Covid-19 vaccines: "Knowing the facts is really important"
With such a wealth of information - and misinformation - available during the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, let's take a look at the importance of doing your research
In the space of a year, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything. Now, as the vaccine roll-out continues apace across the country, you might have been invited to go and receive your vaccine.
While the vaccine programme could be a light at the end of the tunnel, there is so much information (and misinformation) available online, that it can be difficult to know what to believe. It is very normal to be feeling anxious.
Our staff and volunteers have been present in vaccine centres across the country and have seen for themselves the concerns that some patients struggle with before they have their vaccine.
THERE IS A LOT OF MISINFORMATION IN THE MEDIA, ON THE INTERNET, SPOKEN ABOUT IN COMMUNITIES... KNOWING THE FACTS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.Dominic, British Red Cross vaccination lead
“Some people who arrive [for their vaccine] can be quite nervous and we are there to make sure every single person who is arriving for their vaccine gets the support they need,” said Dominic, our British Red Cross vaccination lead.
“There is a lot of misinformation in the media, on the internet, even just spoken about in communities at the moment, so really knowing the facts ourselves so we can reassure people is really important.”
Reassuring yourself through research
James, 36, received the vaccine in London. He is classified as being extremely vulnerable to the virus and was initially worried about the speed at which the vaccine was developed. He educated himself by speaking to friends in the medical industry and by reading about the research that had taken place.
“I’ve got that reassurance now from the information available that actually they’ve gone through all the due diligence and it’s just been final tweaks and testing that’s taken the time,” said James. “I think the information available on news outlets, the internet and the letters we get from the government have been quite reassuring.”
Knowing when to trust what you read
With such a vast amount of information available, it’s important you know who or what to trust. If you’re uncertain, you may find our checklist below helpful.
"Everyone can be worried about [different] things but try and understand what is driving that fear and seek out guidance and advice that’s going to reassure you,” said James.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. One thing I would urge you to do is make sure you don’t let fear turn into the possibility that you would avoid the vaccine because I think it’s important.”
Liz, 75, recently received her vaccine too, and says she was delighted to be invited.
“My friends are standing there with their sleeves rolled up ready,” she said. ‘‘I think a lot of people have been worried about the speed of rollout. There have been so many volunteers for testing, far more than any drug,” Liz said.
Pillars of support
Many younger people have also reported feeling nervous about receiving the vaccine when it gets to their turn.
Nadra is looking forward to the freedom that the Covid-19 vaccine might offer, but is still honest about her concerns and has made sure she has included speaking to family and loved ones while doing her research.
“[Family members] offer a pillar of support – I trust them, they know me, so what they say matters. I know of someone who has had [the vaccine]; they seemed much more smiley and happier within themselves, which also decreased my anxiousness as a result.”
If you're wondering how you can best talk about it with a family member or loved one, you might find our page on how to have an effective conversation about the vaccines helpful.
THEY OFFER A PILLAR OF SUPPORT - I TRUST THEM, THEY KNOW ME, SO WHAT THEY SAY MATTERS.Nadra
As a neutral organisation, the British Red Cross is committed to empowering people with facts and arming them with knowledge.
When doing your research, some reliable go-to sources we recommend include the NHS website, and the World Health Organisation website. Both are regularly updated and have been kept up to date with all the latest information since the beginning of the pandemic. We have also compiled this useful Covid-19 vaccine FAQ to help keep you informed.
Wherever your first port of call, be thorough and take your time when doing your research – if one thing deserves an extra layer of care and consideration at a time like this, it’s your health.
- Learn the facts about vaccines on our new Covid-19 vaccine hub
- Vaccine voices: hear from people who have had their vaccine
- Worried about Covid-19? Read more on managing your worries
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