The NDSU Center for Immunization Research and Education answers several frequently asked questions about the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines:
How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed so fast?
Coronavirus vaccines have been in the making for decades. Supply chain adjustments and lots of resources helped accelerate the timeline. No safety protocols were skipped in the process.
I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I need the vaccine?
Yes. You’re better protected with the vaccine. Unvaccinated people are two times more likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 compared to vaccinated.
Do we know the vaccine’s long-term effects?
There is no licensed vaccine in U.S. history that has shown side effects past 6 months. We have more than 6 months of data for the vaccine with no indication of long-term side effects. COVID-19, however, can have long-term effects.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility?
No. This vaccine is the most scrutinized vaccine in U.S. history, involving more study participants than most other vaccines. There is no evidence that the vaccine causes fertility issues.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause heart issues?
You’re more likely to experience myocarditis (heart inflammation) from COVID-19 than from the vaccine. Myocarditis is a very rare side effect from the vaccine that is usually mild and treatable.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine change your DNA?
No. The vaccine is incapable of changing your DNA. The vaccines teach your body how to fight off COVID-19. The materials in the vaccine, like the mRNA, quickly degrade after they’ve done their job.
What does FDA approval mean?
It means the vaccine has now undergone the same rigorous testing and regulatory review as other long-established vaccines. Pfizer recently received full FDA approval for people age 16 and up.