How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe? It’s an important question for those of us who are hoping to get vaccinated and see an end to the pandemic.
We prove vaccines are safe and effective through clinical trials. All COVID-19 vaccines go through clinical trials, and each trial has many thousands of participants who receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This makes sure that the vaccines are safe, that they work, and that there are no serious side effects. Once scientists can prove that the vaccine is safe and stops people from getting COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews the clinical trial and makes it available for use.
In this COVID conversation, we asked Jessica Ansel, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Research Coordinator at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, how we can be sure COVID-19 vaccines are safe and more about how they were developed.