VACCINE Q&A: Can a vaccine made so quickly be safe?
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - When word about the first COVID-19 vaccines were announced less than a year after the start of the pandemic, some immediately expressed concern about its safety.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control acknowledged on its websites that the development of vaccines usually takes many years.
But in the case of the coronavirus, scientists head a head start.
That’s because they had already begun research on coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks of other related coronaviruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The research they began while examining SARS and MERS provided the path to rapid development of vaccines to protect people against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website points out the vaccine against the H1N1 influenza only took a few months to develop. But manufacturers of that vaccine were able to use the same processes already employed to make the seasonal annual flu vaccine, which saved valuable time.
DHEC’s website says the FDA is committed to science and the critical evaluation of all new vaccines for their safety and efficacy in an unbiased way before their authorization for use. No vaccine will be released until it has undergone rigorous scientific and clinical testing that all vaccines in development are held to.
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