In December 2020, the UK rollout of various Covid-19 vaccines began. Now, 49.5 million people have received the vaccine, which has resulted in a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions. It has enabled people to travel and to regain a sense of normality within their everyday lives.
The following guide will answer vaccine-related questions as well as provide updates and information on the latest advancements in the battle against Covid-19.
Will the vaccine stop you from getting Covid-19?
In short-no! The vaccine will not prevent you from getting Covid-19 completely.
Prof Young stated: “The truth is that while vaccination does not entirely eradicate the Covid risk, it reduces it substantially.” He said: “It cuts your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from the virus by around 95%, and it reduces your risk of catching or spreading it.”
A recent study found that vaccinated people infected with the delta variant are 63 per cent less likely to infect unvaccinated people.
Chris Hopson, The chief executive of NHS Providers posted a Twitter thread in June 2021 highlighting the impact vaccinations have had on the Trust.
“Trust leaders are increasingly confident that vaccines are breaking the chain between COVID-19 infections and the high levels of hospital admissions and death rates we’ve seen in previous COVID-19 waves.”
It’s clear that the Covid-19 vaccine has been a groundbreaking medical advancement for people in the UK and worldwide. For more information and facts about the vaccine, visit the NHS website.
Who can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine?
In light of the new variant, Omicron, the NHS is now offering the Covid booster jabs to all over-18s in the UK to help stop a potential wave of infections.
Prof Wei Shen Lim, chair of the JCVI, said: “With any vaccine during a pandemic, we get the greatest benefit for individuals and society if the vaccine is deployed before the wave starts. We want to provide boosters early enough…. before any possible wave”.
The booster vaccine will help provide long-term protection improving the existing protection formed by the first two doses of the vaccine.
Who is eligible for the booster?
To begin with, the booster will be available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a 2nd dose of a vaccine at least six months ago.
- People aged 18+
- Care home residents and staff
- Frontline health and social care workers
- People aged 16+ with conditions result in them having an increased the risk should they contract COVID-19
- Main carers aged 16+
- People aged 16 and over who live with someone more likely to get infections
- Pregnant people
- People in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.
Which vaccine will you get?
The Covid-19 vaccine itself comprises of two doses of either:
- Moderna vaccine.
- Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
- Janssen vaccine (available later this year)
When it comes to having your booster, you will most likely be offered a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine, which means your booster may differ from your 1st and 2nd doses.
How can you book a booster vaccine?
- Book an appointment online for a booster in a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- Go to a walk-in vaccination site or centre for on the day appointments on arrival
- Wait to be contacted by a local NHS service
For more information on the booster vaccine, eligibility and booking, visit the NHS website.
The next step: Development of Covid-19 anti-viral pills
While the vaccines and booster vaccines have proven to be both effective and groundbreaking, scientists haven’t stopped their relentless efforts to continue to find new ways and medications to help battle Covid-19.
The latest medical advancement is the development of Covid-19 anti-viral pills that can be taken at home.
On Thursday, 4 November, the UK became the first to approve Molnupiravir, described as a ‘game-changing’ Covid-19 anti-viral pill.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid stated that it was a “historic day for our country” labelling it a “gamechanger for the most vulnerable and the immunosuppressed”.
Who will the pill be administered to?
The pill is yet to be administered to the general public. However, the government is currently working with the NHS to set out deployment plans of the drug, Molnupiravir, as part of a national study.
Molnupiravir can be taken by those who have tested positive and have at least one risk factor for developing severe illness, such as obesity, over 60, diabetes or heart disease.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said it is safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospital admission and death in people with mild to moderate COVID. They are at additional risk from the virus.
Pfizer’s new pill
Building on the Molnupiravir pill’s success, Pfizer has developed their own at home Covid-19 anti-viral pill. In the latest trial results, Pfizer’s new pill cuts hospitalisation or death by 89%.
Those within the study were viewed as high risk due to having health problems. At the time of the study, the patients were unvaccinated and had mild-to-moderate COVID-19.
Promising trial results reveal that only 1% of patients taking the drug needed to be admitted to the hospital, and no one died.
Following the study, Dr Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, said: “We were hoping that we had something extraordinary, but it’s rare that you see great drugs come through with almost 90% efficacy and 100% protection for death.”
It’s safe to say that it’s an exhilarating time for the scientific field. The world looks on in wonderment and hope as new possibilities become available through the new drugs being developed. This guide will be updated as further information is released.
Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear