A drug expert says that the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials are designed only to show if the vaccine can prevent infection.
We’ll all need a COVID-19 vaccine in the future. However, these vaccines are not a miracle drug. On Wednesday, a drug expert said that current vaccine trials wouldn’t show if it will save lives. These tests also can’t show us if the drugs can prevent serious illness.
Testing COVID-19 Vaccines
In a CNN report, Peter Doshi said that vaccine trials only show if the drugs can prevent infection. Moreover, he adds that most infections are mild. Doshi is a drug development specialist at the school of pharmacy at the University of Maryland.
Doshi’s comments appeared in the BMJ. In his article, Doshi said the ongoing trials could not show if the drug can reduce hospital admissions. They also can’t show if the vaccine can lower the death tolls. Moreover, the tests can’t show if the drug can interrupt viral transmission.
Phase 3 Vaccine Trials
In the US, four vaccines are already in Phase 3 trials. These vaccines came from these companies: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Doshi adds that these trials will go on until the virus infects a certain number of volunteers. The vaccine succeeds if the virus infects more people who got the placebo shots.
However, Doshi stresses that these results don’t mean the vaccine saved people from severe illness or death.
Hopes for a Vaccine
Doshi says that people assume vaccines would prevent COVID-19 from sending them to the hospital. Moreover, they also believe that the vaccine would protect them from death. However, current trials only involve infections. Only more tests can show if the vaccine can save lives or stop severe illness.