How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed so quickly? On average, vaccines take 10-15 years to develop. Compared to the previous fastest vaccines developed, mumps, which took 4 years, and measles, which took 3, the COVID vaccine was developed in just under a year. This accelerated pace has made some nervous to receive it. Many factors contributed to the speed of development. Scientists around the world, with the help of previous research into other coronaviruses, collaborated and shared information and data they collected. The mRNA vaccines were developed with readily available materials, and governments fast-tracked clinical trials and vaccine approvals.
Even though some elements were fast-tracked, the vaccines are still safe. All COVID-19 vaccines were put through standard clinical trials, which included laboratory trials and three phases of clinical trials to determine the safety and effectiveness. The fast-tracked elements did not affect the accuracy of trial results. Of the vaccines put through clinical trials, only 7% succeeded in preclinical studies. Enrolment and follow-up with patients in clinical trials were within a normal time frame, and vaccines still went through the submission process and review of the application by the FDA.
Despite the facts, misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines continues to be an obstacle. It is impossible to get coronavirus from the vaccine because it does not contain any active viral material. The 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 the vaccine. At the present, the vaccine isn’t mandated anywhere in the United States. People assume that vaccines aren’t necessary if a person has already been sick, but they 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, and vaccinated people may still be able to act as an asymptomatic spreader as well.
Currently, Pfizer and Moderna are the two authorized vaccines in the United States. When receiving the vaccine, you will need two doses, which are given through intramuscular injections. It’s essential to track which vaccine you received and when you received it to prove eligibility for the second dose. Vaccine brands can not be mixed and matched, so knowing which brand you received is critical. Vaccines will be free with or without insurance. There are also another 3 vaccines in the final phase of clinical trials: AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Janssen. Researching multiple vaccines at one time has created a quick solution, and more trials will ensure continuous improvements. If approved, these new vaccines can provide unique benefits. AstraZeneca can be stored in a refrigerator, and Novavax may produce a stronger immune response. The Janssen vaccine is beneficial because it’s administered in a single dose.
The CDC recommends that healthcare workers and long-term care residents receive the vaccine first, followed by frontline essential workers and people over 75. The last group to receive the vaccine will be younger people and the rest of the essential worker population. Individual states can adjust these guidelines as they see fit, so it’s important to stay up to date with your local health department and state resources to find out where to receive a vaccine and when you are eligible. Checking your state’s Department of Health & Human Resources website can also notify you as to when you are eligible to receive the vaccine. Vaccines will be distributed through commercial pharmacies, healthcare facilities, local health departments, community centers, large chain grocery stores, schools, and nursing homes. Talk to your doctor about complications before receiving the vaccine. Fight misinformation. Spread just the facts about the COVID vaccine.