Safety of the Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines

Safety of the Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines


Institute of Affiliation



A journal article titled COVID‑19 vaccine safety authored by Kostoff and colleagues and published in November 2020 addresses the issue of safety of the anti-COVID-19 vaccines that are produced under accelerated schedules. As Kostoff et al. (2020) note, SARS-CoV-2 in humans emerged in China in December 2019. The virus spread rapidly afterward, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands globally. For more than ten months since the disease outbreak, the medical community had not agreed on any specific effective treatment. Kostoff et al. (2020) acknowledge that the approaches used to contain the disease worldwide are important in the short-term, such as wearing protective masks, using disinfectants, quarantine, and social distancing. However, the authors also note that the strategies have adverse economic and psychological impacts. However, there are notable efforts to find effective treatments for the disease Safety of the Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines.

The main issue raised by Kostoff et al. (2020) is that in parallel to finding effective treatments for Covid-19 are accelerated efforts to develop and commercialize vaccines meant to prevent the virus in different countries, including the US, Russia, Germany, France, and China. Usually, as Kostoff et al. (2020) explain, safety testing for vaccines before commercialization requires around 12 to 15 years. However, there has been an explicit competition to develop and commercialize vaccines by the beginning of 2121. Thus, this implies that all steps up to the release for commercialization, including safety testing, will take a maximum of one year. Thus, the question that Kostoff et al. (2020) raise to the readers of the article is whether such accelerated efforts to create and commercialize vaccines will give assurance of safety in the short- and long-term. The producers of the vaccines must conduct safety tests before releasing them. However, can such an accelerated move for safety testing give credible results? Such questions

In my view, the accelerated efforts to produce and commercialize vaccines for the Covid-19 disease cannot guarantee safety for several reasons. The first reason is that a vaccine’s safety cannot be determined with certainty through conducting testing within a short period, such as one year, as Kostoff et al. (2020) explain. Some of the safety tests can give results in days or months. However, the vaccines have potential carcinogenic and transgenerational effects, which can be exhibited after years. Empirical studies have shown that some of the adverse effects of vaccines can emerge after three years. Thus, it cannot be concluded that tests conducted in days or less than one year can give a safety guarantee Safety of the Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines.

At the same time, there are issues with the populations used for testing. As Kostoff et al. (2020) note, most of the safety tests have been done on healthy persons that are not highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of Covid-19. For instance, some of the studies have been done on the youth rather than the more vulnerable populations such as the elderly and people with health problems that increase the vulnerability to the disease. Simultaneously, the accelerated efforts to create the vaccines have compelled the organizations involved in conducted experimental studies on smaller samples than recommended. Thus, such issues raise questions about the safety of the vaccines. The last issue is that the speedy production of the vaccines has been supported by computer simulators that are used to create new models. However, as Kostoff et al. (2020) note, underlying models are efficient. At this time of development, therefore, it is difficult to conclude with certainty about the toxicity or safety of the new vaccines. Thus, I hold the view of Kostoff et al. (2020) that there is no certainty about the safety of the accelerated vaccines for Covid-19 that are about to be commercialized.


Kostoff, R. N., Briggs, M. B., Porter, A. L., Spandidos, D. A., & Tsatsakis, A. (2020).

COVID‑19 vaccine safety. International Journal of molecular medicine46(5), 1599–1602. doi: Safety of the Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines.