Were COVID-19 vaccines developed too fast to be safe?


A: No. There are several reasons why COVID-19 vaccines were able to be developed safely AND quickly!

Here’s how:

*SARS-CoV-2 was new, but research on coronaviruses was not. Scientists have studied this family of viruses for a long time. They already knew that spike protein plays a key role in how coronaviruses enter our cells. This meant they had a good idea what would be the best target for COVID-19 vaccines!

*In addition, mRNA vaccine technology has also been studied for over a decade. So, companies could quickly apply it to the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

*Given the pandemic, people were also VERY interested in volunteering for COVID-19 vaccine trials. This helped enroll enough people to get started, WAY faster than normal.

*Funding from the U.S. government also helped speed trials up by eliminating delays between phases. Such delays normally occur because scientists have to wait to get more research funding.

*Vaccine companies also received funding to start producing vaccines before trial results were even available. That way vaccine companies could make the vaccines without taking a huge financial risk. Vaccines could also be ready to be distributed right away.

*Given the pandemic, cases of COVID-19 also accumulated quickly in the trials. This helped outcomes to be reached much faster than in other trials.

*Finally, the FDA devoted extra time and resources to reviewing results from COVID-19 vaccine trials. This helped the process to be carried out as quickly as possible.

After rigorous review of safety and efficacy data, the FDA granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer, Moderna and J&J. This allowed the urgent need for COVID-19 vaccines to be met quickly.
Vaccines companies have continued to collect safety and efficacy data and Pfizer and Moderna have now applied for full FDA approval. Vaccine side effects are also being monitored by CDC via the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Bottom line; all the required steps and safety checks were taken in the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

For more information on the development process, see here.

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