Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?
The Ministry of Health will use COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO is committed to the critical evaluation of all new vaccines for their safety and effectiveness before their authorization for use.
No vaccine will be used until it has undergone rigorous scientific and clinical testing in keeping with the highest vaccine testing standards, as do all other vaccines used in Trinidad and Tobago.
How can a safe vaccine be made so quickly?
For one of the few times in history, the entire world is focused on one global challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic. While vaccine development usually takes a long time, the global community worked together to ensure that safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were made available in a shorter time frame.
The shortened COVID-19 vaccine development timeframe was due to:
- Worldwide co-operation and sharing of scientific knowledge
- Increased funding for vaccine development
- International prioritization of the COVID-19 vaccine
- Application of learnings from previous research on vaccines for coronaviruses
- Implementation of vaccine development steps in a parallel manner, where possible.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
Safety is the top priority of any vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are not approved until clinical trials have taken place that show they are both safe and effective.
Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects.
Individuals receiving the vaccine will be monitored at the health facility for 30 minutes after injection.
The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are typically minor and go away within 2 days. These side effects mean that your body is building its immune response or developing your internal protection against the disease.
The general side effects of the vaccines are:
- pain, soreness and swelling at the injection site
- feeling fatigued or tired
- fever or a high temperature.
Rare side effects may occur in vaccine recipients and are specific to the type of vaccine given. Please ensure that you let your health provider counsel you on the side effects prior to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.