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Vaccine, Coronavirus Why you can't compare Covid-19 vaccines

In early March, more than 6000 doses were supposed to be shipped to the city of Detroit Michigan., But the mayor said no thanks., quotModerna and Pfizer are the best. And I am going to do Everything I can to make sure the residents of the city of Detroit get the best.quot. He was referring to these numbers. The vaccines, quotefficacy rates.quot, The vaccines from PfizerBioNTech and Moderna have super high efficacy rates 95 and 94 percent., But Johnson amp Johnson, Just 66.. And if you only look at these numbers, its natural to think that these vaccines are worse than these., But that assumption is wrong.. These numbers are arguably not even the most important measure of how effective these vaccines are. To understand. What is you first have to understand? What vaccines are even supposed to do. A vaccines? Efficacy rate is calculated in large clinical trials when the vaccine is tested on tens of thousands of people.. Those people are broken into two groups: half get the vaccine and half get a placebo., Then theyre sent out to live their lives, while scientists monitor whether or not they get Covid 19. Over several months. In the trial for PfizerBioNTech, for example, there were 43000 participants.. In the end, 170 people were infected with Covid 19. And how those people fall into each of these groups determines a vaccines efficacy.. If the 170 were evenly split, that would mean youre just as likely to get sick with the vaccine as without it.

, So it would have a 0 efficacy. If all 170 were in the placebo group and zero people who got the vaccine were sick, the vaccine would Have an efficacy of 100. With this particular trial, there were 162 in the placebo group and just eight. In the vaccine group. – It means those who had the vaccine were 95 less likely to get Covid 19. The vaccine had a 95 efficacy. Now this doesnt mean that if 100 people are vaccinated, 5 of them will get sick. Instead. That 95 number applies to the individual., So each vaccinated person is 95 less likely than a person without a vaccine to get sick each time. Theyre exposed to Covid 19. And every vaccines, efficacy rate is calculated in the same way., But each vaccines trial might be done in very different circumstances. quotSo. One of the biggest considerations here when we look at these numbers is the timing in which these clinical trials were performed.quot. This is the number of daily Covid 19 cases in the US since the pandemic. Began., The Moderna trial was done completely in the US here. In the summer., The PfizerBioNTech trial was primarily based in the US too, and at the same time.. Johnson amp Johnson, however, held their US trial at this time when there were more opportunities for participants to be exposed to infections. And most of their trial took place. In other countries, primarily South Africa and Brazil., And in these other countries, not only were case rates high, but the virus itself was different.

. The trials took place as variants of Covid 19 emerged and became the dominant infections in these countries. Variants that are more likely to get participants sick. In South Africa. Most of the cases in the Johnson amp Johnson trial were that of the variant, not the original strain that was in the US over the summer. And, despite that, it still significantly reduced infections. quotIf you’re. Trying to make one to one head to head comparisons between vaccines. They need to have been studied in the same trial, with the same inclusion criteria in the same parts of the world. At the same time.quot quotIf. We were to take Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines and redo their clinical trial. At the same time that we saw JampJ’s clinical trial, we might see quite different efficacy numbers for those.quot. These efficacy numbers really just tell you what happened in each vaccines trial, not exactly what will happen in the real world., But many experts argue this isnt, even the best number to judge a vaccine by anyway., Because preventing any infection at all is not always the point Of a vaccine. quotThe goal of a vaccine program for Covid 19 is not necessarily to get to ‘Covid zero’ but it’s to tame this virus, to defang it to remove its ability to cause serious disease, hospitalization and death.quot. It helps to look at the different outcomes of an exposure to Covid 19. Like this, The best case scenario is you dont get sick at all.

. The worst case is death. In between theres being hospitalized severe to moderate symptoms or having no symptoms at all.. In the absolute best circumstances, vaccines give you protection all the way to here., But realistically that isnt the main objective of Covid 19 vaccines.. The real purpose is to give your body enough protection to cover these possibilities. So if you do get an infection, it feels more. Like a cold than something you’d be hospitalized for., And this is one thing that every one of these Covid 19 vaccines do well. In all these trials, while some people in the placebo groups were hospitalized or even died from Covid 19, not one fully vaccinated person in Any of these trials was hospitalized or died from Covid 19.. Quotone thing that I wish that mayor would have understood was that all three vaccines have essentially 100 effectiveness in protecting from death.quot. The mayor of Detroit did backtrack and said hed start taking Johnson amp Johnson doses because its still quothighly effective against what we care about most.quot, Efficacy, matters., But it doesnt matter the most.. The question isnt, which vaccine will protect you from any Covid infection but which one will keep you alive Or out of the hospital Which one will help end the pandemic And thats any of them. quotThe best vaccine right now, for you is the one that you’re offered.quot Quotwith each shot that goes into someone’s arm.

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Written by freotech

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