The Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM), in Lisbon, launched an information campaign on vaccines against covid-19, in which four scientists clarify any doubts in short videos, the institution announced today.

“How was it possible to develop a vaccine for covid-19 so quickly?”, “Is the vaccine for covid-19 safe?”, “Will the vaccine for covid-19 help restore normality to our lives?” and “Should I get vaccinated for Covid-19?” are the questions that IMM researchers Bruno Silva-Santos, Luís Graça, Miguel Prudêncio and Pedro Simas answer.

The four videos – one for each question – will be available on IMM’s social networks.

On Friday, there will be an open question and answer session broadcast on the YouTube platform, where interested parties “will be able to direct their questions and clarify doubts about the vaccine development process, its safety and effectiveness and the perspective of the pandemic for the next few months, “says the IMM in a statement.

The IMM communication office told Lusa that more explanatory videos will be produced as more questions arise about vaccines on the part of people.

Justifying the initiative, immunologist Bruno Silva-Santos, deputy director of IMM, points out, quoted in the statement, that “this project arises from the urgent need to provide credible information on vaccination for covid-19, which is now starting”.

“Every day we hear doubts and concerns from so many citizens and it is up to us, scientists, to answer with the facts and clinical data that we have”, underlines, in turn, the virologist Pedro Simas.

In the video “How was it possible to develop a vaccine for covid-19 so quickly?”, Immunologist Bruno Silva-Santos responds with technological advances, the efforts of scientists and pharmacists and the immediate evaluation of results by drug regulators.

When asked whether the vaccine is safe, parasitologist Miguel Prudêncio replies that it is “absolutely safe”, has no serious side effects, just triggers normal reactions such as fever, fatigue or pain in the arm.

Virologist Pedro Simas assures that the vaccine for covid-19 “will make it possible to restore normality” to life, since it will make it possible to achieve group immunity against the new coronavirus that causes the infection.

For immunologist Luís Graça, “without a doubt” that people should be vaccinated, it is “a public health imperative” that “will save many lives”.

In Portugal, the vaccination campaign against covid-19 began on December 27 in hospitals, with the inoculation of health professionals. Today it has extended to nursing homes.

The vaccine administered is that of the Pfizer-BioNTech consortium, whose emergency use was approved on December 21 by the European Medicines Agency.

The European regulator is expected to comment on the use of another experimental vaccine, that of the modern biotechnology company, shortly.

Both vaccines are based on the same genetic engineering technology, which was used for the first time in vaccine production.

The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 1,843,631 deaths resulting from more than 85 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French news agency AFP.

In Portugal, 7,186 people died from 431,623 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus (type of virus) detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.