Everything you need to know about the Covid-19 vaccines after Lauren Goodger shuns the virus

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Ex-TOWIE star Lauren Goodger has been slammed after stating that she doesn’t want the Covid-19 vaccine, but she’s not alone.

The Essex influencer is more scared of the vaccine than the virus, which some believe is no worse than the common cold.

Since the first case of Covid-19 in the UK, over three million Brits have caught the virus, and over 78,000 have died.

The much hyped vaccines are now here, but despite the anticipation of pub grub, holidays and Christmas 2.0 with the family, wild rumours have made some nervous about being inoculated.

We’ve consulted Dr Amir Khan, of GPs Behind Closed Doors, to debunk the myths and answer our most pressing vaccine questions.

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What are the differences between the vaccines?

Three vaccines have been approved for use in the UK: Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.

“The Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines work by injecting a small piece of genetic material into your arm,” says Dr Khan.

“mRNA enters cells and asks them to start making the spike protein – the key by which the virus infects us.

"Your immune system recognises it as ‘foreign’ and starts making cells to attack and kill. Memory cells will form which will kill the real coronavirus if you come across it before it causes serious symptoms.

“The Oxford vaccine uses a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees but is harmless to humans.

"It's been genetically modified to programme your cells to make the Covid spike protein.

"Your immune system kicks in and kills the spike protein and will remember it if you come across coronavirus in ‘the wild’.”

I have fillers – will the vaccine make my face swell?

“There have been reported cases of the Moderna vaccine causing swelling in those with dermal fillers, but this was only a tiny number amongst thousands,” assures Dr Khan.

“Side effects linked to fillers are so rare and mild, they shouldn't dissuade people from getting vaccinated.”

Will the vaccines work against the new strains of Covid?

Yes they will, says Dr Khan. “The vaccines trigger a number of different immune cells that attack different parts of the coronavirus spike protein.

"So although there are some changes to the spike protein in the new variant, much remains the same.

"It's still susceptible to our immune system response stimulated by the vaccines.”

I’m being treated for a serious illness. Can I receive a vaccine?

“The vaccines are safe to take with most underlying conditions and will offer protection to those with serious illnesses and those receiving treatment for one,” Dr Khan explains.

“But always discuss it with your specialist first.”

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Will the vaccine make me ill?

Dr Khan says, “You’re not being injected with the coronavirus so you can’t get covid from the vaccines.

"After I had mine I just had a sore arm for 24 hours, a small price to pay to protect myself.”

Are there any hidden long-term effects?

“Most side effects from vaccines happen within the first 15 minutes of receiving them [tiredness, headache, or mild flu-like symptoms, and rarely skin rash, swelling and anaphylactic shock.]

"Many of the ingredients have been used in other vaccines and medicines for years.

"The approved vaccines are safe with no evidence they’ll cause long term side effects,” explains Dr Khan.

Will the vaccine affect fertility?

“Absolutely not,” states Dr Khan. “This myth was created by social media.

"Bogus reports claimed the Covid spike protein was similar to an important protein required for a healthy placenta (the organ that connects mum with baby during pregnancy).

"The two proteins are not even remotely similar enough for the immune system to confuse the two.

"You can have the Covid vaccine even if trying for a baby.”

The vaccines were developed so quickly – are they really safe?

“The reason they were developed so quickly is because we had record numbers of scientists, volunteers and resources working together,” Dr Khan reveals.

“No stage was left out of the clinical trials but many stages were done simultaneously to speed up the process.

The MHRA (who approve the safety of vaccines) scrutinised the date inline with its usual rigorous standards.”

I’ve already had Covid, do I need to be vaccinated?

“Yes. There should be at least a four week gap between a positive test and getting the vaccine,” Dr Khan advises.

“You may have antibodies if you've had covid, but we don't know how long they last and what protection they offer.

"Think of the vaccine as a booster for your immune system.”

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Wildest vaccine myths debunked

The vaccines contain microchips to track us all

Untrue. This idea surfaced when Microsoft boss Bill Gates reportedly commented about using vaccine records to track who has been tested.

The technology isn't a microchip and isn’t tied to the Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccines use aborted foetus tissue

Untrue. Cloned human cells – artificially grown in a lab – have been used to research how the virus and vaccine interact with our bodies.

People could die after receiving the vaccine

Untrue. A hoax stated that an Alabama nurse died after her jab but there have been zero deaths caused by the Covid-19 vaccines or any others.

86% of the world’s children take life-saving vaccinations every year.

After the vaccine, I don’t have to follow government guidelines

Some people have tested positive for Covid-19 after their vaccination, plus we don’t know if we can still act as carriers.

You’re not fully protected until the effects kick in (days to weeks, and following your second dose), so it’s important to keep wearing your mask and practise social distancing.

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