The end of the pandemic is dependent on countries around the world achieving “herd immunity”.

That’s achieved when the number of individuals who are  immune to COVID-19 is sufficient to prevent widespread,  ongoing transmission within their communities.

Vaccines are, therefore, key to achieving “herd immunity”  and ending the pandemic. They are safe, efficient and save lives.

Our ambition at Diaverum is that all patients and staff  take the vaccine when that’s available for them.

While you wait your turn to take the vaccine, we have  prepared a set of questions and answers that will help  everyone see that the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks of getting the illness.




COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2.  It was first identified in late 2019. It is very infectious and can lead  to severe respiratory disease and a few cases of death.

Common symptoms are cough, fever, headaches, upset stomach  and loss of taste and smell.

COVID-19 can affect people in different ways:

  • some may not have any symptoms at all;
  • some may only have mild symptoms;
  • some may feel very tired, have aching muscles, diarrhoea and vomiting, fever and confusion;
  • a small number may have a severe disease and may need to go into hospital, or even end up in intensive care or pass away.

There is no cure for COVID-19 although some newly tested  treatments may help to reduce the risk of complications.

Vaccination offers safe and effective protection from infection  with COVID-19.

Vaccination is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting  people against harmful diseases, before they come into contact  with the specific disease. It uses your body’s natural defences

to build resistance to specific infections and makes your immune  system stronger.

Vaccines train your immune system to create antibodies by  exposing it to components of the infectious agent, e.g. a virus,  just as it does when it is exposed to a disease. These components  cannot cause a disease themselves.

Vaccines reduce the risk of people getting COVID-19 by working  with your body’s natural defences to build protection.

When you get the vaccine, your immune system responds by:

  • recognising the invading virus;
  • producing antibodies (antibodies are proteins produced naturally by the immune system to fight disease);
  • remembering the disease and how to fight it. If you then are exposed to COVID-19 in the future, your immune system can quickly destroy it before you become unwell.
  • There are different types of COVID-19 vaccine, with most  requiring two doses to provide the best protection.

    COVID-19 vaccines are given by an injection into a muscle  by a trained health-care professional.

Any vaccine will have to pass stringent safety tests before  they are approved, and are regularly reassessed once they are  introduced.

The COVID-19 vaccines have been tested in some of the largest  clinical trials that have ever been performed with vaccines,  involving tens of thousands of individuals. No serious side effects  have been detected in these trials.

The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks of  getting the illness.

All COVID-19 vaccinations have been shown to be highly  effective at preventing COVID-19. They save lives by reducing  significantly the number of severe, moderate and mild cases,  as well as hospitalisation and outpatient treatments.

Before any COVID-19 vaccine can be used, they must pass all  the same safety tests and provide the same level of results to the  country regulator as for any other type of vaccine.

Regulatory authorities have examined the safety of the new  COVID-19 vaccines in great detail before they were approved.

Coronavirus can affect anyone. If you are an older adult and or  have a long-term health condition, COVID-19 can be very serious  and in some cases fatal.

There are some groups of people that are more at risk of  becoming severely unwell. Renal patients are in this group as  their illness may put them at risk of being seriously unwell.

That’s  why Diaverum is working closely with national health services  around the world to make sure dialysis patients are assigned  the highest priority for COVID-19 vaccination.

A very small number of people cannot have the vaccine – this  includes people who have specific severe allergies and are  prone to develop allergic shock.

People who are less than 16 years old, pregnant and  breastfeeding need to be assessed before getting the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccination can greatly reduce the chance of you  suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a week or two for  your body to build up some protection from the first dose of the  vaccine, but you will not reach full protection before you have  taken all doses (in most cases two).

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some  people may still get COVID-19 despite having the vaccine, but  they should get less severe symptoms.

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. The most  common side effects are a low-level fever, or pain or redness  at the injection site. They are signs that the vaccine is effective  and that your immune system is starting to build up a defence  against COVID-19. Mild reactions should go away on their own  within a few days.

Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still  need to have the second dose. Although you may get some  protection from the first dose, only after the second dose will you  obtain long-lasting protection against the virus.

There is no evidence that vaccines interact with other  medicines. Speak to you doctor if you are worried and they will  advise you if there is anything to be concerned about.

No, there is no possibility whatsoever that the new RNA vaccines,  developed by Pfizer and Moderna, can change the genes in your body.

Yes, you should take it, as it is still important to have the  vaccine if you have had the virus, since the infection may not  give you long lasting protection from COVID-19.

The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you  are eligible for both vaccines, you should have them both, but  normally separated by at least a week.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible  to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the  symptoms until after your vaccination has been administered.

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection.

We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching  and passing on the virus. It is important to continue to follow  the local and international guidance.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues  you still need to:

  • maintain physical distancing;
  • wear a face mask;
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently;
  • follow the current guidance.

COVID-19 is spread through  droplets breathed out from the  nose or mouth, particularly when  speaking or coughing. It can  also be picked up by touching  your eyes, nose and mouth after

contact with contaminated objects  and surfaces.

Even after you take the vaccine,  it is important that you:

  • continue to follow social distancing guidance;
  • continue to wear masks;
  • continue to wash your hand frequently.

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