Second doses give you ‘stronger and longer’ protection against Covid-19 and variants

Senior clinicians Lancashire and South Cumbria are urging everyone in the area to come forward for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to ensure their protection against the disease is stronger and longer.

Second doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines all offer the best protection against the virus and work against variants, including the Delta variant, that has been spreading across the North West in the last month.

Lancashire and South Cumbria is now accelerating access to second dose appointments and so far over 500,000 second doses have been given in the area.

Dr Richard Preece, clinical lead for the COVID-19 mass vaccination programme at NHS England and NHS Improvement North West said: “Getting your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, no matter what type, is key as it offers enduring and stronger protection, and increased protection against variants such as Delta.

“For those having their second dose, it’s important to note that symptoms after vaccination as your immune system is activated are usually milder and it really does ensure you are as protected as possible.”

Jane Scattergood, Lancashire and South Cumbria COVID-19 vaccination director, said: “Feeling unwell following your Covid-19 vaccines are a sign of your body building a strong defence against the virus. Whether you felt unwell after your first dose or not, this is a sign of your immune system doing its job and preparing your body to protect you against Covid-19 and this is completely normal behaviour from any vaccine.”

David Coates, 40, from Penwortham who works for BAE Systems said: “I felt fortunate that after my first vaccination, the side effects were limited to an aching arm, so my concerns about getting the second jab were not that great. In fact, I moved mine forward to ensure I got the protection sooner.

“My experiences of the vaccination programme has been a well-oiled machine, from booking through to arriving in the car park and then going through the vaccination itself was a very smooth process, due in no part to an army of enthusiastic volunteers supporting.

“I have had a barely noticeable ache in my left arm since my second vaccine but otherwise feel absolutely fine for the experience.”