The rapid development of a virus (Covid19) vaccine does not mean there is an inherent risk, and proper policy has been followed, according to Belgian health experts.

Facing several months focused on the Covid-19 vaccines and their administration,  officials explained why – despite the accelerated development – they will be safe for use.

“If all goes well, the vaccines against the coronavirus, or at least some of them, will be developed and registered within only a year,”

Virologist and Interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

While it usually to seven to eight years before a vaccine or medicine was declared ready for use in the past, these vaccines must still meet the same safety requirements as other medicines.

“Just like so many pills or capsules we take so often,” he said, adding that “no health authority in Western society” has taken even the slightest risk.

Advanced technology

When the virus had only just been discovered at the beginning of January, it was possible to determine its genetic composition in just a few days, thanks to enormous advances in technology.

“As a reminder, the outbreak with a then-unknown virus was first reported on 31 December in Wuhan. “Nearly 10 days later, on 10 January, the full genetic code of the coronavirus was known and published.”

Virologist and Interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

It was made public and distributed all over the world so that laboratories across the globe could start research into a vaccine very early on, according to him.

Not starting from scratch

Additionally, researchers did not have to start from scratch, as two dangerous coronaviruses were already known to them.

“Namely the coronavirus that caused SARS in 2003, and another coronavirus that has been causing MERS in the Middle East since 2012,”

Virologist and Interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.