For almost an entire year now, all eyes have been focusing on research to find a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19. What are these clinical trials really measuring?
Peter Doshi of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports that the current Phase III vaccine trials are not inherently designed to prove the two things that an antiviral vaccine is supposed to do. First, it should “reduce the likelihood you will get severely ill and go to the hospital” and secondly, it must “prevent infection and therefore interrupt disease transmission.”
Nevertheless, none of the current Phase III trials are set up to detect reductions in serious outcomes, including the number of hospital admissions, the use or necessity of intensive care, or deaths. The vaccines are also not being studied to see if they can interrupt the transmission of the virus.
So what are the current vaccines really doing? Read more from the BMJ here.