What is the ‘Oxford Vaccine’?
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine. It uses part of a weakened adenovirus to deliver information about SARS-CoV-2 virus into cells. This stimulates the body to produce antigen. The presence of antigen stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies and activate T-cells.
How effective is the ‘Oxford Vaccine?’
In clinical trials of over 11,000 patients, overall vaccine efficacy against symptomatic disease was 70.4%.
Is the ‘Oxford Vaccine’ Safe?
The side-effects seen in clinical trial recipients following vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca were mild to moderate and usually self-resolving within a few days of vaccination.
Can I have the ‘Oxford Vaccine’?
At the moment, the vaccines are in short supply, therefore the government have advised prioritising those older adults in a care home setting first.
Can I choose a different vaccine?
Currently, we cannot yet offer alternative COVID-19 vaccines. You can decline when offered and choose to wait, should an alternative manufacturer become available.
Who shouldn’t have the vaccine?
If you’ve had a previous severe reaction to a previous dose of the same vaccine or any severe reactions to any components of the vaccine (see list next page).
You are advised to delay vaccination if you have had any recent acute infections
Individuals currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 disease should not attend for vaccination until they have recovered. This is to avoid wrongly attributing any new symptom or the progression of symptoms to the vaccine.
Vaccination should ideally be deferred until around 4 weeks after onset of symptoms, or from the first positive test in those who are asymptomatic.
Can I have the vaccine if I’m pregnant?
There is insufficient evidence to recommend the routine use of COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.
If a woman finds out she is pregnant after she has started a course of COVID-19 vaccine, she should complete her pregnancy before finishing the recommended schedule. Women should be offered vaccine as soon as possible after pregnancy.
JCVI has advised that, for women who are offered COVID-19 vaccine, vaccination in pregnancy should be considered where the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection is high and cannot be avoided, or where the woman has underlying conditions that put them at very high risk of serious complications of COVID-19. In these circumstances, clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with the woman, who should be told about the absence of safety data for the vaccine in pregnancy.
What is the guidance on the ‘Oxford Vaccine’ if breastfeeding?
There is no known risk associated with giving non-live vaccines whilst breastfeeding. JCVI advises that breastfeeding women may be offered vaccination with the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
What does the vaccine contain?
The COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca contains recombinant, replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector encoding the SARS CoV 2 Spike (S) glycoprotein.
It also contains:
- L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate
- Magnesium chloride hexahydrate
- Polysorbate 80
- Sodium chloride
- Disodium edetate dihydrate
- Water for injections
When will the second part of the vaccine be given?
There should be a minimum interval of 28 days between doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
It is recommended that the second dose should be administered between 4 and 12 weeks after the first dose.
If an interval longer than the recommended interval is left between doses, the second dose should still be given (preferably using the same vaccine as was given for the first dose if possible). The course does not need to be restarted.
If the second dose is given less than 21 days after the first, it should be discounted and another dose (a third dose) should be given at least 28 days after the dose given too early.