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25th March 2021

COVID-19: Why Continuing to Follow The Guidance After Being Vaccinated is so Important (Last update: 25.03.21)

It has been over a year since the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in the UK, and all of us have been living with some form of restrictions for a very long time now. Along with these restrictions, we have been asked to take many extra steps to protect ourselves and other people. Our lives have changed dramatically over the past year.

It is natural for us to feel relieved and excited to receive our vaccines and there have been celebrations in many vaccination centres as it feels like life may finally start to become normal again.

Vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19

PHE’s SIREN (Sarscov2 Immunity & REinfection EvaluatioN) study shows that health and social care workers were 72% less likely to develop infection (with or without symptoms) after one dose of the vaccine, rising to 86% after the second dose.

Protection starts after two weeks. This protection helps to reduce the spread of infection, thus protecting the whole population – as you cannot spread the virus if you do not have infection.

Protect yourself and others

Vaccines are just one part of us being able to return to normal, neither vaccines or testing are the complete answer, and all of our protective behaviours remain as important as ever.

By now, we are all familiar with the key actions we must take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include keeping a safe distance from others, limiting social or physical contact, wearing face-coverings, letting fresh air into our homes, washing our hands several times a day and making sure we cover our nose and mouth when we cough and sneeze.

Remember that it is possible to have COVID-19 without any symptoms, and to pass it on to other people even if we have no symptoms or only very mild ones. When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles containing the virus that causes COVID-19. These particles can be breathed in by another person, and people can also become infected by touching surfaces and belongings contaminated with COVID-19. All the actions together play an important part in reducing the chances of catching and spreading COVID-19.

Even if you have been vaccinated, the following still applies:

  • Do not forget the symptoms of COVID-19 and have a plan of what to do if you need to self-isolate, whether you develop symptoms, have a positive test, or are notified that you are a contact of someone with COVID-19
  • If you are instructed to self-isolate you must do so because there is still a risk that you might spread infection to others, even if you have been vaccinated and feel entirely well yourself
  • Where appropriate, carry out routine Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) and where an LFT is positive, arrange for a full Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test as soon as possible
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must still be worn after one or both vaccinations to help to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep us all safe

To protect yourself and your family, friends, and colleagues you still need to:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • Follow the current guidance at



*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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