There has been a series of announcements about Covid in recent days.
Across the UK, 12-15 year olds are offered a single Covid shot, and boosters are being rolled out for over 50s and groups of people at risk.
Here are some of your latest questions on this and other related topics:
Questions and Answers
h4> Fergus Walsh Medical Editor
My understanding is that the risk of myocarditis from the vaccine is higher than the risk of hospitalization from the Covid, so why should I put my child through a painful procedure with terrible side effects? Kim Briscoe Philippa Roxby Rapporteur de sante
Myocarditis is a very rare side effect of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Symptoms - which can include chest pain or palpitations - go away quickly. For every million first doses, there were between three and 17 cases, more in boys than in girls. Very few ended up in hospital.
But these heart symptoms can also be caused by Covid-19 itself, and a small number of children end up seriously ill with the virus, including long lasting symptoms.
According to figures from JCVI - the government's immunization advisers - vaccinating one million children would prevent 87 hospitalizations and two intensive care admissions.
Get the vaccine yourself is virtually painless and most children will only have a mildly sore arm afterwards.
How my son the vaccin prevent disrupting education? Elizabeth Allcock Nick Triggle Health Correspondent
There is a reason why this process of taking decision was so painful - it's such a finely balanced appeal.
Healthy children aged 12 to 15 are at so low risk of Covid, that the benefit of vaccination for health reasons is only marginal.
Even in terms of limiting educational disruption, modeling suggests that the benefits may be limited.
The emergence of the Delta variant means that vaccines are less effective at preventing infection than they were previously.
As a mother teenage girls, I worry about the potential long-term impact on their fertility. For the record, I have a number of friends and relatives whose periods have been affected by their Covid injections, so what impact does this have on our reproductive system? Emma, Coventry Philippa Roxby Health reporter
Some women reported changes in their periods, such as unusually heavy bleeding, or has stopped for a while - and experts say there is a logical explanation for this.
After vaccination, immune cells are affected, the system The body's defense kicks in and there is an inflammatory response - all of which could cause actual period changes. Flu and HPV vaccines can also have the same effect.
But doctors say there are no long-term side effects and women should not worry.
There has been a lot of misinformation on social media around vaccines and thefertility - but don 't believe anything that has not been written by a gynecological specialist. Experts all say there is no way that vaccines can impact fertility. In fact, contracting Covid on its own is more likely to cause
Vaccines have also been recommended for use during pregnancy.
Why is the AstraZeneca vaccine not used as a booster? Stephen Cannie, Peterborough
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been found to be safe and effective to use as a booster, but is not recommended only for people allergic to mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna).
I understand that the concern about a rare side effect on blood clotting is the reason why the AZ vaccine is not used as a rcall. For this reason, it is already limited in the UK to people over 40.
All vaccines used in the UK offer strong defenses against severe Covid. But it's unclear who will provide the most lasting protection. Pfizer and Moderna get the best results in the first few weeks after vaccination, but their immunity wanes faster than the AstraZeneca vaccine, which uses a disabled virus.
It would therefore be wrong to cancel the vaccination completely. Oxford-AZ vaccine as a booster. If the vaccine is shown to confer longer lasting immunity, it may still play a continuing role here.
I am a 72 year old male and wondering if it is possible to get the booster and vaccines against the flu at the same time? Dennis, Fife
Yes. When announcing its booster vaccine program, the Scottish Government said it was followingwould advise the JCVI and "as far as possible, eligible people will be offered the Covid-19 and influenza vaccines together ".
As over 50, you are part of groups that will be offered a Covid booster. Other groups include frontline health and social service workers, people aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions, and older people living in nursing homes. The latter group will start receiving both vaccines in Scotland next week.
Making a similar announcement for England, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said those eligible for the Covid booster would also be offered the flu shot at the same time, although this is not always possible in practice.
Northern Ireland and Wales also intend to make the two vaccines available together, although atWales Health Minister Eluned Morgan warned he would be "only where time and logistics permit ".
We are told the number of new infections each day, but you never know how many of them are people who have already been fully vaccinated. Why not? Sherwin Smith, Wallingford Robert Cuffe Head of Statistics
Public Health England (PHE) has now started to release this data.
Earlier this month, it released estimates of the case count rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
It's tempting to compare these numbers of cases directly, but this can also be very misleading.
Vaccinated people are more likely to be elderly, white, affluent, or clinically vulnerable than the general population. So you might end up learning a little bit about it.u more about the effect of being old or well-off rather than the effect of being vaccinated.
