Vaccinations are a hot topic that a lot of people feel passionate about. It’s understandable to be concerned about the rushed development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Some sources would have you believe that a successful vaccine can be developed in a short time period. But realistically, most vaccines go through years of trials before they are approved for general public use. So, is fear driving the quick development of this new vaccine? Will it be successful? What about the long-term effects of taking a vaccine that hasn’t been through rigorous testing? All of these are legitimate questions. These questions are causing concern for even the most pro-vaccination community. Let’s consider the reasons why many pro-vaxxers won’t get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Several companies are working on COVID-19 vaccines. It’s a race to see which company can come up with a solution first. But this haste makes it impossible to test for long-term effectiveness or safety. In general, vaccines go through up to 10-15 years of development and testing. This includes around 2-4 years of time spent on finding antigens to prevent or treat the disease. The vaccine is first tested on non-human subjects in the pre-clinical stage. This can take around 1-2 years. If the vaccine passes the pre-clinical phase, it can go on to be reviewed by the FDA for approval in clinical trials. These trials also last several years as they involve studying side effects and learning about long-term effectiveness. Yet, the public is supposed to feel safe taking a COVID-19 vaccine that was developed within a year or less?
Serious side effects
At least 2 pharmaceutical companies have seen serious side effects in some patients participating in trials for their COVID-19 vaccine. The trials at Pfizer and Moderna are still in the early stages. However, we must consider that these companies haven’t had the same amount of time to develop the COVID-19 vaccine as they would with others. This is a cause for concern. Some side effects included high fever, pounding headaches, chills, and exhaustion. These side effects are not unlike the most common COVID-19 symptoms. Many people would likely agree that these side effects, while uncomfortable, would be worth the risk if the vaccine was tested and proven effective. But there simply isn’t time for the rigorous testing that goes into creating a new vaccine.
The public is sure to feel heavy pressure to accept the vaccine once it’s approved. But many pro-vaxxers won’t get the COVID-19 vaccination right away, or at all. There are concerns about the safety of a rushed vaccine. Some people are also worried about government overreach and the promotion of a vaccine that hasn’t been tested. So far, pharmaceutical companies have seen some serious side effects in the experimental vaccines. The ratio of people with side effects in comparison to the number of people taking the experimental vaccines was low. But, these vaccines are still in the early stages and it remains to be seen if they will have long-term side effects. It’s always a good idea to do your own research before getting any medical treatment. The COVID-19 vaccine could save millions of lives. But, it needs to go through normal testing protocols so the public feels safe.