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Can we trust a vaccine that's been rushed through?

For a vaccine to reach the general public, it will have to work and be safe. 

Vaccine research can take a long time, but it isn’t just the research that takes the time – it’s all the steps beforehand, such as getting funding and approval for a vaccine.  

The UK Government funded COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials to get them up and running quickly. 

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Medicines Research Authority have made the process of approval quicker by making it more efficient. Things like paperwork that used to take months are now being done in days and this has helped reduce the time it takes to deliver clinical trials. 
The process has also been helped by new technology, including the ability to quickly manufacture vaccines. It has also helped with supply – the vaccine started to be produced so that as soon as it was known to be safe and effective it could be made available. 
The first vaccine to be approved by the MHRA was tested in a trial of over 40,000 adults. It was shown to be 95% effective after two doses and was effective in all groups in the trial. 

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them. 
The MHRA publish reports on vaccine safety. These reassuring reports show that the vast majority of side effects that people report are mild and all are in line with most types of vaccine, including the seasonal flu vaccine. Side effects include sore arms and mild flu-like symptoms, which are a normal response to vaccines and don’t last long.