The vaccines only had one great pending test, the real world test: we have already started to have results and they are very good
Just a few days ago, the world exceeded 200 million injected doses. And seen in perspective, in the group of almost 8,000 million people who live in it, it may seem like an anecdote. But it is more than that: because, although we are still a long way from achieving something like global herd immunity, 200 million doses bring vaccines closer to the great test that they have yet to overcome: that of reality.
And, to date, the data we have on vaccines hang directly from clinical trials that, however realistic they may be, may never be able to capture all the problems, edges and junctures that then explode in real life. So, We have been pending for weeks the data that we receive from the countries that have more advanced vaccination campaigns. Now, finally, we have several cases to analyze.
What we can expect from vaccines in the real world
The “great Israeli experiment”: For months we have followed the success, drop Y later resurface Israel as a model of success against the coronavirus. This “resurgence” has had much to do with the effectiveness of its vaccine program: since December 19, the country of 9.2 million people has managed to vaccinate 31.5% with both doses of Pfizer and 48, 9% with the first.
To achieve this, Israel came to a controversial agreement with the pharmaceutical to, among other things, share country data and allow offering “real” data on the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine with a degree of detail that the data and privacy laws of most countries would not allow. Thus, Israel agreed to become a kind of epidemiological “grand experiment”. An experiment that, in light of the preliminary data, has turned out quite well for them.
What is the data? According to data made public by the Israeli ministry, and that need much more in-depth analysis, two weeks after receiving the complete Pfizer vaccine regimen, a 98.9% effectiveness is observed in preventing death. They have not been the only studies, a preprint said last week than 94% against the symptoms of COVID-19, 93.5% against hospitalization and 93% against death.
In fact, in what (if confirmed) is perhaps the best news of all for expected, according to these works the vaccine could be 89.4% effective in preventing virus infections, whether they are symptomatic or not. I mean, the good news we’ve been waiting for months – evidence that the vaccinated cannot infect – begin to materialize. As I say, it is early to say for sure, but the size of the samples (almost two million people) allows us to be moderately optimistic.
Of course, these are not the only ones we have. What’s more, the ones we have are very interesting because they help understand the complexity of analyzing and interpreting figures like Israel’s. Despite the “theoretical” efficiencies that we have been covering these months, reality can still give us some “surprises”.
In Scotland, without going any further, They have studied the risk of hospitalization from December 8 to February 15 (a period in which more than a million doses were administered). The results show that the first dose of Pfizer reduces the risk of hospitalization by 85% (very similar to the Israeli data), while AstraZeneca does it by 94%. In England, the data is somewhat worse, but the vaccination approach has been much more eccentric and experimental.
The light at the end of the tunnel. In recent days the World has not stopped getting good news as, for the first time, a global decrease in cases is consolidated. This does not mean that restrictions will disappear quickly, nor that new variants can’t make us back down, but allows get out of old dynamics and look at the pandemic in another way: constructively.
Image | Hospital Clinic