This is why scientists tend to rely on caution there has conducted studies that compare case rates in people vaccinated with case rates in otherwise similar unvaccinated people. End of adolescent vaccinations, reminders and other problems
End of vaccine safety Send us your question
Is it worth taking a low dose of aspirin to thin the blood at the time of vaccination to reduce the risk of blood clots? From Ranmali Fernando, Enfield
For anyone who does not have aspirinalready prescribed by a doctor, Professor Beverly Hunt, medical director of Thrombosis UK , strongly advise against it.
"We know that if you take aspirin and don't need it, the benefits are not very good " she told Hfrance .Fr.
However, anyone who has already been prescribed aspirin by a doctor should continue to take it before their injection, says Professor Adrian Newland, a blood specialist.
Any Anyone taking blood thinner medications (such as warfarin) - or people with bleeding disorders - should talk to their doctor before receiving the vaccine, he says. They should also inform vaccinators of any anticoagulant medication.
What are the signs that you may be developing a clotblood? From Lindsey Handley, Caterham, Surrey
Doctors focus on several types of blood clots regarding the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
One clot that has drawn particular attention is a clot on the brain called cerebral venous thrombosis (CSVT).
It forms large Veins of the head - prevent blood from flowing out of the brain. As a result, blood cells can break down and infiltrate brain tissue, ultimately leading to a stroke.
CVSTs are more common, but still very rare, in younger women.
If you suspect that you or someone else has had a stroke, you should call 999.
The regulator UK medication - the MHRA - tells anyone with the following symptoms four or more days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, you must coSeek medical attention promptly: severe or persistent headache, blurred vision, chest pain, shortness of breath, swollen legs, persistent abdominal pain, unusual skin bruising, spot spots (off site of injection).
How long after a vaccine can a rare blood clot develop? If it's been three weeks since my jab, am I definitely in the clear? From Rushda Khan, Cambridge
Most cases have been seen between four days and a few weeks after people have had their injection.
Medical experts in the UK suggest that doctors should consider this rare disease as a possible diagnosis for anyone with corresponding symptoms up to a month after receiving the vaccine.
If you received your vaccine three weeks ago, you should see a doctor if you experience any of the symptomslisted above over the next week.
Is the risk of clotting higher in young women currently taking birth control pill? From Karen, Gateshead
Pregnancy, the combination pill and certain fertility treatments are known to put people at a higher risk of clots in general. Some of these clots can be treated more easily than CVSTs.
The European Medicines Agency estimates that for every 10,000 women using combined hormonal contraception for a year, between five and 12 will develop clots in vei ns (such as deep vein thrombosis or clots in the lungs).
This compares to about two per 10,000 among people who do not use these types of contraception.
Experts recommend that otherwise healthy people should not stop taking the pill when they areget vaccinated.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is seeking further advice from regulatory bodies on pregnant women and those starting fertility treatment. In the meantime, pregnant women are advised to discuss the benefits and risks of have the vaccine with their doctors.
I'm 22 years old and I have had my two AstraZeneca vaccines. What does this mean to me? From Kieran, Scotland
Since you have already had your two vaccines, you will not be affected by the decision to offer people under 30 an alternative vaccine in the future.
If you have already received both doses, you may be one of the gPriority groups for whom contracting or spreading Covid could be particularly dangerous .
People in higher priority groups could be offered an additional Covid booster shot later in the year - similar to the annual flu shot that patients are advised to receive medically vulnerable to have.
Those under 30 may not be offered an Astra-Zeneca booster if there is one, but we don't know enough at this point to be sure .
If I have had two vaccinations, will I still need to take advantage of the free lateral flow tests available? ? From Elizabeth Woodward, Poole, Dorset
Yes. All available data suggests the main vaccines currently used are verys effective in preventing people from getting seriously ill - and in the majority of cases preventing people from developing symptoms.
However, no vaccine works for everyone who takes it, and people shouldn't therefore not to think that just because they have received two doses of the vaccine that they are 100% safe - either by developing symptoms or by spreading the virus to other people they come in contact with.
Everyone in England can now benefit from two lateral flow rests per week at testing sites, pharmacies or through the mail.
The government hopes to expand access to testing for people who showing no symptoms will help stop outbreaks as the lockdown is lifted.
How good is the vaccine safe for gamesDo adults with Down syndrome? Jane Chatfield
The vaccines available for Covid are considered extremely safe and no serious side effects have been reported.
