Pharmacists from Boots have come together to help dispel the most common myths about the Covid-19 vaccine.
As staff at the British health and beauty and pharmacy chain help vaccinate the nation, some of its pharmacists are encouraging people to have faith in the Covid-19 vaccine and debunking the common myths surrounding the jab.
Myth: The vaccine couldn't have been developed so quickly
"The fast development of the Covid-19 vaccine was definitely unprecedented!" said Baljit, Boots Pharmacist in Birmingham. "But that's because of the global effort and investment that went into this. It was made a priority for governments around the world due to the impact of coronavirus on healthcare systems and economies, as we've all seen. That doesn't mean that trials were any less rigorous though - and the vaccines are approved by the UK's medicines regulatory body, MHRA."
Myth: The vaccination doesn't work for people from BAME backgrounds
"There's no evidence that either of the two vaccines being administered widely in the U.K. work differently according to ethnicity," stated Charles from the Doncaster store. "In fact, 11 per cent of people that took part in the clinical trials for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and 13 per cent for the Pfizer-BioNTech were from Black African-Caribbean and Asian backgrounds. No differences in effectiveness were reported in these trials based on ethnicity."
Myth: The vaccine makes you sick afterwards
"You may experience mild side effects after getting the Covid-19 vaccine," warned Baljit. "Common ones include tenderness, swelling and/or redness in your arm, headaches and tiredness that can last for a couple of days. But the vaccine has been thoroughly tested in clinical trials, with no long-term complications reported."
Myth: The vaccine can make you infertile
"If you are planning to start a family there is no need to worry about having a Covid-19 vaccine - there is no clinical evidence to suggest that it affects male or female fertility," said Smita from the Leicester branch.
For patients with religious dietary restrictions, the pharmacists also insist that the vaccine doesn't contain any ingredients derived from animals and some injections only contain a tiny amount of naturally occurring alcohol.
To conclude, Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots UK, said: "I would like to reassure people that the vaccine has a good safety profile, having gone through robust and extensive trials. In fact, the vaccine is the most effective way to protect ourselves and our loved ones against the virus, including new strains like the B.1.617 variant. I encourage everyone to ensure that they attend their vaccine appointment as soon as they receive their invitation from the NHS."