It is important to note that the vaccine is not mandatory and people can choose whether they take up the vaccine or not.
Information will be provided to people before vaccination, and will also be available online, to provide reassurance about patient safety to allow informed decisions, and robust consent processes will be in place to manage this.
The coronavirus vaccine you'll be offered
The vaccine you are offered will be appropriate for you and will be based on clinical recommendations, including those of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The vaccine you receive will also depend on your age, whether you are pregnant and vaccine availability. For a limited number of people, it will depend on clinical reasons such as severe allergy or having a severely weakened immune system.
The Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines are authorised for use in children and adults aged 12 years and over. The Pfizer/BioNTech (child-sized dose) vaccine is authorised for use in children aged 5 to 11 years.
The interval between a first and second dose of vaccination is eight weeks for those aged 18 and over, irrespective of which vaccine is administered. The interval between a first and second dose of vaccination is 12 weeks for those aged 5 to 17. The interval between the second and third dose (for immunocompromised patients only) is eight weeks. The interval between the second dose (or third dose for immunocompromised patients) and the booster dose is three months.
COVID-19 Vaccines with Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorisation
- Moderna Spikevax - Patient Information Leaflet for Spikevax - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Astrazeneca Vaxzevria - Conditions of Authorisation for COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (Regulation 174) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Comirnaty (formerly referred to as Pfizer BioNTech Comirnaty) - Patient Information Leaflet for COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer/BioNTech - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Comirnaty (10mcg paediatric formulation for 5-11 year olds) - Patient Information Leaflet for COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer/BioNTech 10 micrograms - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- The vaccines do not contain any animal products, egg, gluten or wheat and are suitable for people with coeliac disease. For more information on vaccine ingredients visit the Vaccine Knowledge Project.
- The vaccine you receive may contain a small amount of an alcohol called ethanol. The amount in the vaccine is less than the amount in a slice of bread.
- A full list of ingredients for each type of vaccine is included in each vaccine leaflet above.
Vaccine Side Effects and Information Leaflets
- 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 it is very important that you have the second dose to 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
- Full details on the side effects can be found on the patient information leaflet you received with your vaccine or in the section entitled 'COVID-19 Vaccines with MHRA authorisation'.
- Concerns about allergies
- If you have concerns about allergies and the vaccine, please visit: COVID-19 Vaccinations and Allergies FAQ | Allergy UK | National Charity
- Any adverse side effects can be reported here.
- I have some COVID-19 like symptoms after receiving my vaccine, do I need to self-isolate?
- You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine, however it is important to be aware of any symptoms you may experience and when you should contact someone for further advice.
- A mild fever, headache and a feeling of tiredness can occur within a day or two of vaccination. A high temperature is unusual and may mean you have COVID-19 or another infection.
- If you have any other COVID-19 symptoms or your symptoms last longer, stay at home and call the clinical helpline on 01481 220001.
MHRA review into suspected blood clots
- Following suspensions by some countries of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca over suspected blood clots, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 far outweigh the risks. The UK regulator, following a rigorous scientific review of all the available data, said that the available evidence did not suggest that blood clots in veins (venous thromboembolism) were caused by COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
- More information on the MHRA review into suspected blood clots can be found here.
- If you have any concerns about having your second dose of AstraZeneca vaccination, the following link may be helpful: Worried about having your second dose of AstraZeneca vaccination? - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
mRNA vaccines and myopericarditis
- Worldwide, rare cases of inflammation of the heart called myocarditis or pericarditis have been reported after Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 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
- You can find more information on the this subject here and here.
What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination?
- More information about what to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination is available here.
COVID-19 Vaccination and Pregnancy
- Information about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy is available here.
Vaccine liability and concerns
- Authorisations for vaccines
- All COVID-19 vaccines (including booster doses) offered to people in the Bailiwick have authorisations.
- The medicines legislation in the Bailiwick of Guernsey recognises marketing authorisations granted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on behalf of the UK licensing authority or granted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
- As the vaccines used within the Bailiwick's COVID-19 vaccination programme are supplied via the UK government, all vaccines used in the programme are used under a temporary authorisation or conditional marketing authorisation granted by the MHRA on behalf of the UK licensing authority.
- A vaccine that has a temporary authorisation must be designated by the States of Guernsey Committee for Health & Social Care in order to be offered in the Bailiwick.
- Vaccines with temporary authorisations - limitation of liability
- During the earlier part of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, two vaccines were offered and administered with temporary authorisations, after being duly designated by the Committee.
- The COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNTI62b2 concentrate for solution for injection, also known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, was offered and administered with a temporary authorisation after being designated by the Committee on and from 9th December, 2020. It was administered with a temporary authorisation until its designation was revoked on 1st January, 2022.
- The COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, solution for injection in multidose container COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOxl-S [recombinant]), also known as the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, was offered and administered with a temporary authorisation after being designated by the Committee on and from 6th January, 2021. It was administered with a temporary authorisation until its designation was revoked on 14th June, 2022.
- The COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna dispersion for injection COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified), also known as the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, was also designated by the Committee on and from 27th January, 2021. Its designation was revoked on 5th May, 2021.
- The Medicines (Human and Veterinary) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 amended the Medicines (Human and Veterinary) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2008 to limit liability for personal injury or death as a result of receiving a vaccine with a temporary authorisation.
- In practice, what this means is that where a court determines in any civil proceedings that an award for damages associated with the use of a COVID-19 vaccination with temporary authorisation should be made, the maximum amount that can be awarded in respect of all losses and damages is £120,000.00 (in respect of a person who has died or suffered personal injury). The Ordinance continued and consolidated provisions in temporary regulations made under emergency powers by the Civil Contingencies Authority.
- This limitation of liability applies to any civil proceedings brought at any time.
- The States of Guernsey considers it appropriate to limit liability for vaccines with temporary authorisations because there is insufficient insurance coverage for these vaccines.
- Concerns or complaints
- If you have any concerns after you have received your vaccine we would first recommend you contact VCC@gov.gg
- If you have a complaint about any aspect of the vaccination programme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org