The Lowdown Hub

Concerns about vaccine safety are understandable but we must address them with the facts

Coronavirus jabs have been developed in record time by speeding up cumbersome scientific and regulatory processes – not cutting corners

Nine months ago, when Covid-19 has first declared a pandemic, the question everyone was asking was why it takes so long to produce vaccines. With the UK rolling out the first Covid-19 shots, researchers and vaccine manufacturers have pulled out all the stops to develop and deliver them in record time.

But as the beginning of the end of this crisis draws tantalizingly close – and we should be worrying about whether there will be enough vaccine doses to go around – we are now faced with an alarming number of people unwilling to be vaccinated precisely because they have been developed so quickly.

According to a survey by Ipsos Mori, more than half of Britons don’t believe that enough time has passed to see if the vaccines really work, and even more say it’s too soon to know what the side effects are.

Unless public concerns over the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines are addressed, we could see significant numbers of people refusing vaccination, or delaying it.

That would be disastrous because it would allow the virus to continue to circulate and prolong the pandemic.

The only way to minimize human suffering and resume our normal lives, commerce, trade, and travel, is to stop the virus from spreading. Vaccines alone can’t do that; for that we need as many people protected all across the world, and as quickly as is humanly possible.

Dismissing people’s concerns about the safety of the vaccine would be the wrong way to go about this. All across the world countless millions of people who are normally supportive of vaccination, have genuine concerns about the speed at which these vaccines have been developed.