Real-world evidence shows that the COVID-19 vaccines work

Real-world evidence shows that the COVID-19 vaccines work

Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Three months after the United States’ COVID-19 vaccination campaign began, researchers are starting to collect data showing that the vaccines are just as good in the real world as they were in the clinical trials testing them. Recent studies have consistently shown that the vaccines don’t just protect against symptoms — they reduce the risk that someone will get infected with the coronavirus, a signal that they’ll reduce the spread of the virus, not just prevent sickness.

The Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines were both around 95 percent effective at protecting people against symptomatic COVID-19 in large trials. It was never guaranteed that they’d perform just as well when they were distributed to the general public. Despite the…

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