• Question: Do you think the current process for qualifying vaccines is suitable? Because the testing time before it’s released can be really long. Some patients would think they’d just like to take a chance.

    Asked by anon-249669 to Nadine, Michael, Lotte, Ioana on 9 Mar 2020.
    • Photo: Ioana Grigoras

      Ioana Grigoras answered on 9 Mar 2020:

      I think it’s generally better to be safe than sorry and the regulations are there to make sure the vaccines are safe to use for everyone.

      Vaccines are usually a method to prevent people from getting sick rather than curing diseases. You need to be very sure that they are safe to be administered, because you are giving them to healthy people to help them in the future and you wouldn’t want any side effects for people who had no health problems to begin with.

      Also sometimes, it does take a long time for people to notice side effects, so I think it is worth waiting and and double-checking than releasing a vaccine or a drug that might do more harm later on.

      I really understand that some people would prefer a treatment that might give them a chance rather than none at all. It can be very hard and frustrating to know there is nothing you can do, but taking that risk would be a personal decision for them and it cannot be generalised for everyone. Sometimes, drug studies would recruit patients and ask them to try a new therapy or a new procedure, but those patients know what the risks are and they agree to them because they want to give it a chance. For some people, the risks are not worth taking the chance and that is also a decision that needs to be respected.

      I hope I answered your question, but please follow up if there is anything else!