Q: When the coronavirus vaccine comes out, how will I know it is safe?
Before a vaccine is given to the general public, it must first go through a series of steps, or phases, created and regulated by governing bodies, like the FDA, in order to prove that it is not only effective, but also safe for public usage. In the first phase, or Phase 1, a small number of people are given the vaccine in order to test safety and ensure there is an immune system response. From here, the trial expands into Phase 2, where an even larger group, including key ages and health conditions that stand to benefit from the proposed vaccine, are given the trial vaccine. In the final stage, Phase 3, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and is tested for both efficacy and safety. However, safety monitoring does not end after Phase 3 trials have completed. Following vaccine approval, side effects are continuously monitored and reported through a national vaccine safety surveillance program, called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Through this program, healthcare providers and concerned individuals can report adverse events, or side effects, experienced following vaccine administration. As it stands currently, 11 vaccines for COVID-19 have reached Phase 3 testing and 6 vaccines have been approved for limited early usage. This was answered by pharmacy student,
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