skip to content
Primary navigation


Frequently Asked Questions About How COVID-19 Vaccines Are Made

In American Sign Language (ASL) with captions, audio description, and descriptive transcript

3/19/2021 9:07:06 AM

This video was provided by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). If you prefer to watch the video with English voiceover and captions, please watch the video with spoken English instead. MDH has also created an audio-described version of this video.

Descriptive transcript

[A cartoon man looks around as speech bubbles with icons of vaccines, viruses, question marks, and a clock appear.]

[upbeat music]

[narration] You are probably hearing a lot of information about COVID-19 vaccines right now. We wanted to answer some common questions about how COVID-19 vaccines have been made.

[The man and speech bubbles slide up off screen to reveal text that says, “How are COVID-19 vaccines being made faster?”]

[The scene changes and there is a white line labeled “Vaccine Testing” that is moving showing progress. The white line meets a green checkmark, a blue line labeled “Vaccine Production” continues from the green checkmark.]

Usually, testing a vaccine to make sure it is safe and works is done before large amounts of vaccines are made.

[The lines and labels rearrange and both lines progress with the white “Vaccine Testing” line leading slightly in front of the blue “Vaccine Production” line until they both meet a green checkmark.]

Because of the pandemic and money from the federal government, scientists did both at the same time. Only vaccines that have been tested and are shown to be safe are used.

[The lines and labels slide up off screen to reveal text that says, “How are the vaccines tested?”]

[The scene changes and three vaccine icons are on screen.]

All COVID-19 vaccines go through tests called clinical trials. Each vaccine goes through more than one test.

[Two of the vaccine icons leave the screen, and one vaccine remains. Icons of a dozen diverse people appear in a grid.]

First, the vaccine is tested with a small group of volunteers,

[More icons of people appear.]

then a couple hundred,

[More icons of people appear.]

then tens of thousands of people. Volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials come from many diverse communities and backgrounds. This is the same process used for testing other vaccines.

[The vaccine icon and grid of people slide up off screen to reveal text that says, “How do COVID-19 vaccines get approved?”]

[The scene changes, one vaccine icon is in the center of the screen. Icons of researchers and medical professionals pop up around the vaccine icon.]

For the vaccines that make it past all the tests, a team of medical experts will look at test results and how people felt after they got the vaccine. If the vaccine works and it’s safe, it gets approved.

[Green check marks appear next to each researcher and medical professional. Finally, a green checkmark appears next to the vaccine icon.]

There are many groups of scientists and experts that are reviewing the vaccine safety data for COVID-19 vaccines and making recommendations. Only approved vaccines are given to people.

[The vaccine icon, researchers and medical professionals slide up off screen to reveal text that says, “Who is getting vaccine first?”]

[The scene changes, a grid of four professionals appears next to a computer with symbols of data. A magnifying glass waves across the computer magnifying the data.]

A national advisory group for CDC looked at the data and made recommendations for who should get the vaccine first.

[The scene changes, there is a grid of people. Labels show they are health care workers and people who live in long-term care.]

Some groups that are at highest risk for COVID-19 or could get very sick from COVID-19 got the vaccine first. Minnesota has a team of experts who will help make sure vaccine is available to everyone fairly, with a focus on health equity.

[The scene changes, there is a grid of vaccine that slowly multiply.]

As more vaccine becomes available over time, more people will be vaccinated.

[The scene changes, the Stay Safe MN logo appears along with a link to the website]

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine visit the health department’s website.

back to top