In an interview on NDR Info, the head of the Infection Immunology research group at the Charité in Berlin said that the two mRNA vaccines from Biontech and Moderna would be very effective based on the data known so far. “And they also seem to have a very good side effect profile,” continues Sander.
He pointed out that the vaccine manufacturers had to monitor the subjects for a certain period of time for their studies. And even after the regulatory authorities have checked the data, the companies are obliged to continue to check the test subjects for side effects. There will also be additional tests once the vaccine is used. “Over time you will get a much more detailed picture,” stressed Sander.
“No serious side effects”
When asked whether it was justifiable to approve a vaccine without long-term studies, Sander pointed out that the previous studies had been carried out with a large number of test persons. Most of the people who have already received one of the vaccines have been observed over a period of two months. “And there weren’t any serious side effects.”
Sander admitted that in “very, very rare cases” side effects could occur after years. “But you won’t be able to find that out in any vaccine approval study – and that actually applies to every drug that is newly approved.” The authorities would continue to monitor this and could intervene accordingly should side effects occur. “I don’t expect that in this case,” stressed Sander.
Second vaccination for “immune memory”
We know from many other vaccinations that the vaccine has to be administered twice. “This is a stimulation of the immune system in order to build up an ‘immune memory’ and to be protected in the long term.”