Why are vaccines important?
Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves against ill health.
Vaccines also protect other people in the community, by helping stop diseases spreading to people who are unable to have vaccines.
Although many people are hesitant to get vaccines, it is vita to understand that vaccines undergo rigorous safety testing before are introduced and are always closely monitored for side effects after being introduced. They may cause some mild effects that may frighten people, but they will not last long – some children may feel a bit unwell and have a sore arm for a few days.
The most important thing about vaccines is that they can reduce or even get rid of some diseases – if enough people are vaccinated.
For example, measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced showing the impact they can make.
It is also important to note that some people cannot have vaccines such as those who have had previous serious allergic reactions to a previous dose of the vaccine and those who have had a serious allergic reaction to ingredients in the vaccine. People who have a weakened immune system may also not be able to have some vaccines.
Who can get the Covid-19 vaccination?
There are currently five groups who have been offered the vaccine and can still get it if they are yet to receive it:
- All those aged 18 years and over
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- Frontline health and social care workers
- People who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at high-risk of Covid 19 due to underlying health conditions
- Children and young people aged 12 to 17 (some children aged 12 to 15 can get vaccinated if they live with someone who is likely to get infections, or if they have a condition that means they’re at high risk from Covid-19)
What is in a vaccine?
The main ingredient of any vaccine is a small amount of bacteria, virus or toxin that has been weakened or destroyed in a laboratory first.
This means there is no risk of healthy people catching a disease from a vaccine.
The Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites, established by the World Health Organization, that provides reliable information on vaccine safety.
Mission: The Vaccine Safety Net is a World Health Organisation initiative aiming to help internet users find reliable information on vaccine safety.
Vision: The Vaccine Safety Net strives to ensure that reliable, understandable, evidence-based information on the safety of vaccines is available on the web and readily found by all.
Goals: To collaborate at an international level to increase awareness about vaccines, reduce vaccine hesitancy and strengthen confidence in vaccines by:
- Seeking to better understand internet users’ needs, behaviours, and preferences.
- Providing reliable information tailored to users’ needs.
- Communicating vaccine safety information through a diversity of digital channels.