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What guarantees the safety of a new vaccine?

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Although vaccination is one of the main ways to prevent diseases, many people have questioned its effectiveness and safety in recent years, failing to take the immunizations recommended for the population. Proof of this is that, in 2021, the complete vaccination rate against poliomyelitis reached the lowest level in Brazil since 2018, standing at only 67.71%, according to the Ministry of Health.

Know more: Decline in polio vaccination in Brazil raises alarm

Doctor Rodrigo Lins, from the Society of Infectious Diseases of the State of Rio de Janeiro, points out that the fear and resistance to the recommendation to be vaccinated are unfounded. “You mandatory clinical studies are made not only to make sure that the immunizer is effective, but also that it is safe for use in humans”, he says.



In other words: before being introduced into vaccination programs, vaccines undergo a series of tests until they are released for mass application by government agencies, such as the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), which historically requires a severe quality standard.

How can creating a vaccine be so fast?

This question was asked by several people when, in 2020, the first immunizations against COVID-19 were ready – since, until then, it took more than 10 years for vaccines to be ready. According to Rodrigo Lins, the biggest mistake is to think that the development of the immunizing agent started at the beginning of the pandemic.

“In fact, the vaccine in question was already studied since other episodes of the pandemic with coronavirus”, clarifies the specialist. In fact, according to the doctor, there has been research in this area since 2003, but no immunizing agent was ready because the other outbreaks of the disease ended earlier.

The fact is that, when the COVID-19 virus emerged, scientists only had to adapt the vaccine they had already developed to combat this new member of the coronavirus family, which had a different protein than previous versions.



In addition, other factors favored this process, including the low mutation rate of the virus, the way it acts in the body and the financial investment that research received due to the rush to end the pandemic.

constant monitoring

It is also worth mentioning that, even after release for use, studies continue to be carried out to verify how the immunizer behaves during mass vaccination. “Usually, it is at this stage that people detect some very rare adverse effect (on the order of 1 event for 100,000 doses applied) that ended up not happening in the people studied at the beginning”, comments the infectologist.

According to him, these researches also serve to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine against new variants of the disease. “We have not yet arrived at a variant where the antigens definitely do not cover, but there may be variability in the effect of the vaccine according to the mutation of the virus”, explains the expert, using COVID-19 as an example.

Depending on the results, in some cases, it may be necessary to develop another immunizer for the disease. This is exactly what happens with the flu, whose formula is constantly changed to bring in the strains of the influenza virus that circulated the most in the previous year.

Side effects

Generally speaking, the most that can happen when getting a vaccine is have a milder form of the disease that she wants to avoid. This is because its mechanism of action involves introducing a very weakened form of the infectious agent into the human body, so that the body produces antibodies against it and is ready to use them again if necessary.

Infectologist Rodrigo Lins, however, states that it is very rare for symptoms of the disease to manifest after immunization. The most common is that the person only has an inflammatory reaction due to the introduction of a material considered foreign to the body.

“Usually, there is pain or redness where the vaccine was applied. It is also possible to have fever and headache”, reveals the specialist, before highlighting that benefits of immunization outweigh the risks of all side effectsprecisely because it is better to deal with them than serious forms of dangerous diseases.



Content for educational purposes only. Consult a Doctor.

The translator user relied on the following source:

Minha Vida Website – REF99827

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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