Can I have a Covid vaccine with a cold?

Nick Ferrari challenges Coffey after covid guidance change

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The roll out of the vaccination scheme in the UK has been heralded by Health Secretary Matt Hancock as “our way out of this pandemic”. With nearly three-quarters of adults in the UK having had one dose, can you join the millions vaccinated even if you have a cold when you are due to get jabbed?

The government is calling around one million people aged 30 and 31 in England to come forward to receive their jab, and you could be among them.

Even those over the age of 31 are still eligible for the vaccine and are strongly encouraged to take up the offer.

National Medical Director for Primary Care Dr Nikki Kanani said: “The offer doesn’t go away so if you are eligible and haven’t booked, please do come forward and do so.”

NHS England will be sending all of those now eligible for the vaccine a text message over the next few days encouraging them to take up the invitation as part of the next stage in its vaccination scheme.

The guidance around whether you should take up the jab if you are unwell is a little hazy.

Advice is based on what and how serious your symptoms are.

The main concern around having a cold is that the symptoms could indicate you may have the virus.

The effectiveness of the vaccine will not be impacted if you are unwell at the time you receive the vaccine.

Whilst the government is eager to get everyone vaccinated, mixing with others whilst you get the jab could spread the virus to others if you do have Covid.

The focus should be on avoiding spreading the virus first and foremost.

Government advice states: “If you are unwell, it is better to wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine, but you should try to have it as soon as possible.

“You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a Covid-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well.”

This essentially means that if you are experiencing the common symptoms associated with the virus – a high temperature, a persistent cough or a loss of smell or taste – then you should not attend your Covid vaccine appointment.

You should try to reschedule your appointment as soon as your symptoms pass.

Current government advice also states you should get a free Covid test if you experience any common symptoms of the virus.

Advice varies slightly between Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

In Scotland, the advice states: “If you’re unwell on the day of your appointment, you should still go for your vaccination if it’s a minor illness without fever.

“If you feel very unwell your vaccine may be postponed until you have fully recovered.

“Do not attend your vaccine appointment if you feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus. Self-isolate and book a test instead.

NHS Wales has issued similar guidance. It states: “If you are acutely unwell with a fever, call to cancel and wait until you have recovered to have the vaccine.”

While in Northern Ireland guidelines say you can still have the jab if you are experiencing “mild fever or upper airway infection, like a cold”.

But if you have any Covid symptoms, you need to wait for four weeks after your symptoms began before booking your vaccine appointment.

The government hopes to vaccinate all adult in England by the end of July.

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