How do we know a vaccine is safe? Before any vaccine is rolled out to the public it must first be thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective. Clinical trials test the vaccine in a phased approach, starting with a few healthy people to make sure it is safe and has minimal side effects, and eventually 1000s of people to make sure it's still safe and can protect against developing the disease. Then independent bodies, like the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (#SAHPRA), review clinical trial data to determine if the study was conducted ethically and is safe to approve. Once available to the public, individuals given the vaccine are requested to share any discomfort and side effects they experience that could be related to the vaccine. This is all recorded in a vaccine registry that keeps an eye out for very rare events/side effects that may occur. Overall the clinical trials can take a long time to complete, but this is because the main priority of these trials is SAFETY.
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