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CORONAVIRUS VACCINES FAQ

This page contains FAQ about COVID-19 vaccines, from a sarcoidosis patient perspective. If you would like to suggest a question for the FAQ, please fill in the form at the bottom of the page.

SarcoidosisUK Coronavirus Vaccines Statement

SarcoidosisUK strongly supports sarcoidosis patients receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca or Moderna coronavirus vaccines. The vaccines have met strict standards of safety, quality and efficacy.

The COVID-19 vaccines are not live vaccines and there is no risk of infection from the vaccine. We have no reason to believe that they are unsuitable for sarcoidosis patients. The approved COVID-19 vaccines are also suitable for immunosuppressed patients.

All patients that receive the vaccination should continue to follow the government advice regarding social distancing, hand hygiene and mask wearing. Patients on the shielding list should continue to shield after being vaccinated until told otherwise.

We always consult with experts but we are not your doctor and this statement should not be regarded as a replacement for personal medical advice.

What coronavirus vaccines are available?

There are currently three approved COVID-19 vaccines available in the UK. They are the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.

Are the vaccines suitable for sarcoidosis patients?

We have no reason to believe that the three approved COVID-19 vaccines are unsuitable for sarcoidosis patients. They are not live vaccines and there is no risk of infection from the vaccine. The approved vaccines are also suitable for immunosuppressed patients.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that the vaccines are suitable for people with long-term conditions and that people who are at high-risk should be prioritised to get the vaccines first.

Should I stop taking my medication before having the vaccine?

You should continue to take your medication. There is no indication that the COVID-19 vaccinations interact with any medications.

Who should not have the coronavirus vaccine?

You shouldn’t have the vaccines if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine

Tell healthcare staff before you are vaccinated if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

The approved coronavirus vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.

For advice specific to your own condition, you should speak to your GP who will have access to your medical history and be able to advise you.

If you have had a confirmed case of COVID-19, wait at least 4 weeks (after your symptoms end or after a positive test if you are asymptomatic) before having the vaccine.

Will I be able to choose which of the vaccines I get?

You will not be able to choose which of the vaccines you have, but you can be assured that all of the approved vaccines are highly effective.

What are the potential side effects of the vaccines?

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.

Do I still need to shield/take precautions after having the vaccine?

All patients that receive the vaccination should continue to follow the government advice regarding social distancing, hand hygiene and mask wearing. Patients on the shielding list should continue to shield after being vaccinated until told otherwise.

I live with someone who is shielding – will I be allowed to get the vaccine early?

No, you will only be offered a vaccine when you fall into the category of people getting vaccinated.

How will I know when it’s my turn to get the vaccine?

Do not contact the NHS for your vaccine, you will be contacted by the NHS when it is your turn, probably by letter.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). You can read more about this here.

Should I have the vaccine if I have already had COVID-19?

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has advised that having a vaccine is as important for people who have had coronavirus as it is for people who have not. However, if you have had COVID-19, you should wait until at least 4 weeks after you had symptoms, or 4 weeks since your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, before having the vaccine.

Will the vaccines be effective for BAME people?

The vaccines have been assessed in different racial groups and there is no biological reason that the COVID-19 vaccines would behave differently according to ethnicity or race.

I am pregnant can I have the vaccine?

The JCVI confirms that although the available data do not indicate any safety concern or harm to pregnancy, there is insufficient evidence to recommend routine use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy.

However, the JCVI now advises that if a pregnant woman meets the definition of being clinically extremely vulnerable, then she should discuss the options of COVID-19 vaccination with her obstetrician and/or doctor.

You can find more advice on vaccination in pregnancy and women who are breastfeeding here.

My second dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been postponed. Should I be concerned?

According to government advice, the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine provides protection for up to three months. The second dose has been postponed so that more people can have the first dose of the vaccine sooner.

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