People over 18 with Down syndrome were among the first to be vaccinated as they are on the list of people considered extremely vulnerable clinically.
The list was modified in November, after Studies suggest that people with Down syndrome were at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they caught Covid.
The vast majority of children and adolescents with Down syndrome are considered to be less at risk than adults, although adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18 have now been offered the vaccine.
Is it safe to receive the vaccine if I am allergic to penicillin? From James, Bristol
Michelle Roberts Online Health Editor
Yes. Penicillin allergy is not listed as a clinical reason to avoid having the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.
However, when you are asked for your Covid vaccine, you should discuss your allergies with healthcare staff to make sure there is no other reason for it. 'avoid.
How do staff know that the vaccine they are giving you has not expired in due to improper storage? From Keith, Loughborough Philippa Roxby Health reporter
Each vial, which contains multiple doses of the vaccine, is stored frozen and should be thawed and then diluted before people are vaccinated.
Healthcare workers will be given detailed information on the exact length of time to keep the vials at the refrigerator (five days) and on when they should be discarded after being removed.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam explains these considerations making this vaccine “delicate” more complicated to send to people in nursing homes and to the elderly in their own homes.
But that won't be as much of a problem in hospitals where vaccine doses can be stored in bulk and used quickly on staff and patients.
Will the vaccine last for the rest of your life, or will you need a vaccine every 12 months, like the flu shot? De Robert Parker, Warwickshire
Michel le Roberts Online health editor
We do not yet know how many long the immunity could last after vaccination.
People may need to be vaccinated every year or every few years to be protected.
Is the vaccine compulsory? From Kim, North Yorkshire Philippa Roxby Health Correspondent
No people in UK don't are not told they need to be vaccinated.
However, those from most at-risk groups (over 70 years old and residents of nursing homes), and people who work in nursing homes and for the NHS will need to have it - to protect themselves and the people they care for.
Making a vaccine mandatory is generally not recommended as it can reduce confidence in the vaccine.
How many covid patients have long covid and what is the maximum duration of illness ? By Bryan Thornton
Michelle Roberts Online health editor
It is estimated About one in 10 people who get sick with covid remain sick two months after being infected. A long covid can last from a few weeks to several months.
Some people who were infected near the start of the pandemic still have covid for a long time now. Others have since recovered.
The symptoms of long covid are varied and can fluctuate. d Doctors are learning more about the disease, including the symptoms people may experience and how long they may last.
Should I wash my hair and my hands when I come in from the outside (joggers atheavy breathing overtaking me, supermarkets etc.)? Asme Sheikh, London
Overall, it is almost certainly unnecessary.
Although hand washing is very important for personal hygiene, none of the advice from the major health organizations in the world - the World Health Organization for example, the CDC in the States - USA or the NHS in UK - doesn't care about washing hair one way or another.
It's theoretically possible that you get the virus if someone sneezed on your hair and those droplets were heading towards your eyes, nose or mouth (for example if your hair fell on your face).
However, research suggests that if virus droplets can survive for a few hours on some non-porous surfaces such as steel, there are few - if any - cases of Covid that can be traced back to ttransmitted in this way.
I 'm breastfeeding my five month old baby - what should I do if I get coronavirus? by Maeve McGoldrick
James Gallagher Health correspondent
Mothers pass protection against infection to their babies through their breast milk.
If your body is prproduces antibodies to fight infection, which can be passed on through breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding mothers should follow the same advice as anyone else to reduce the risk: mouth when sneezing and coughing, immediately throw away used tissues and wash your hands frequently, while trying to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Can Covid-19 be transmitted through someone's expired cigarette smoke / vaping? From Michael, Chichester , West Sussex
Yes. It is possible to become infected by inhaling secondhand smoke or someone else's exhaled vapor, both of which can carry coronavirus particles on microscopic droplets of water vapor exhaled from the lungs. .
In fact, the risk could even be increased - some scientists believe the virus couldhas to travel considerably farther this way than when exhaled in normal breathing.
However, one study found that the increased risk of transmitting the virus for the majority of vapers was much lower than the increased risk of speaking or coughing.
Government guidelines for smokers says it's difficult to assess the risk to individuals - and, in the absence of specific evidence, recommends vapers use caution and avoid smoking 'exhale clouds of vapor in the presence of other people.
When sites reopen in England , they will be prohibited from providing smoking equipment - such as shisha pipes - for use on the premises . End of Health problems Send us your question
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