Since the emergence of COVID-19 last year, we have all experienced an overwhelming lifestyle change, from national lockdowns, to isolation periods, to the fear and reality of new variants. Given these unfamiliar circumstances, it is only natural for us to feel confused and fearful, not only due to the lack of information surrounding this illness, but also due to the large amount of conflicting and/or unreliable information that is currently available. Yet answers to common questions surrounding COVID-19 are still important, especially when it comes to the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones.
At Doctors Worldwide, we are honoured to work with a number of medical doctors who have given their time to provide responses to some of the most Googled questions around COVID-19 vaccines.
See below answers from Dr Mizan Hoque and Dr Bushera Choudhry, in combination with digitally sourced information from reliable organisations such as the NHS, UK Government & WHO etc.
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine after contracting COVID-19?
According to the MHRA, getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had COVID-19 as it is for those who haven’t, including those who have mild residual symptoms. If you are suffering from significant ongoing complications from COVID-19, discuss whether or not to have a vaccine now with your doctor (MHRA).
Can vaccines be mixed and matched?
Currently, some countries are providing the uptake of mixed vaccines. However, WHO advises caution until the trials studying combining different vaccines are conducted and demonstrate safety and effectiveness.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine provide protection against the new Delta variant?
It is likely that COVID-19 vaccines will provide at least some protection against the Delta variant, so it is encouraged to take up vaccinations when offered. Analysis by Public Health England (PHE) showed the following in terms of the Delta variant: the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses (PHE, 2021).
Can I get COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated?
Yes. While a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent serious illness and death, we still do not know the extent to which it keeps you from being infected and passing the virus on to others. The more we allow the virus to spread, the more opportunity the virus has to change (WHO, 2021).
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