2 Companies Say Their Vaccines Are 95% Effective. What Does That Mean?

from NYTs

The front-runners in the vaccine race seem to be working far better than anyone expected: Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that their vaccine had an efficacy rate of 95 percent. Moderna put the figure for its vaccine at 94.5 percent. In Russia, the makers of the Sputnik vaccine claimed their efficacy rate was over 90 percent.

“These are game changers,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine researcher at the Mayo Clinic. “We were all expecting 50 to 70 percent.” Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration had said it would consider granting emergency approval for vaccines that showed just 50 percent efficacy.

From the headlines, you might well assume that these vaccines — which some people may receive in a matter of weeks — will protect 95 out of 100 people who get them. But that’s not actually what the trials have shown. Exactly how the vaccines perform out in the real world will depend on a lot of factors we just don’t have answers to yet — such as whether vaccinated people can get asymptomatic infections and how many people will get vaccinated.

Here’s what you need to know about the actual effectiveness of these vaccines.

More here.

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  1. The new information we the public received about a potentially 95% effective vaccine is huge news! We can truly say that we see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the facts are that we won’t know the true real world effectiveness until it hits the real world as a whole. My guess is that it most certainly won’t be 95% effective when it comes to the real world situation because of the numerous potential variables when it comes to how the vaccine will react with people. Everyone seemed to take a breath when it came to hearing about this news, but it appears that many people let their guard down much too soon. We are now within the second major wave of this Pandemic and much more damage can be done even though people are looking at the potential for a working vaccine as an excuse to get back to life as normal early. This is not good because as of November 25th the numbers are continuing to climb on all fronts. Daily deaths growing to over 2,200. With the FIRST doses supposedly coming out before the end of 2020 people should not be letting their guard down. Because the whole nation might not be vaccinated for months or longer because of the sheer amount of time it will take to produce that much serum. This article helped put into perspective that we aren’t truly out of the thick of it yet, and just because numerous companies have claimed to have very effective vaccines does not mean the same for how the vaccine plays out in the real world. “The results…. were heartbreaking….. when it comes to cutting down on infections, hospitalizations and deaths, the deployment mattered just as much as the efficacy…. the United States has not done enough to prepare for the massive distribution of the vaccine in the months to come.” I have here a few important remarks here from Dr. Paltiel, a professor at Yale. So what this means is that even though the really good looking effectiveness percentage won’t matter if we can’t properly distribute said vaccine in a safe and timely fashion. Where is the vaccine going to be distributed locally? At pharmacies? At libraries? Everywhere? I feel like the nation might go into a bit of a panic when the vaccine is released because of how everyone is going to try to rush and get it as fast as possible. And usually some people think they are more entitled to the vaccine than others and it could result in fights breaking out or riots like there have been in the recent months. I am very excited to go back to normal and out of the crazy environment this pandemic has created, but we all must know that even though things might seem great we can’t stop our preventative measures in order to lessen the spread of Covid-19 from now until everyone in the nation is fully vaccinated.

  2. Growing up we learned about different outbreaks and illnesses the country faced during hardships. It is crazy to think we are now living through one. Covid 19’s first birthday just passed, there has been a lot of damage emotionally, mentally, and physically. Not just to people but this illness has impacted the country as a whole as well as our economy. Nothing will be the same for a while, we are continuing going through tough times. Personally, I believe actions matter more than words. Although there seems to be this vaccine present that deems to have a high efficiency rating, we will not know until we are able to test on humans. We know the severity of this diseases varies, the symptoms can be different, and not everyone will have the same pain levels. We can not be confident this vaccine will be the definite cure to all our solutions but we can be hopeful. No one should be making conclusions off hope and goals, this can lead to more challenging times. As we are currently living through a time with spiked number of cases increase, we can just follow CDC guidelines as of this moment.

  3. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of grief and suffering for not only those whose families have lost lives from it. But also to people who have had to relocate or were not able to pay their bills due to the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. The former President of the United States promised to have a vaccine ready very soon even when it was not as soon as he said. This gave people false hope of not having a second wave of the virus hit and get people even more sick. However, now it looks like different pharmaceutical companies have stepped up to try and get the vaccine released in a more timely manner. We are at the stage where two big pharmaceutical companies have a chance to earn big with this new vaccine being released. Pfizer and BioNTech seem two be the two companies that are ahead of this race to release the vaccine, and it cant come soon enough. both of these companies state however, that their vaccine has a 95% effictiveness. This is very interesting considering that fact that if you are not old or very young you have a 90% chance of surviving Covid-19. Meaning if a vaccine is not ready to fight covid at 100% is it really ready? Yet, at the end of the day 95 is not a bad number especially compared to competition abroad. 95% means that this vaccine according to the article is is very good since it will be protecting 95/100 people. Definitely very exciting news to read about on this blog.

