All Coronavirus vaccines that are approved must go through all the same clinical trials and safety checks that all other licensed medicines undergo.
With unprecedented worldwide collaboration, planning and investment, the vaccine was able to be developed in a much shorter time frame than has ever been seen. Some people are sceptical about the vaccine because of the speed in which it was developed but there are many reasons why the Covid-19 vaccine could be developed so quickly:
- The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were created with a method that has been in development for almost two decades, so the companies could start the development process early in the pandemic.
- China isolated and shared genetic information about Covid-19 promptly, so scientists could start working quickly.
- Vaccine projects had plenty of resource from governments.
- Social media helped engage volunteers quickly with the research companies.
- Some companies began making vaccines early in the process – before regulatory approval – so supplies were ready when authorization occurred.
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The COVID-19 vaccines can have side effects, but the vast majority are very short term and not serious or dangerous. The vaccine developers report that some people experience pain where they were injected; body aches; headaches or fever lasting a few days. These are signs that the vaccine is working to stimulate your immune system. In research recently the Zoe app team conducted a survey of over 40,000 people who had had the first Pfizer vaccine. 37% experienced local after-effects around the site of the injection rising to 45% after the second vaccine. 14% had a ‘whole body after-effect’ such as a fever or chill within 7 days of the first dose and rising to 22% after the second dose. These effects got better after a few days. If you have allergies, especially severe ones that require you to carry an EpiPen, you should talk to your doctor.