Vaccines proving more effective, not less...

According to the New York Times, in an article published online, the vaccine news is more favorable than many of us think. Here is what the article related in relevant part.

National number of infections, which continue to climb, are not the most important statistic. All five vaccines with public results have eliminated COVID-19 deaths. They have also drastically reduced hospitalizations.

Many people should focus on that. Instead many of us are focusing on relatively minor differences among the vaccine results and wrongly assuming that those differences mean that some vaccines won’t prevent serious illnesses.

It’s still too early to be sure, because a few of the vaccine makers have released only a small amount of data. But the available data is very encouraging — including about the vaccines’ effect on the virus’s variants.

In the official language of research science, a vaccine is typically considered effective only if it prevents people from coming down with any degree of illness. With a disease that’s always or usually horrible, like ebola or rabies, that definition is also the most meaningful one.

Here, if I am reading this article correctly, while the vaccines have various impacts on contracting COVID-19, they are highly effective in preventing both death and serious complications requiring hospitalization. For those of you who have argued it is no different than the flu, the vaccine seems to lessen the illness's impact similarly for everyone. People vaccinated may discover for them it isn't even as severe as the flu. 

By those measures, all five of the vaccines — from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson — look extremely good. Of the roughly 75,000 people who have received one of the five in a research trial, not a single person has died from COVID, and only a few people appear to have been hospitalized. None have remained hospitalized 28-days after receiving a shot.

I assume you would agree that any vaccine that transforms COVID-19 into something much milder than a typical flu deserves to be called effective. But that is not the scientific definition.

When you read that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66 percent effective or that the Novavax vaccine was 89 percent effective, those numbers are referring to the prevention of all illness. They count mild symptoms as a failure.

So the bottom line is...take the vaccine. The data regarding "effectiveness" is much brighter than what we have before believed. At least, once we know how to interpret the data given us.  


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