Vaccine table update: Feb 28, 2021

This is starting to get complicated

An update on our vaccine table. The peach color represents new information since my last update.

A few important notes:

  • We naturally want to compare efficacy rates of symptomatic infection across different vaccines. However, I urge you not to do this because it’s like comparing apples to oranges; they are very different trials. Instead, I urge you to compare the rates for severe COVID19 (disease, hospitalizations, and deaths). This is the important stuff.

  • Regarding neutralizing antibodies (because this comes up every time): We do not have “real world” efficacy studies of Pfizer and Moderna against B.1.351. We only have petri dish studies, which can only assess the impact of the new variant on neutralizing antibodies. The number of neutralizing antibodies does NOT easily translate to efficacy. It’s likely the vaccines’ efficacy is reduced “a little” but not “a lot”. Also, the Pfizer and Moderna studies were different types of petri dish studies, so the neutralizing antibody numbers are not comparable between the two.

  • AstraZeneca 65+: I’m getting a lot of questions about this from international followers. Check out the footnote (and link in the Data Sources below) for more information.

Love, YLE

Data Sources:

Special thank you: This is starting to get confusing so I consulted with an amazing YLE follower who also happens to work in the vaccine division at the National Institute of Health. This is the most up to date information we have. I also want to thank her for helping me think through additional rows that should be added.