COVID-19 Vaccine – Safety and Efficacy

Angie SzumlinskiStudies

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of COVID-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19. Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe COVID-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups. 

A two-dose regimen of BTN162b2 conferred 95% protection against COVID-19 in persons 16 years of age or older. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines. Sounds pretty convincing, doesn’t it? However we need to pause and remember, each individual has the right to refuse the vaccine, even if it is proven to be 95% effective and safe. Be sure you are keeping your biases to yourself, not “encouraging” or “discouraging” anyone but rather educating and allowing each resident and staff member to make their own, informed decision.

Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!