What is Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and how does it work?
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. It contains the genetic code for an important part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus called the spike protein that is carried into your cells by a harmless common cold ‘carrier’ virus (an adenovirus). Your body then makes and uses the spike protein to learn to recognise and fight against SARS-CoV-2. The carrier adenovirus has been modified so that it cannot spread to other cells and cause infection.
Can you get COVID-19 from a COVID 19 vaccine?
You cannot get COVID-19 from a COVID-19 vaccine.
To get COVID-19, a live virus that can multiply in your body has to infect you. No vaccine supplied currently in the world contains live coronavirus.
Can Covid-19 Vaccines be co-administered with other vaccines (e.g. Influenza vaccine)?
Routine administration of a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day as another vaccine, including an influenza vaccine, is not recommended. Currently, the preferred minimum interval between receipt of COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine is 7 days.
Can I have a COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy?
COVID-19 vaccines are not routinely recommended in pregnancy, because pregnant women have not been included in clinical trials. However, some pregnant women may still choose to be vaccinated after considering the benefits and risks of vaccination.
A pregnant woman may wish to be vaccinated if she has risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19 or if she is at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, e.g. occupation.
Women who are breastfeeding can have a COVID-19 vaccine, and they don’t need to stop breastfeeding after vaccination.
Women who are planning pregnancy can have a COVID-19 vaccine, and they don’t need to avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.
Can I have COVID-19 vaccine if I am immunocompromised?
If you are immunocompromised, you are strongly recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you are taking an immune-weakening treatment (immunosuppressant/ immunomodulator), including chemotherapy, you should discuss the best timing of vaccination with your treating doctor.
Can I have COVID-19 vaccine if I have allergies?
Almost all people with allergies can have a COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people with food allergies, asthma or hayfever.
People who have had anaphylaxis (a type of severe allergic reaction) to a particular COVID-19 vaccine, or to an ingredient of a COVID-19 vaccine, should not have another dose of that vaccine.
For some people, precautions may be needed before vaccination, such as consulting an allergy specialist, being vaccinated in a facility which has medical staff and being observed for at least 30 minutes after vaccination.
This applies to people in the following groups:
Could the vaccine react with other medications? Do other medications need to be stopped to have COVID-19 vaccine?
In general, medication should not be stopped before having a vaccine, but there are a few situations in which people might be advised to either delay vaccination or delay a particular medication:
- Some people taking blood thinners (anticoagulants) may be advised to delay vaccination if there is a high risk of bleeding after the vaccine is injected. Most people on a stable dose of blood thinner will be able to receive the vaccine without any change to their medication.
- People taking immune-weakening treatments (immunosuppressants), including chemotherapy, should discuss the best timing of vaccination with their treating doctor.
What are the likely side effects from COVID-19 Vaccines?
All vaccines can cause side effects. Usually these are mild. Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines have reported side effects such as pain at the injection site, fever or muscle aches starting on the day or day after vaccination.
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can cause side effects that are usually mild to moderate, appear within the first day after vaccination and generally go away within a few days. The most common side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. These side effects are temporary and go away without treatment in 1–2 days.
What should I do if I have side effects after a COVID-19 vaccine?
You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with side effects like pain, headache or fever.
You should seek urgent medical assistance (e.g. by calling 000) if you think you are having a severe allergic reaction, such as if you are experiencing difficulty breathing, hives, lip swelling or feeling faint.
You should seek advice from your usual healthcare provider (e.g. GP) if you have any side effects that you are concerned about, or if your side effects have not gone away after a few days.
You can report potential side effects after vaccination to your state or territory health authority, or directly to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This will help the TGA collect information about adverse effects that occur after COVID-19 vaccination and detect any possible unexpected safety signals.
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