TAMPA, Fla. — As millions of people around the United States continue to get vaccinated, there is more good news coming in for those who have already taken their shots. The vaccine's efficacy is strong.
“We vaccinated about 45% of our population with at least one shot, and 38% of the population has had both shots,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, a distinguished professor at the USF College of Public health.
By now, we’re starting to see whether the vaccines are working and Dr. Unnasch said a recent CDC report is extremely promising.
“This is really good news, it really says that this vaccine is literally the most effective vaccine that’s ever been developed since Edward Jenner put cowpox in the milkmaid back in the 17 century,” he said.
The CDC says of the 101 million fully vaccinated people in the U.S. from January until the end of April, about 10,000 got infected with COVID-19.
Of those, 27% of them were asymptomatic and 2% of them died.
That makes up a very small percentage of the 355,000 COVID-19 cases in that timeframe.
It means the vaccine is doing what it was intended to do. And after crunching the numbers, Dr. Unnasch says it’s 99% effective.
“So, all of those people who were sitting back and saying well the clinical trials may not affect what’s going on in the real world were right,” he said. “In fact, it’s even better in real life than it was in clinical.”
He said people who haven’t been vaccinated yet shouldn’t worry about side effects, because there haven’t been any reported. Unnasch indicated the government went all-in on developing this vaccine quickly, which isn’t normally the pace new vaccines are produced at. He says that’s why we saw a vaccine when we did.
“They basically gambled everything on the roulette table and threw a whole bunch of money and did things they normally would wait for all at once,” he said. “This is really a miracle. What can I say.”
He hopes this news encourages more people to feel confident in getting the vaccine.
“I had predicted that we were going to be completely done by July 4, but because people have slowed up on getting the vaccines I’m predicting by August 1,” he said.
He says overall infection rates will decline even more as more people get vaccinated.