ROCHESTER, Minn. - Three different COVID-19 vaccines are now available but there’s been some debate over which one is the most effective. Medical experts are suggesting it’s too son to tell.
Mayo Clinic says there may be some confusion over the effectiveness versus the efficacy of the vaccines.
Co-director of Mayo Clinics vaccine research group Rick Kennedy says while seemingly similar they’re actually not the same thing.
The efficacy refers to the capacity to produce an effect, such as lowering blood pressure. However, when measuring efficacy it’s done in a controlled environment under expert supervision such as a controlled clinical trial.
Kennedy says this differs from effectiveness which takes into account the real-world use of a drug.
He says with the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines being so new it’s too soon to tell how effective each one is in real-world us.
That’s why the efficacy, or clinical trial results, are being used instead.
Kennedy says at the end of the day all vaccines available have preformed better than expected and are better than no vaccine at all.
He explained, “The only numbers we have to look at are the efficacy. I wouldn't be too worried about 66% versus 95% versus 75% or 80%. The fact is they all work very well and they're all better than no vaccine. Much, much better than no vaccine.”
Pfizer has 95% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in those without prior infection and Moderna is similar.
Johnson & Johnson has 72% efficacy but 86% efficacy against severe disease.
Mayo Clinic does say all vaccines underwent clinical trials with different strains of COVID-19 and each require different doses which makes comparing them difficult as well.