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Your Pfizer Vaccine Questions Answered – Covid Vaccines in Cork

As the Covid vaccination rollout continues to gain momentum across Ireland, we thought that it would be valuable to produce a short series of articles about the various vaccines which are being administered in Cork and nationwide. In this article, we take a detailed look at the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

Continue reading to learn how the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccination works. Find out all about the implications of the vaccine, and its use, in relation to immunity, safety, doses, side effects and whether it is safe in pregnancy.

Why are vaccines important?

Vaccinations are the single most effective method we have to protect ourselves from infectious diseases. Vaccinations essentially prepare our immune system, our natural defences, to protect us against viruses and diseases.

‘The Pfizer / BioNTech Covid 19 vaccine is safe and effective’ – Ireland’s Health Services Executive (HSE).

The HSE, Irish government and health authorities are encouraging members of the public to go to their appointment, when a Covid 19 vaccine is offered to them.

Doses – how many doses of Pfizer vaccine are needed?

  • 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are required in total.
  • It takes 7 days after receiving the second dose for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine to work. That’s when you are fully vaccinated.
  • The second dose will be given 4 weeks (28 days) after the first dose.

Immunity – how does the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine protect against Covid?

Vaccines teach our immune systems how to protect us from diseases. It is much safer for our immune systems to learn now to protect us by having the vaccine, rather than by catching the virus.

Most people will be protected from Covid 19 after they’ve had both doses of a Covid vaccine. However, there is a small chance that Covid can still be caught, even after having the vaccine. It is important to note though, being vaccinated reduces serious symptoms in most people.

Most people will be protected from Covid-19 after they have had both doses of a Covid vaccine.

Read more about – immunity after the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (link opens in a new tab).

Safety – is the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine safe?

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was developed in accordance with international safety standards. The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has been given to millions of people in the US and UK.

Read more about – the safety of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (link opens in a new tab).

Side effects – what are they?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild to moderate and short-lived. It is important to note that not everyone experiences side effects.

Common side effects after all of the Covid 19 vaccines happen less often in people who are 65 and older.

You are more likely to experience side effects after having the second dose of a Covid vaccine.

After getting the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, 1 in 10 people (or more) may experience:

  • Tiredness
  • Tenderness, bruising or itching in the arm where the vaccine was injected.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Joint pain.
  • Nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting.
  • Fever (temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher).

Serious side effects, such as a severe allergic reaction, are very rare. Serious side effects after the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine occur in approximately 1 in 100,000 people.

Your vaccinator is trained to treat any serious allergic reaction.

Pregnancy – is the vaccine safe if you are pregnant?

There is no evidence that Covid-19 vaccines are unsafe if you are pregnant. Conversely, there is strong evidence that being vaccinated reduces the risk of becoming very unwell if you do catch Covid 19. With the benefits in mind, the HSE and health authorities are advising pregnant women to get vaccinated when it is offered to them.

‘Current information shows that the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine does not have any negative effects on babies in the womb’ – Ireland’s Health Services Executive (HSE)

Breastfeeding – is it safe to breastfeed if you have been vaccinated?

The HSE currently advise that there is no known reason to avoid breastfeeding if you are vaccinated.

Which vaccine is best?

All vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness before they can be used in Ireland. The Health Services Executive (HSE) only uses a vaccine if it meets the required standards. You should get any vaccine which is offered to you.

‘You should get any vaccine which is offered to you’ – Ireland’s Health Services Executive (HSE).

Your local Irwin’s Pharmacy is here to support to local people in Cork

For any advice about Covid-19, vaccinations or any other health concerns, call Irwin’s Pharmacy on 021 430 4165. Your friendly local pharmacists are here to provide healthcare to local people in Cork.