The Importance of Pharmacists Preparing Themselves to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Concerns ::

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to make their way to the public, pharmacists will be playing a major role in administering them. Many people have questions about the vaccines, and pharmacists will need to be ready to address them.

Safety and Effectiveness

Most vaccines take about eight years to develop. Vaccines for COVID-19 have been developed in about 12 months. Because of this compressed timeline, patients may wonder how safe the vaccine is and how effective. They need to know that COVID-19 vaccines are as safe and effective as any other. Although they have been developed much more quickly, none of the steps in the process have been skipped.

What manufacturers have done is conduct phase 2 and phase 3 trials simultaneously. The safety and effectiveness of the vaccine on human volunteers are observed as both tests are conducted while ensuring that the trials’ size and quality meet regulatory standards. As new data emerges, it can be used to alter the trials as they progress.

Reluctance to Get the Vaccine

The major concern most people have about the vaccine is the side effects – 70 percent of the people who refuse to get the vaccine cite concerns about adverse effects as the main reason.

But a detailed analysis of the clinical data related to the Pfizer vaccine by the FDA showed no reason for any safety concerns. There are only mild adverse effects that people commonly experience. A majority of people who participated in the clinical trials for the vaccine experienced some swelling and soreness at the point of injection, some temporary fatigue, and headaches.

Most of the side effects usually disappear after just a few days. However, adverse effects from the second dose of the vaccine may be more severe than the first and a bit worse than the reactions some people have with the flu vaccine.

The side effects may feel like the flu, according to the CDC, and could affect the ability to carry out daily activities, but should disappear after a few days. The flu-like symptoms are signs that your immune system is building protection against the virus.

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