Should we be worried about COVID-19 vaccine safety ! #COVIDVaccination
Over the past months, millions of people worldwide have been safely vaccinated. The FDA and CDC continue to carefully monitor each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines for safety concerns. One example of this important safety monitoring process is that in April the CDC and FDA paused administration of the J&J vaccine so they could review data on a few reported cases of serious blood clots following vaccination with that vaccine. After this review, the FDA and CDC determined that the benefits of the J&J vaccine outweigh the risk of this very rare side effect, and authorized vaccination with the J&J shot to resume. They will continue to communicate with the public about their findings and any possible safety issues with this or any other COVID-19 vaccine. Any potential safety risks of COVID-19 vaccines must be weighed against the known serious risk of harm due to the COVID-19 infection and the benefits of protection that the vaccines offer.
What are the steps should be taken to make sure the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?
- Careful testing. All vaccines go through clinical trials to test safety and effectiveness. For the COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA set high safety standards for vaccine developers to meet. This infographic from the National Institutes of Health shows the four phases a vaccine goes through before it is released to the public.
- Authorization for emergency use. If a vaccine or medicine is needed to address an emergency situation such as the coronavirus pandemic, once it is shown to be safe and effective, the FDA can grant it an emergency use authorization, or EUA. An EUA allows a vaccine, treatment or medication to be used before the formal FDA approval.
- Continuous monitoring for problems and side effects. Once a vaccine gets an EUA and is being given to people, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to watch carefully to make sure no problems arise. Data on the vaccine’s safety record accumulates over time when more and more people who receive it report on their experience and any side effects they experience. One important way to report any adverse events after vaccination is through the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) . #COVIDVaccination