3/25/21 update: Is Covid-19 all Bad News?

News outlets that skew strongly in one direction or the other, seemed to focus on bad news in regards to Covid-19. At least that is what this working paper states which is published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and titled, “Why is all Covid-19 news bad news?

So I want to focus on what the good news is right now.

Vaccines save lives.

Highlights of the New York Time article, “Good Vaccine News.”
  • All five vaccines (with public results which are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson) have eliminated Covid-19 deaths.
  • They have reduced hospitalizations.
  • None have been remained hospitalized 28 days after receiving a shot.
  • The shots dramatically lower your chances of being infected.

Also understanding the difference between effectiveness and efficacy is something we might need to understand better here in Hawaii as this article makes clear from Hawaii Tribune Herald on “Three ‘Breakthrough’ virus cases found in Hawaii.” It misuses the concept of efficacy as 5% of vaccinated people could get covid based on the clinical trial which is not true. Efficacy in these trials meant that people with the vaccine in the clinical trial were 95% lower in risk to acquiring Covid-19 in comparison to the control group. Efficacy is related to clinical trials and effectiveness is related to real world use. Real world effectiveness can be lower then clinical efficacy because trials are typically not a true representation of the population in demographics and overall health. It is also worth mentioning the possibility that 1) people were exposed prior to getting the shot or during the two week time period after vaccination where the body has still not built up an immunity, 2) underlying health conditions inhibit the immune response to vaccination, or even 3) you were exposed due to being in a situation where the virus was running rampant and that large dose of virus exposure overwhelmed your body’s built up immune defenses.

Something to celebrate. And just thinking seriously about the vaccine and what it means for me and those around me.

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