Agadir – In response to the waves of misleading information surrounding Morocco’s upcoming national vaccination campaign, the Ministry of Health has launched “Liqahcorona.ma,” a website dedicated to answering the most frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions.
As COVID-19 spread across the globe, observers have noted that misinformation was among the major and most stubborn challenges governments faced as they attempted to contain the virus.
Faced with this trend of COVID-19 skepticism, denial, or plain misinformation, the Moroccan ministry decided to tackle some of the most prominent talking points floating around among COVID-19 skeptics. Its website takes on and demystifies questions such as how the vaccines were developed, “how is it possible they were developed so fast?” and “how do we know that the vaccines are safe?”
Tackling the question of vaccine safety, the ministry explained the “extensive and rigorous” testing that vaccine candidates must undergo. The vaccine trials are designed to identify common side effects or other safety concerns. Even when the vaccines have been approved for in use, the ministry explained, continuous monitoring is put in place to gather further information about their safety and effectiveness.
Similarly, the clinical trials also involve a series of efficacy and safety reviews, including regulatory review and approval in the country where the vaccine is made.
Another commonplace concern has been the speed at which the vaccines were developed, with many people questioning the safety of something developed in such a short time.
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According to the ministry, the combination of phases 1 and 2 in some clinical trials was one of the main reasons the vaccines were developed in a record time. This was possible because the high number of new COVID-10 cases allowed for multicenter studies across several countries, as well as heavy government investment in the strengthening of research and development, the ministry noted.
It added that “none of these factors contributing to the accelerated development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggest that safety, scientific or ethical integrity has been compromised or that shortcuts have been made.”
Emphasizing that the randomized, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial is believed to provide a strong level of confidence, the FAQ pointed out that Morocco actively participated in the multicenter trials of phase III of some of the vaccines. So far, no serious adverse effects have been recorded, according to the ministry.
Many have noted the need for transparency when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, arguing that it is, possibly, the strongest tool in fighting misinformation and distrust.