One of the most prevalent concerns related to receiving the Covid-19 vaccine is the speed of development, and the supposed implications on public safety. The vaccines being offered have all undergone the same rigorous steps and checks as other vaccines and medicines, and are completely safe. Browse the sections below for further assurance and information.
Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the official UK regulator, have said that both of these vaccines have good safety profiles and offer a high level of protection, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process,
and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.
Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.
We recommend the Guardian’s article to find out more about regulations and the MHRA
Medicines including vaccines are highly regulated – and that is no different for the approved COVID-19 vaccines. The speed of development of the vaccine has caused many people to believe this has compromised safety. This is untrue, and the vaccines currently being distributed have passed the same safety regulations as any other medicine or vaccine. There are several reasons why the Covid 19 vaccines have become available within 12 months:
Scientific collaboration: high level of cooperation helped to better distribute valuable knowledge throughout the scientific and medical community about the virus itself, how it causes illness, and potential vaccination and treatment methods.
Existing research: The technology that went into the COVID-19 vaccine may seem new. However, it’s actually been around for some time. Scientists have been studying new ways to make vaccines for many years now. This includes mRNA vaccines like those made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. In fact, prior to the pandemic, scientists had been studying this method as a way to make vaccines for other viruses. This existing research gave scientists an important head start for developing vaccines for SARS-CoV-2.
Funding: Early in the pandemic, funding was poured into the development of COVID-19 vaccines. This funding, which came from both public and private sources, allowed companies to effectively conduct the necessary vaccine research and clinical trials.
Timeline acceleration: Normally, the stages of vaccine development and testing occur one after the other. For example, a phase 2 clinical trial would only proceed after a phase 1 trial had been completed. This can take a lot of time. During the pandemic, some of these timelines were accelerated in order to shorten development time.