Good vaccine information – The New York Instances
With these measures, all five vaccines – from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson – look extremely good. Of the roughly 75,000 people who received one of the five in a research attempt, not a single person died of Covid, and only a few people appear to have been hospitalized. No one stayed in the hospital 28 days after receiving a shot.
To put that in perspective, it helps to think about what Covid has done to a representative group of 75,000 American adults so far: It killed about 150 of them and brought several hundred more to the hospital. The vaccines reduce these numbers to zero and close to zero based on the research.
Zero isn’t even the most relevant benchmark. A typical US flu season kills between five and 15 out of 75,000 adults and brings more than 100 of them to hospital.
I assume that you would agree that any vaccine that turns Covid into something much milder than typical flu deserves to be called effective. But that’s not the scientific definition. If you read that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66 percent effective, or that the Novavax vaccine was 89 percent effective, those numbers refer to the prevention of all diseases. They count mild symptoms as failure.
“In terms of the dire consequences that really matter to us, the news is fantastic,” said Dr. Aaron Richterman, Infectious Disease Specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.
What about the highly contagious new virus variants that have emerged in the UK, Brazil and South Africa? The South African variant appears to make the vaccines less effective at clearing infections.
Fortunately, there is still no evidence that it increases deaths in people who have been vaccinated. Two of the five vaccines – from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax – have reported some results from South Africa, and none of the people who received a vaccine there died from Covid. “People still don’t get seriously ill. You still don’t die, ”Dr. Rebecca Wurtz of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.