Two drug companies, Pfizer and ModeRNA have declared themselves the Saviors. There’s a lot of money going to the Saviors so let’s keep a good eye on them. In a statement, Pfizer reported that in over 48,000 patients studied that there was a 90% success rate with their vaccine. That was in a total of 94 cases so it would break down to about 88 infections in the placebo group and 8-10 in the vaccinated group. ModeRNA studied 30,000 people and found 95 cases in the placebo group compared to 5 in the vaccinated group thus boasting at 94.5% effectiveness rate.
We should be clear that when they say they have 90% or 95% effectiveness rate, that does not mean that 90% of people vaccinated are protected from infection. That would be just lovely. It just means that the vaccinated group is 90% less likely to get infected. Which ain’t chump change, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not the other thing.
Before we get carried away of the “End of the Pandemic” talk, I’m not saying that these vaccines are our Saviors. These studies need to be peer reviewed, we need to verify their details. I know that they have already applied for Emergency Use Authorization. Further, the two companies have assured us they could collectively produce enough vaccine to vaccinate 10 million people before the year’s end. The Government has already pre-ordered all the doses so they will decide on the distribution. This stands to start at about a $4 billion order.
So there is a lot of money at stake to be the first on the market. So it will be very important to review their raw data.
I discussed Covalescent Plasma and it’s approval in another post. In it, I expressed hope that they would NOT use Emergency Use Authorization for a vaccine. I thought that the “might help, won’t hurt” bar for treatment options ought NOT to apply for preventive options. I felt at the time, that there are many who are resistant to this vaccine and if we sprung a dud of a product in the first go round, that we may never get those people back. For the pandemic to end, enough of the population has to get vaccinated for the virus not to be able to take hold in that population.
So the first vaccines have to really work and be really safe.
So I am torn. I want the pandemic to end, and I want these vaccines to work. And I want them on the market. And I want all of us to get vaccinated. And I want my kids back in their school. And I want to see my friends and family. And I want to go to a music show.
What I am happy about, while not pinning my hope on these two vaccines (yet!), is that ANYONE is reporting vaccine success data! That’s how it starts. Enough data has been accumulated for the race to finally start. POP! I just heard the starting gun!
But I want really want is for these vaccines to be safe. If it takes just a few more weeks to complete the study and get to the 155 infections in the placebo group that you need for the end of the trial, I say go for it! We’ll still be here, stuck in the pandemic.