  4. The pandemic is reaching its second peak currently, with cases spiking and deaths as well. We as people are hoping that the old times return soon; going outside, no masks, etc. but there is still a lack of a reliable solution. These vaccines may show potent ability in theory, but as the article stated the efficiency of it is far more important and different. We need to take into account that the vaccines need to be tested further, implemented, produced, distributed, acquired, and put to use. This is a long and timely process and frankly one the United States seems unprepared for. Not only that, but also we have to take into account how people are going to receive the vaccines. Are they going to go to public places to acquire it? Where several other people will likely be rushing to too. Will they attempt to possibly mail or distribute the vaccine? If so how do you prepare for damaged deliveries or failed routing. We are still VERY far from ultimately overcoming this pandemic, and albeit steps are being made we still need to be adamant about being safe and secure.

  5. When it comes to this vaccine its not so much will they get it done, but if and when they get it done, will it be enforced nationwide. I feel as though it should be because of the extent that this pandemic has put us through, but there are many people out there who are very strongly anti vaccine so will they be jailed for refusing the vaccine, or will we just hope that they catch the virus so they know better than to refuse it the next time. I think its great that so many people are making positive strides towards coming up with a potential solution for this pandemic, but at a time like this I feel as though countries should put aside bragging rights and money and work together to come up with this vaccine. I feel as though it could never truly hurt to hear an opinion from someone else unless you are truly acting from a standpoint of arrogance.

  6. I was shocked when I heard that there was a vaccine that was already at 95% efficacy. This was alarming news because they came up with a vaccine rather quickly, which leaves me somewhat skeptical of the vaccine. I always thought that 95% efficacy meant that 95 out of 100 people would protected, turns out I was wrong. I guess I didn’t really know what efficacy meant, similarly, I thought that it was just a special word for effectiveness. I learned that efficacy is the measurement used during the clinical trial, while effectiveness is measurement used in the real world. Scientists say that it is possible for the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine to maintain the same efficacy, but if we are going to look at most vaccines in the past, the effectiveness may be somewhat lower than its efficacy. Obviously, the efficacy is from a small sample size relative to the population of the United States and which allows it to not be a perfect match in its efficacy. Examples of this, are that people can have other health issues that could affect the effectiveness of the vaccine. With little known knowledge of the virus, it is hard to predict how the vaccine will do, but one thing is for certain, that it will help people. Another scary thing that arises with the vaccine, is that people were tested and given the vaccine when they had symptoms, however you can still contract the virus without ever having any symptoms. This was not accounted for in the 95% efficacy. This is scary as around 20% of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic, which is 20% of 13.4million cases and counting in the US. That number of asymptomatic carriers is a minimum of 2680000 people, as cases are still going up at a historic rate each day.

  7. When I first read about the new vaccines being 95 percent effective, I was very surprised since the news about the vaccine came out quicker than expected. Vaccines can take up to ten years to develop, but the shots for Covid only took less than a year before distribution had begun. Last year, I thought that this pandemic had no end in sight. However, once the data regarding covid vaccinations were released, I realized that we would eventually go back to how it used to be and without any Covid restrictions. As of now, the majority of the US population is either fully, or partially vaccinated against the coronavirus. However, Covid may never go away anytime soon because of the new strains and variants that are spreading around the nation. While booster shots are currently being developed, the food and drug administration has only approved the use of the shots for those who are 65 and older and also for those who are at higher risk of severe covid symptoms. Indoor mask mandates should still be put in place because even if people are fully vaccinated, they are still at risk of testing positive for Covid. However, the chances of getting this virus when vaccinated are much less likely when compared to someone else who is not vaccinated. In order for America to reach herd immunity, the vast majority of Americans must be fully vaccinated so that the chances of others testing positive are as slim as possible. Some citizens claim that the vaccine causes long-term health problems, but research says otherwise. Stats have shown that there have been very few deaths that were linked to the Covid vaccine out of nearly 200 million people that took the shot. The vaccinations approved by the FDA are perfectly safe to receive. Although I do not believe that Americans should be forced to take the vaccine, I still think that it is the best possible solution to fight against Covid. The coronavirus will be an ongoing issue for years if Americans do not take this virus seriously.

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