Under normal circumstances, vaccines typically take 10-15 years to develop, but the recent COVID-19 vaccine was created faster than any other vaccine in history. The quick development has made some people nervous to receive the vaccine. Many factors contributed to the speed of development. Scientists around the world, with the help of previous research into other coronaviruses, collaborated and shared information and data they collected. Governments also fast-tracked clinical trials and vaccine approvals. Even though some elements were fast-tracked, the vaccines are still safe. All COVID-19 vaccines were put through standard clinical trials, which included laboratory trials and three phases of clinical trials.

There is still a lot of misinformation concerning the coronavirus vaccine. Vaccines do protect you against COVID-19 and protect others by building herd immunity. The vaccines do not cause autism or damage children or babies, and they do not weaken the immune system. The vaccines are not currently mandated anywhere in the United States. If you’ve already been sick, you should still be vaccinated to prevent reinfection. The vaccine will not end masks and social distancing immediately; full protection may not develop for weeks after the second shot. Vaccinated people may still be able to act as asymptomatic spreaders as well. Finally, it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Vaccines will be distributed through many different locations, including schools, commercial pharmacies, large chain grocery stores, and more. Currently, there are two authorized vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, and another three that are in the final phase of clinical trials: AstraZeneca, Novavax, Janssen. The CDC recommends that healthcare workers and long-term care residents receive the vaccine first, followed by frontline essential workers and people over 75. The last group to receive the vaccine will be younger people and the rest of the essential worker population. Individual states can adjust these guidelines as they see fit, so it’s important to stay up to date with your local health department and state resources to find out where to receive a vaccine and when you are eligible.