“Vaccination is the only response to the crisis” – Joint Statement by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and the Cyprus Medical Society UK on the COVID-19 vaccine

There is no doubt of the positive impact of vaccination for the prevention of certain serious diseases. Vaccines essentially teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases offering lasting protection. Already vaccines have totally eliminated smallpox that used to kill or disable millions of people, and we are just about to eliminate polio, another serious infectious disease.

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, all health authorities and governments (including the UK Government and Public Health England) agree that the introduction of vaccination will offer the most effective and long term response to this crisis. It is our biggest hope to keep ourselves, our friends and family safe and potentially leading to lifting of restrictions.

The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Any COVID-19 vaccine that is approved has undergone all the clinical trials and safety checks like every other licensed medicine. The MHRA follows strict international standards of safety.

So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare and all managed safely. Moreover, no long-term complications have been reported from vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill requiring hospitalisation. This has been demonstrated by studies in countries where the vaccine has been given to large populations, including the UK as well as Israel.

If you have not been contacted yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and you are eligible for it then please book your appointment online at https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number or phone 119. It would be helpful to have your NHS number handy, but it’s not compulsory. Ιf you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine, we recommend that you speak to your GP.

More information is available at www.nhs.uk