An 'effective' coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine is not going to stop people from getting sick and dying, scientists have given a warning. They stated that trials being carried out by the world's leading pharmaceutical companies are not strong enough to make sure the jab will save lives, as per reports.
Many vaccines have entered the advanced stage of testing, which is known as 'phase three' and it could be declared effective in the coming future. But the trials are only probing mild cases and not whether it is going to help the most vulnerable, as per a report by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
The associate editor of BMJ Dr. Peter Doshi said, "None of the trials currently underway are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospitalizations, intensive care use, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus," as reported by the Mirror.
Vaccine Might Not Save People From Falling Sick
The vaccines are getting trialed by a few of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna. People who are taking part in the trails only have mild symptoms, which means that they tested positive for the disease and have a cough, the researchers found.
"Part of the reason may be numbered. Because most people with symptomatic Covid-19 infections experience only mild symptoms, even trials involving 30,000 or more patients would turn up relatively few cases of severe disease," the doctor added.
The vaccine manufacturers have not done much to eliminate the public opinion that an effective vaccine can put an end to the pandemic, the researchers said. Moderna has described hospitalization as a 'key secondary endpoint' but the trial does not have the statistical prowess for assessing it, the chief medical official of the company Dr. Tal Zacks said.
Doshi mentioned that hospitalization and deaths due to coronavirus are simply very uncommon in the population being researched for an efficient vaccine for demonstrating statistically significant differences in a trial of 30,000 people."The same is true regarding whether it can save lives or prevent transmission: the trials are not designed to find out," the doctor said.
Zacks confirmed that the size and duration needed to be increased to prove the vaccine actually prevents hospitalization. "Neither of these I think are acceptable in the current public need for knowing expeditiously that a vaccine works. Moderna's trial is designed to find out if the vaccine can prevent Covid-19 disease. Influenza vaccines protect against severe disease better than mild disease," Zacks stated.
A vaccine is going to hailed as effective if it reduced the chances of developing lab-confirmed coronavirus among 30 percent of the participants. The researchers have also found out that few trials were conducted on the effect of the vaccine on elderly people. All hopes are now riding on the pharmaceutical companies as the people around the world are looking forward to them putting an end to the pandemic. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.