COVID-19 vaccines which target two different variants of COVID-19 are called bivalent
vaccines. Bivalent vaccines broaden immunity and therefore potentially improve protection
against variants of COVID-19. All vaccines used in the UK to date have been primarily
targeted at the original strain of COVID-19 and have remained effective at preventing severe
disease against subsequent variants.
How do we know the COVID-19 bivalent vaccines are safe?
All vaccines used in the UK must be authorised by our independent medicines’ regulator, the
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Each COVID-19 vaccine
candidate is assessed by teams of scientists and clinicians on a case-by-case basis and is
only authorised once it has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety and quality set by
MHRA. The MHRA has reviewed the available safety and efficacy data supporting
Moderna’s bivalent vaccine and provided its authorisation.
Will there be any side effects from the vaccine?
Common side effects are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK, and include:
- having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your
injection. This tends to be worst around a day or two following the vaccination
- feeling tired
- general aches, or mild flu like symptoms
You can rest and take paracetamol (follow the dose advice in the packaging) to help make
you feel better. Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2 to 3 days, a high
temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection.
Although a fever can occur within a day or two of vaccination, if you have any other COVID19 symptoms or your fever lasts longer, stay at home. Symptoms following vaccination
normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned,
you can call NHS 111.