Covid-19 vaccines have taken center stage in recent months. Mass vaccination programs are underway, and billions of people are now pinning their hopes for the future on the success of a global rollout.
In many ways, the world we live in now is very different to just last year.
Vaccination offers the best chance of a return to normal life, and a huge responsibility falls upon the shoulders of vaccine manufacturers. With this added pressure comes publicity, and scrutiny. Pharmaceutical companies are now household names, and data from coronavirus vaccine trials is publicly published, analyzed, and critiqued by health experts and journalists alike.
In stark contrast, an endless supply of fake news and rumors, fueled by a fear of the unknown, has diluted public belief in vaccination programs. This complete guide aims to cut through this fog of misinformation and provide you with all of the available facts on Covid-19 vaccines.
In this extensive guide, you’ll learn everything about Covid-19 vaccines – from high-profile vaccine candidates, to the wider issues and talking points surrounding immunization campaigns.
The Rapid Development of Covid-19 Vaccines
Normally, the development of a vaccine is a long, drawn-out process that can take between 10 and 15 years. Early in the pandemic, many people feared that even with a streamlined development, vaccines would take 3 or 4 years to arrive. Yet just 6 months into the pandemic, the world saw its first vaccine candidate.
The incredible pressure of the pandemic made this triumph possible. Whilst all of the same rigorous safety requirements have been met, the submittal, analyses, and review of evidence for Covid-19 vaccines has become a hugely accelerated operation.
Vaccines generally undergo 3 phases of testing on their route to approval.
Phase 1 includes a small group of just a few human subjects, to make sure the vaccine is safe enough to move onto
Phase 2 It’s here that vaccines will be given to a slightly larger group, often including anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand people. People in Phase 2 have an array of physical characteristics, and the tests are aimed at gathering more activity data on the vaccine.
Phase 3 is the final stage of testing. Large-scale trials are conducted on tens of thousands of participants across multiple countries. Phase 3 determines whether the vaccine is ultimately effective, and safe.
by Katy Willis