The safety of vaccines is a common concern. Vaccines save millions of lives and protect everyone against the spread of disease. Like all medicines, every vaccine needs to undergo extensive and rigorous testing to ensure that it is efficient, pure, and sterile before it is introduced into a country. During clinical trials, people who volunteer to receive the vaccine will be tested. Clinical trials typically begin with 20 to 100 volunteers, but eventually include thousands of volunteers. These volunteer-related tests may take place over several years. Throughout the process, regulatory agencies work closely with the companies that produce the vaccines to assess their safety and efficacy. All safety issues must be addressed before a vaccine can be licensed or authorized by a regulatory agency. Once the vaccine is formally introduced and used, it will also require ongoing monitoring to ensure that it is safe for those who receive it.
Vaccines are not completely free of side effects. The more common side effects to vaccinations are redness, swelling and muscle soreness at the site of the vaccine injection. However, these side effects are temporary and it shows that the vaccine is working. To relieve these mild symptoms, an ice pack can reduce soreness or swelling. Taking a cool shower, drinking water, and taking over-the-counter pain medication (if approved by your doctor) may also help.
Of the millions of people who get vaccinated each year, only a very small number experience serious side effect. To ensure that serious side effects can be detected and treated, all vaccinated individuals should be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination. It is important to note that those who has ever experienced anaphylaxis or had any kind of immediate side effects to vaccine or injection should be monitored for half an hour after vaccination. In addition, people who have serious side effects to one of the components of the vaccine should not be vaccinated.
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