Operation Warp Speed Covid-19 vaccines have recently received emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These novel coronavirus vaccines were developed and approved in less than one year’s time, making them among the fastest vaccines ever made and mass-deployed to the public. Given the breakneck speed of their development and approval, it seems reasonable to ask: Are Covid-19 vaccines safe?
In the United States, two pharmaceutical companies (Moderna and Pfizer) are the frontrunners in the Covid-19 vaccine race. Both Moderna and Pfizer use a first-of-its-kind technology called messenger RNA (mRNA) in their Covid vaccines. These mRNA vaccines can be best described as experimental medical interventions, because we do not have long-term safety data and therefore do not know about potential long-term consequences associated with their use (e.g. if they might affect fertility or cause autoimmune disease or cancer down the road).