Vanderbilt Health Answers Common Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

As emerging vaccines offer hope that we can end the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months, Vanderbilt Health's goal is to keep the community informed as these vaccines are developed, reviewed, approved and distributed. To that end, VUMC has created a growing list of questions and a series of videos about the vaccines that we encourage you to share with your employees.

Common Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, but one question on many people's minds: How were they able to make the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so quickly?

Both Pfizer and Moderna used similar processes to develop the vaccines and had two advantages to speed up this process:

1. Even though COVID-19 is a new virus, scientists have been studying these types of viruses for more than 15 years and so had a head start on research. Researchers here at Vanderbilt have been at the forefront of coronavirus vaccine development over the past decade.

2. Some of the steps were completed at the same time, instead of one after the other. For example, through Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government funded large-scale manufacturing before anyone knew the vaccines would work. Despite this speed, it is important to understand that there were no corners cut in the processes of reviewing and approving the vaccine. They were subject to the same standards of safety as other drugs and vaccines.

For a list of other vaccine-related questions, please bookmark this page (and check back often for the most up-to-date information).

COVID-19 Vaccine Video Series

In the following videos, Dr. William Schaffner, professor of Preventive Medicine and VUMC infectious disease expert, answers frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

How Can I Gain Immunity to COVID-19?

How Does a Vaccine Work?

How Is Vaccine Effectiveness Measured?

Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Be Safe?

Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Make Me Sick?

What Is an mRNA Vaccine?



The emerging news about COVID-19 vaccines is promising, but many have questions. Check out Vanderbilt Health's resources to keep your employees informed.