Safety among the top concerns for potential COVID-19 vaccines
Easing worries about the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine is paramount for health care professionals, especially now as some good news came about one company's trials.
Pfizer announced early results from its vaccine Monday, suggesting the shots may be 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. That puts the company on track to apply later this month for emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
However, Pfizer's vaccine won't be rolled out to the general public just yet -- first the company must demonstrate that the vaccine isn't just effective, but safe too.
Pfizer must collect the recommended two months of safety data before moving forward, and it could take the FDA weeks to review the data to make sure the vaccine is consistent and safe.
"The government is being very careful to make sure it is safe and there is already a good segment of the population that is very concerned about the safety of the vaccine, especially because it is the fastest vaccine production ever done, so they have concerns," says Mark Jarrett, the chief quality officer and deputy chief medical officer at Northwell Health. "They really need to make sure the first one out of the gate does not produce problems for people besides the obvious that we don't want anyone to get sick from the vaccine."
Health care professionals say a vaccine for health care workers and those at high risk could be rolled out early next year.