Last week we asked a key question: “Are COVID Vaccines Working in the Real World?“ We answered it by reporting on two research letters in the New England Journal of Medicine. Health care workers in Southern California and Israeli hospital workers had dramatically lower rates of COVID-19 infections following vaccination. Health care workers are the most vulnerable, so these reports reinforce the value of vaccine protection.
Additional Proof of Vaccine Protection:
We know that some visitors to this website do not trust the vaccines against COVID-19. They don’t think the shots are very effective, and they worry about adverse reactions. We hope that the latest news from the front lines will be heartening.
This week, the CDC reports that health care personnel, first responders like EMTs and other essential workers got 90% protection two weeks after vaccination (MMWR, April 2, 2021).
Here are the exact conclusions from this research:
“Prospective cohorts of health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers over 13 weeks in eight U.S. locations confirmed that authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in real-world conditions. Vaccine effectiveness of full immunization with two doses of mRNA vaccines was 90% against RT-PCR–confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. These findings are consistent with those from the mRNA vaccines’ Phase III trials and recent observational studies of the mRNA vaccine effectiveness against severe COVID-19. The findings complement and expand upon these preceding reports by demonstrating that the vaccines can also reduce the risk for infection regardless of COVID-19–associated illness symptom status. Reducing the risk for transmissible infection, which can occur among persons with asymptomatic infection or among persons several days before symptoms onset, is especially important among health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers given their potential to transmit the virus through frequent close contact with patients and the public.”
Vaccine Protection Against Transmission!
In case your eyes glazed over with the CDC’s dry, technical language, let me reinforce the value of vaccine protection against transmission. During our early interviews with the “Coronavirus Hunter,” Dr. Ralph Baric and vaccine expert, Dr. Paul Offit, the biggest pending question was: will the vaccines prevent the transmission of the virus?
The clinical trials did not answer that question. Health experts were pretty sure that vaccine protection would prevent hospitalizations and serious illness.
There was still fear that vaccinated people could catch the virus. They might remain asymptomatic and still transmit SARS-CoV-2 to unprotected people. That fear has now been reduced, if not eliminated completely.
What About Vaccine Side Effects?
We are most impressed with a website called MedShadow.org. These folks provide practical information about medications. Their COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effect Tracker is unique. Here is a link.
The People’s Pharmacy Perspective:
Here are the conclusions from the CDC on vaccine protection:
“These interim vaccine effectiveness findings for both Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines in real-world conditions complement and expand upon the vaccine effectiveness estimates from other recent studies (3–5) and demonstrate that current vaccination efforts are resulting in substantial preventive benefits among working-age adults. They reinforce CDC’s recommendation of full 2-dose immunization with mRNA vaccines.”
Share Your Story:
Have you been vaccinated? How was the experience? Have you or anyone you know caught COVID after being vaccinated? Do you now feel protected? Have you experienced any serious side effects from the vaccine? Others would love to read your story in the comment section below.