What is a coronavirus vaccine?

A corona vaccine protects you against coronavirus.
The vaccine is injected into your upper arm.
The vaccine prevents you from getting (seriously) ill.

What happens in your body?

The vaccine causes your body to make antibodies against the virus.
If you come into contact with the virus after the vaccination, your body will recognise the virus
and know how to kill it quickly, preventing you from becoming really ill, if at all.

We do not yet know how long the vaccine protects against coronavirus.

Is it safe?

The vaccines were made faster than usual.
That is because people all over the world worked together on a vaccine.
No steps were skipped. That is not possible, as the rules for making a vaccine are very strict.

Once the vaccines were ready, they were tested on many people.
They were then approved by the EMA and CBG.
The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccination has been successfully tested in children from the age of 12, and is now approved for this age group.

The vaccines are now being used, but safety is still being monitored.

Side effects

As with other vaccines, you may develop complaints after the vaccination. These are called side effects.
You may suffer from:

  • a sore arm at the injection site;
  • a headache;
  • being tired;
  • muscle ache;
  • fever.

These are mild side effects. They are common and disappear on their own after a few days.

Serious side effects are rare. If you experience serious side effects from the vaccination, please call your GP.

Who is the vaccine meant for?

In the Netherlands, everyone from the age of 12 can make an appointment.
You can do this online or by phone.
You can make an appointment online at www.coronavaccinatie-afspraak.nl.
You can make an appointment by phone on 0800 7070.

There are several vaccines.
You cannot choose which one you get.
All of the vaccines used have been tested and approved.

When not to have the vaccine?

Call your GP if you:

  • previously had an allergic reaction to a vaccination;
  • had a severe allergic reaction after the first injection;

You should postpone your vaccination and make a new appointment if you:

  • are very ill on the day of the vaccination
  • have a fever of 38 degrees or higher
  • have corona
  • have common corona-related symptoms
  • have had a corona test and don’t have the results yet
  • have been in contact with someone with corona


A group of doctors and scientists studied corona vaccine safety in pregnant women.
Their advice is that all pregnant women can get vaccinated against corona.

After the vaccination

After the vaccination, you must still follow the general coronavirus guidelines, such as washing your hands and social distancing.
If you get coronavirus symptoms, have yourself tested.

We do not know if you can still get sick from or spread coronavirus
after vaccination.

Heb je andere vragen over het Corona-virus:

Bel dan 0800-1351

Deze begrijpelijke informatie is gebaseerd op de adviezen van Rijksoverheid.nl en informatie van het CBG. De informatie is getest met taalambassadeurs van Stichting ABC.
17 augustus 2021 – versie 6

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