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Yale Medicine Vaccine Content Center

December 16, 2020

Photo by Getty Images

COVID-19 has changed so many aspects of our lives. Yearning to get back to the way life was before, everyone is looking forward to the introduction of vaccines, a major tool in helping to move past the pandemic.   

Yale Medicine is committed to providing up-to-date information on every aspect of this public health crisis. Our goal for this page, which will be updated as we add new articles and videos, is to provide a resource where you can get answers to your vaccine-related questions and also connect to other information about COVID-19.

The Vaccine is here: Your questions answered

The new COVID-19 vaccine is here. But it’s still hard to know exactly what this will mean in our individual and collective lives.  

For questions—big and small—we went to our foremost expert for a frank, socially distanced question-and-answer session. Onyema Ogbuagu, MBBCh, is a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist and the principal investigator of the COVID-19 vaccine studies supported by the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation at Yale School of Medicine, in partnership with the Yale New Haven Health System.

[Read the interview.]

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

Vaccines are one of the most effective tools we have in preventing and reducing the burden of infectious diseases. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines are once again poised to change the tide in our favor in the fight against a deadly virus. But how exactly do vaccines work? And are they safe?

Watch this video to learn more about the fundamentals of how vaccines work, how they are developed, and the importance of vaccination for public health.

[View the video on vaccine fundamentals.]

Vaccine basics

We’ve been told that a vaccine that confers total protection against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, would bring a return to normalcy. In March of 2020, health experts said the timeline for an effective vaccine could be 12-18 months—yet, it seems we have one even sooner than predicted. But people are wondering: will it be safe? Will it be effective?  

Yale Medicine has compiled this basic explanation of vaccines—how they work, what’s different from one kind to the next, and the approval process—and what that means for a COVID-19 vaccine.

[Read the vaccine primer.]

Q & A with a vaccine expert

We spoke with Saad Omer, MBBS, PhD, MPH, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, to get answers to the hard questions on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in development. The shortened timelines surrounding the development of these vaccines, coupled with concerns over what some feel is undue political influence over the release of them, is concerning to many Americans.  

We sat down with Dr. Omer, who addresses these concerns.

[Read the Q & A.]