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covid-19 vaccines effectiveness

Updated COVID-19 vaccines have high effectiveness

Recent research indicates that updated COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against severe results like emergency room visits and hospitalizations among adults. Despite Omicron variants circulating, those vaccinated are significantly less likely to need medical attention if infected. Data underscores the importance of receiving the latest COVID vaccine for protection.

COVID vaccine booster effectiveness may wane quickly against Omicron

This pandemic just doesn’t give us much good news — research from the UK indicates that COVID-19 vaccine booster effectiveness may wane significantly at the 10-week mark post-vaccination. This may allow the Omicron variant to spread much further than originally hoped.

Before I explain the research, I want to make a few things very clear. First, this doesn’t mean the vaccine is ineffective, it is just that the immunity appears to wane more quickly than other vaccines. Second, this doesn’t mean that the vaccines are worthless — hospitalization and, more importantly, death rates are much lower in the vaccinated group. And finally, this is how science works — we accumulate data and then, after reviewing the data, change recommendations.

Let’s take a look at this new research and determine what it may mean for future vaccination efforts.

Read More »COVID vaccine booster effectiveness may wane quickly against Omicron
Gardasil effectiveness

Gardasil effectiveness – yes, HPV vaccine does protect you against cancer

Although I have no poll numbers sitting in front of me, and certainly no scientific peer-reviewed research, I just have a feeling that if you scratch the surface of an anti-vaccine activist, you will find that if they could hate one vaccine, it would be Gardasil. And one of the arguments will be all about Gardasil effectiveness – they claim it doesn’t actually prevent cancer.

When you couple their false claims about the dangers of the vaccine with the claims about the lack of Gardasil effectiveness, you’d probably agree with the anti-vaccine crowd. Despite these false claims, HPV vaccine uptake has slowly grown in the US and other countries.

I’ve written nearly 200 articles about the HPV cancer-preventing vaccine, but most of those are focused on debunking myths and confirming the safety of the vaccine. I’m going to focus on a quick primer about Gardasil effectiveness in preventing cancer. Stay tuned for some interesting science.Read More »Gardasil effectiveness – yes, HPV vaccine does protect you against cancer

childhood vaccine effectiveness

Childhood vaccine effectiveness – easy to use table

Too often we hear those opposing vaccines claim modern vaccines do not work. Sometimes, that claim is based on the fact that in some outbreaks, higher numbers of absolute cases are vaccinated. That’s a common mistake, based on misunderstanding of how the fact that most people are vaccinated affects us, and how we can misinterpret childhood vaccine effectiveness by ignoring the incidence rate.

In reality, we can easily see that modern vaccines are very effective because in terms of rates, the rates of diseases are dramatically higher among the unvaccinated (pdf).

But it can be helpful to look at the actual numbers. The fact is that most of the vaccines we give our children are more than 90% effective at protecting against disease. That is very high.

This provides the rates of childhood vaccine effectiveness of the childhood immunization schedule (see Notes 1 and 2). Effectiveness, discussed here, refers to the vaccine’s ability to prevent the outcome – disease or severe disease – in real world conditions (as opposed to efficacy which means reduction of disease in clinical trial conditions).

The numbers are based on the studies examined in detail in the recent edition of the professional text book: Vaccines (Stanley A. Plotkin, Walter A. Orenstein and Paul A. Offit, eds., 6th ed. 2013). Dr. Paul Offit kindly provided additional information, correction and guidance in interpreting some of the data.Read More »Childhood vaccine effectiveness – easy to use table