The six-month safety and efficacy data is in for the Pfizer vax. While we all await the larger readout from the full length of the phase III trials (due in 2023) this interim result is a much-needed peek at the trials.
The good news is that the vaccine seems to reduce ‘serious Covid’ as well as SARS2 infection. The bad news is that we can’t tell from the data at what rate the vaccinated are still getting and replicating the virus. The good news is that neither the vaccinated nor the unvaccinated were dying of Covid. Or it could be said they were dying at ~ the same rate. Out of 44,000+ total test subjects, just one vaccinated and two unvaccinated died of Covid. Overall 15 vaccinated and 14 unvaccinated people died…so almost exactly the same number in each arm.
Troublingly, the study failed to tell us much if anything about the disposition of some 262 vaccinated people who had “serious” adverse events. We don’t know how many recovered, how many hadn’t yet, or what the issues were. This is fully 0.5% above baseline, so it means roughly 0.5% of all vaccinated people are going to have a serious adverse event (SAE). Compare that to the 0.13% that had serious Covid and suddenly things get a little bit murkier. We cannot say which is a better or worse public health outcome; 0.5% with vaccine SAE’s or 0.13% with serious Covid.
The study didn’t provide nearly enough information to make such a determination. Which is a shame because good data goes a long way towards relieving fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).