Expert says Covid vaccine efficacy also important

A health expert on Thursday advised the public to consider the efficacy of a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to prevent a severe disease and not just its ability to protect people from contracting the virus.

In an online media forum, UP-National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Director and Department of Health Technical Advisory Group member Dr. Edsel Salvana noted that most people focus on the vaccine efficacy to prevent the disease in general.

“Because that’s our main problem with Covid, that it is fatal, in about 2 to 5 percent of people,” Salvana said partly in Filipino.

Salvana defined vaccine efficacy as the result of clinical trials while vaccine effectiveness as “what happens in the real world”.

This includes the people who don’t want to be vaccinated or did not return for the second dose. So, generally the vaccine effectiveness will be lower than our vaccine efficacy, but we know what the ideal is and that is what the vaccine efficacy will show,” he said partly in Filipino.

Contrary to the speculations of many, health and vaccine experts said SARS-CoV-2 mutations would not affect the efficacy of the new vaccines as only few mutations have been reported at the moment.

“Vaccine efficacy can happen but it’s not overnight like 95 percent then immediately zero. It will be gradual, 95, 90, 85, 80, so, the surveillance we’re doing at the moment is needed and we’ll have other programs that can check vaccine efficacy,” Salvana said partly in Filipino.         SOVEREIGNPH

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