Getting Answers: Is the vaccine safe?

Getting Answers - COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As the state moves through vaccination Group 3, many people remain hesitant about how quickly the vaccines were developed.

Durham barber Khedron Mims asked, “is this vaccine safe? How do we know that it’s safe? Are they FDA approved?”

CBS 17 took that question to epidemiolgist Dr. Rachel Graham, an epidemiologist at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“All of the vaccines that are currently authorized for use by the FDA have undergone rigorous clinical trials in human patients and so part of that is also evaluating their safety. The vaccines are actually FDA authorized for emergency use which is different than FDA approval. Its a different metric than fda approval. That’s not to say they weren’t rigorously tested,” Graham said.

An emergency use authorization speeds up the process by allowing for testing and manufacturing to happen at the same time. It saves time from the administrative process that would be too lengthy to wait on during a pandemic.

Mims, ike many also wants to know what to expect after getting the vaccine.
“My second question is, what are the long term side effects dealing with the vaccine?” Mims asked.

“We’ll know more about the long-term safety of these vaccines going forward but they’ve been manufactured with the best practices,” said Graham.

Grahams said the uncertainty of long-term impacts should not hinder people from getting the vaccine. She said all the available vaccines are likely undergoing approval process right now.

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