to 12 weeks apart.

The evidence doesn’t show any risk to not having the second dose other than not being as protected as you otherwise would be. We urge everyone to show up for both of their appointments for their own protection as well as to ensure we don’t waste vaccines or the time of NHS staff.

Yes, you should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving. The vaccine cannot give you Covid-19 infection and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. However, you will need to continue to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes.

When patients are vaccinated, they are likely to receive a vaccine record card that notes the date of their vaccination, the suggested date for their second dose and details of the vaccine type and batch

This is a vaccine record card, similar to those given to patients for other NHS vaccinations as a note of when they received their vaccine. It is not intended to be used for any other purpose, or as an immunity certificate. All vaccinations are recorded on the patient’s record with their GP.

If you've already had a first dose of the AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course and have the second dose on time as you may still be at high risk of the complications of COVID-19. Having the second dose will give you higher and longer lasting protection.
 
This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed. 
 
It is expected that the first dose of the vaccine will have given you some protection, particularly against severe disease. 
 
(Source: Public Health England)