The COVID-19 vaccines: Your questions answered

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With the first people being vaccinated against COVID-19 in the UK, it feels like we might finally be entering the home stretch. However, the success of the vaccination programme depends crucially on people agreeing to take part.

To address understandable concerns about the vaccines' safety, their effectiveness, and whether the whole thing will be worth it, we asked Matt Keeling and Sam Moore, epidemiological modellers at Warwick University and members of the JUNIPER modelling consortium, our most pressing questions about vaccination. Here is what we learned. Click on the links below to find the answers.

Are the vaccines safe?

Since herd immunity will protect us all, why do I need to get vaccinated?

How effective are the vaccines — and how do we know this?

How were the vaccines tested?

Who should be vaccinated first?

How long until it's all over?

About this article


Matt Keeling

Matt Keeling is a professor at the University of Warwick, and holds a joint position in Mathematics and Life Sciences. He is the current director of the Zeeman Institute for Systems Biology and Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research (SBIDER). He has been part of the SPI-M modelling group since 2009.

Sam Moore is a postdoctoral research associate who has been working on vaccination modelling for Covid-19 after joining SBIDER within the University of Warwick at the start of the pandemic earlier this year.


Sam Moore

Both are members of JUNIPER, the Joint UNIversity Pandemic and Epidemic Response modelling consortium. It comprises academics from seven UK universities who are using a range of mathematical and statistical techniques to address pressing question about the control of COVID. The universities are Cambridge, Warwick, Bristol, Exeter, Oxford, Manchester, and Lancaster. You can see more content produced with JUNIPER here.

Marianne Freiberger and Rachel Thomas are Editors of Plus.

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