What does vaccine effectiveness mean? AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin
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What does COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness mean?

6 Comments

What does COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness mean?

It refers to the likelihood that a coronavirus shot will work in people.

Two vaccine makers have said that preliminary results from their late-stage studies suggest their experimental vaccines are strongly protective. Moderna this week said its vaccine appears nearly 95% effective. This comes on the heels of Pfizer's announcement that its shot appeared similarly effective.

Those numbers raised hopes around the world that vaccines could help put an end to the pandemic sometime next year if they continue to show that they prevent disease and are safe.

Effectiveness numbers will change as the vaccine studies continue since the early calculations were based on fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases in each study. But early results provide strong signals that the vaccine could prevent a majority of disease when large groups of people are vaccinated.

U.S. health officials said a coronavirus vaccine would need to be at least 50% effective before they would consider approving it for use. There was concern that coronavirus vaccines might be only as effective as flu vaccines, which have ranged from 20% to 60% effective in recent years.

The broad, early effectiveness figures don't tell the whole story. Scientists also need to understand how well the vaccine protects people in different age groups and demographic categories.

For both vaccines, the interim results were based on people who had COVID-19 symptoms that prompted a virus test. That means we don’t know yet whether someone who’s vaccinated might still get infected -- even if they show no symptoms -- and spread the virus.

Also unknown is whether the shots will give lasting protection, or whether boosters will be required.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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healthy people do not need vaccine. now the question to know is if the vaccine is a harmful trojan or a placebo.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The companies' press releases suggest that the vaccines are about 90% effective. But what I am concerned with is how safe they are.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

healthy people do not need vaccine. now the question to know is if the vaccine is a harmful trojan or a placebo.

Healthy people DO need a vaccine, it reduces the risk of having a serious complication or death, that do happen to people without any preexisting condition.

The data from the trials (conducted by not only the company but by professional testing firms and observers and inspectors from many different countries) indicate the vaccine is much safer than the natural infection, and that it helps preventing getting the disease even after infection. Questioning something is fine in the absence of any evidence, but it stops being rational if you already have it and proves what you believe is mistaken.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Healthy people DO need a vaccine, it reduces the risk of having a serious complication or death, that do happen to people without any preexisting condition.

Perhaps it decreases the risk, perhaps it increases it.

Time will tell.

For now, healthy people should wait to get the vaccine, especially this rushed experimental vaccine.

And I hope independent researchers will be allowed to inspect the data and we don't need to rely only on the BigPharma press releases.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Perhaps it decreases the risk, perhaps it increases it.

There is absolutely no information that would indicate it would increase it, there is also no contraindication to getting the vaccine and if the final results are examined and found coherent with the partial results it would be much better for healthy people to take it than to refuse it. Vaccine approved after 6 months of phase III trials are not rushed and follow the same schedule as others already in use today.

Believing otherwise is just faith, not logic.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Indigo, raw beer, talk about fake news and spreading fear and conspiracy theories! A vaccine is designed to help prevent or mitigate the effects of catching a disease, so obviously it is better to have before you get infected, ergo while you are healthy so yes healthy people do need a vaccine.

Any vaccine released for use will be inspected for efficacy and safety by the various regulatory authorities, they and the results of the trials will be scrutinised by numerous experts in the field (unlike you and I).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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