The COVID-19 vaccine was developed faster than any other vaccine in history. This fast pace has made some people nervous to receive it. On average, vaccines take 10-15 years to develop. The previous fastest vaccines developed were for mumps, which took 4 years, and measles, which took 3. The COVID-19 vaccine was created so quickly because scientists around the world collaborated and shared their data. There was previous research into other coronaviruses that made the processes easier, and the mRNA vaccines were developed with readily available materials. Scientists also had help from governments around the world that fast-tracked clinical trials and vaccine approvals.
The Vaccine is Safe
Even though some elements of the vaccine were fast-tracked, it is still safe. The fast-tracked elements did not affect the accuracy of trial results. All COVID-19 vaccines were put through standard clinical trials to determine the safety and effectiveness, which included laboratory trials and 3 phases of clinical trials. Of the vaccines put through clinical trials, only 7% succeeded in preclinical studies.
Despite the facts, misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines continues to be a problem. The vaccine can not give you the coronavirus because it doesn’t contain any active viral material. Vaccines do not weaken the immune system, cause autism, or damage children or babies. They do protect you against COVID-19 and protect others by helping build herd immunity. From September to December 2020, hesitancy towards receiving the vaccine fell by 5%, but there are still common myths associated with vaccines. Many assume that vaccines aren’t necessary if a person has already been sick, but this is not the case.
People should get vaccinated to prevent reinfection. The vaccine will not end masks and social distancing immediately; full protection against the coronavirus may not develop until weeks after the second shot. Vaccinated people may still be able to act as an asymptomatic spreader as well. Right now, the vaccine isn’t mandated anywhere in the United States.
What Companies are Making the Vaccine
Currently, there are two authorized vaccines available in the United States, Pfizer and Moderna. There are another 3 vaccines in the final phase of clinical trials: AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Janssen. Researching multiple vaccines has helped find a solution quickly, and trials will ensure continuous improvements. If approved, these new vaccines can provide unique benefits. AstraZeneca can be stored in a refrigerator, and the Janssen vaccine is administered in a single dose. Novavax may produce a stronger immune response.
So who gets the vaccine first? The CDC recommends that healthcare workers and long-term care residents receive vaccines first, followed by frontline essential workers and people over the age of 75. After those groups receive the vaccine, younger people and the rest of the essential worker population are eligible to get the vaccine. Vaccines will be distributed through commercial pharmacies, healthcare facilities, local health departments, community centers, large chain grocery stores, schools, and nursing homes. Individual states can adjust eligibility guidelines as they see fit, so it’s important to stay updated by your local health department to see when you are eligible to receive your vaccine. Fight misinformation. Spread just the facts about the COVID vaccine.