Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same testing and analysis that is used for all vaccines to make sure they’re safe and effective.
Learn about why the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, how effective they are, and the extensive work that was done to get them ready for safe use as soon as possible:
Like other drugs and biologics, vaccines released in the U.S. must go through multiple phases of rigorous testing, analysis, and review as they are developed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitors the vaccine development process and testing results for efficacy and safety. As part of the FDA’s formal process to determine if the vaccine is authorized for public use, it also seeks a recommendation from a multidisciplinary team of experts consisting of independent medical officers, microbiologists, chemists, biostatisticians, and other health experts. If approved, the FDA continues to oversee the vaccine and its manufacturing to ensure ongoing safety.
Although the speed of the COVID-19 development is faster than typical, COVID-19 vaccines are still required to go through the proper testing and analysis to make sure they are safe—no step in the process has been skipped.
None of these vaccines contain the virus, so they can’t give you COVID-19. These vaccines contain genetic instructions that allow your own cells to make one of the virus proteins. Your immune system reacts to this protein to make antibodies and other immune cells that can recognize and fight COVID-19 if you do get exposed.
No. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comiranty) and the Moderna vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. They do not insert themselves in the genome, which is made of DNA.
Early indications are that mild to moderate flu-like side effects might occur, such as arm pain, headache, fatigue, fever, or chills, lasting up to 48 hours. This is your body creating a response to the vaccine and is normal.
Although the speed of the COVID-19 development is faster than typical, COVID-19 vaccines are still required to go through the proper testing and analysis to make sure they are safe—no step in the process has been skipped. However, the federal government funded advance production of some of the more promising vaccines so at least a limited supply became available quickly after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
Researcher and infectious disease expert Pat Winokur, MD, provides insight about the long-term side effects in this Vaxx Facts video:
Yes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those who are pregnant, lactating, or planning to become pregnant get vaccinated as soon as possible. Many of the nation’s leading medical professional organizations agree with the CDC recommendation. These groups of medical and pregnancy experts—including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM)—have also expressed their confidence in the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant or lactating. UI Health Care experts also agree with these recommendations and urge all eligible individuals, including pregnant and lactating persons, be vaccinated as soon as possible.
A review of all available data at this time shows that the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks for those recommended to receive it. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of blood clots after vaccination and that other COVID-19 vaccines have not shown this same risk.
WALK-IN COVID-19 VACCINATIONS AVAILABLE
Walk-in vaccinations are available for people age 18 and older at UI Hospitals & Clinics between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Pomerantz Family Pavilion Level 2 Pharmacy. Take Elevator L to Level 2.
If walking in isn’t a convenient option for you, you can also schedule your vaccination in advance at UI Health Care–Iowa River Landing.