COVID-19 misinformation: careless talk costs lives

There are sources of misinformation about COVID-19 circulating in the Wakefield district and across the rest of the UK.

It is important that you only trust official sources of information to help protect yourself and others. 

Vaccination

Having both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself, your family and your local community.

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety and effectiveness. They have been approved by an independent body (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), which follows international standards of safety, and have gone through all the same clinical trials and safety checks.

Everyone is urged to get both of their vaccinations as soon as they are eligible. You can build up better protection against COVID-19 symptoms when the vaccine is given in two, smaller doses. If you only have one dose, you'll not be as well protected as you could be.

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause some side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone experiences them.

Very common side effects in the first day or two include: having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection; feeling tired; headache, aches and chills. You may also have flu like symptoms with episodes of shivering and shaking for a day or two.

An uncommon side effect is swollen glands in the armpit or neck on the same side as the arm where you had the vaccine. This can last for around 10 days, but if it lasts longer see your doctor. These symptoms normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111. If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card) so that they can assess you properly.

To date, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine, and reports of serious side effects have been very rare.

The benefits of having the vaccines far outweigh any risks.

Medical experts agree that it is not possible for the vaccines to affect fertility. Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines teach your body to fight the disease. They do not have any ingredients that would affect fertility and the components leave the body within a few days.

The Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has recommended that the vaccines can be given to women who are breastfeeding as there are no known risks to them or their baby. This is in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

If you want to learn more about the vaccinations, ensure that you are going to trusted sources for information and be aware of unofficial information circulating on social media and online.

You can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines including safety, effectiveness and the ingredients contained in the vaccine, here.

COVID-19 rates 

There has been false information circulating about COVID-19 infection rates. For correct, up to date COVID-19 rates in Wakefield visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/coronavirus-information/covid-19-weekly-data 

COVID-19 origins 

There have been false claims about the origins of the COVID-19. To learn about where COVID-19 came from, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-background-information/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-epidemiology-virology-and-clinical-features

Prevention and cure myths

False information about cures and ways to prevent catching COVID-19 is also in circulation.

There have been several fraudulent COVID-19 products sold claiming to cure the virus. These can come in many varieties, including dietary supplements and other foods. There are also fake products claiming to be medicines, medical devices and vaccines. 

For information on how to prevent catching COVID-19, visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/#prevention 

To keep safe, you must follow Government restrictions and guidelines. You can find out more here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

The COVID-19 vaccines and your fertility

Medical experts and scientists agree that it is not possible for the vaccines to affect fertility.

The vaccines protect people from becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. If

you are at risk from COVID-19, it is very important that you get protected and have your vaccine when it is offered.

There have been a lot of rumours that the vaccines could affect fertility but these are not true.

Find out why

Self-Isolation Payments

Some of the district's residents are receiving phoney calls about claims for Self-Isolation Payments, which are asking for personal information. 

Claims for Self-Isolation Payments can only be made via our online form. Once we receive this form, if we require any further information from you, we will normally ask for this by e-mail. You will know the e-mail is from us as the e-mail address will end '…@wakefield.gov.uk'.

If we ever need to contact you by phone, our officers will give you their name. If you are in any doubt who you are speaking to, ask for their name and then call us back on 0345 8 504 504 and ask to speak to that officer.

Vaccine scam

Some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.

The scam tells recipients that they are eligible to apply for the vaccine with a link to a fake NHS website. The website asks for personal information and bank details for verification. 

The NHS will never:

  • Ask you for your bank account or card details
  • Ask you for your PIN or banking password
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or payslips

What to do

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up the phone.

If you are suspicious about an email you have received, you can forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk.

Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge. 

Trusted official sources

If you want to learn more about COVID-19, only trust official sources:

For frequently asked questions about COVID-19, click here.