For now, decline or increase in cases of coronavirus is not a good measure of efficacy, say scientists are developing ways to verify progress
People from the U.K. On Monday, they will receive their first Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine shots, with millions of doses to be given over the next few months. The U.K. Mass Vaccination The population is meant to bring an end to the Covid 19 malaise in the world, but how long will it take for this vaccination campaign to make a difference in our lives, and what will be the first signs that salvation is on the way?
These key issues are being watched eagerly as the fight against Covid continues and new cases are piling up every day with the new viral version. However, scientists have cautioned that merely waiting for a decline in new cases is not the best way to assess whether the vaccine is beginning to work.
Professor Adam Finn of the University of Bristol stressed this point. “We could see a big drop in the number of cases in February,” he told the Observer. That would be good news, but if the decline was due to the vaccine, the prohibition measures, or any other cause, we would not know.
Conversely, in February and March, case numbers might go up, and you could come to the wrong conclusion that the vaccine is not effective, when the rise is simply due to other causes, and if we had not vaccinated, the increase in daily cases would have been much greater.
“So looking at overall trends will not give us answers in the short term. Of course, we expect the vaccine to have an effect, but we need to be smart about finding the early signals that it’s working.”
At the University of Bristol, one of the programs intended to provide the first proof of the positive effects of the national vaccine program includes cases of pneumonia.
Doctors will equate individuals who have pneumonia and test positive for Covid-19 with patients who have pneumonia, but test negative for the virus, in a case-control analysis.
“Then we will measure vaccination rates within those two groups,” Finn said. That will help us to measure how safe the vaccines are, so you will expect those who are not vaccinated to be a much greater proportion of the people who get sick.
That will give us a very fast indication of the efficacy of the vaccine.
This time of year, locating cases of pneumonia to compare won’t be the issue. In the winter, there is still plenty of that.
The Bristol pneumonia research and other related trials can provide the first indications that the UK is on the right track and the vaccine is starting to make a difference. The next signal will come when the number of hospitalizations and deaths slowly decreases to a level where scientists can be assured that it is a Covid 19 vaccine that shows real results and that there are no other factors
The UK will then know how successful its vaccination policy has been. That should resolve a controversy that has led some doctors and scientists to challenge the UK’s decision to postpone administration of the second dose of the Covid 19 vaccine to increase the number of people who can be easily vaccinated against the disease, including leading U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
On Friday, Fauci told CNN that while “make the argument” for stretching out the doses is feasible, he is not in favor of doing so.
Professor Martin Hibberd of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reiterated that opinion, saying, “The scientific outcomes of the vaccine trials have been at a very high level, and it is very frustrating that this is now being ignored.” We don’t know how the vaccine will work between injections with more time, and we don’t know how protective a single injection will work in the long run.
Why take the chance, then? ”
However, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, and his colleagues are standing by their decision to postpone the second dose to ensure that more patients will receive their first dose as soon as possible.
And Professor Stephen Evans, also of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, supported that view: “We have a crisis situation in the U.K.” With a new version that is rapidly spreading