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Is the Vaccine Safe and Effective?

February 10, 2021

When it comes to the safety of being vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s important to have the facts. We’re sharing information on the process of vaccine development, so you can feel confident in the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Safety first — speed second
COVID-19 vaccines were developed faster than past vaccines due to real-time research sharing among scientists, advance funding made available to vaccine developers, and the use of existing technology.1 While speed of development was important, safety was not sacrificed. The vaccines were tested on tens of thousands of people and met the safety and effectiveness standards required for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before being distributed in the U.S.

Clinical trials
Before issuing emergency approval for the COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA had to determine that the known and potential benefits of each vaccine outweighed the known and potential risks. They reviewed clinical, nonclinical, and manufacturing data from extensive research, lab tests, and clinical trials. Clinical trials were required to study the safety and side effects of the vaccines. In the third and final phase, tens of thousands of people volunteered, and the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals was compared to determine vaccine effectiveness.2

The CDC is also using V-safe to study vaccine side effects in real-time. V-safe is a post-vaccination health checker that allows vaccinated individuals to quickly report any side effects to the CDC right from their smartphone. As the vaccines are distributed, V-safe will help the CDC keep more accurate records of vaccine side effects across the population.

As you continue to do research, read what medical experts are saying about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and what they recommend. You can also find out when you may be eligible for vaccination in your state. For updates and information on COVID-19, the vaccines, and caring for your well-being during the pandemic, visit

1 Johns Hopkins Medicine website; Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? (accessed January 2021);
2 U.S. Food & Drug Administration website; Vaccine Development – 101 (December 2020);

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Stay informed by checking these resources for up-to-date information about COVID-19, especially if you’re thinking about traveling.