Take a look at what the massive RECoVaM study revealed about just how well COVID-19 vaccines work!
RECoVaM Study : What Is It?
The RECoVaM (Real-world Evaluation of Covid-19 Vaccines in Malaysia) is a large study conducted by the Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) under the Malaysia Ministry of Health.
It was conducted from 1 April until 12 September 2021, involving just over 14.5 million fully-vaccinated individuals in Malaysia, out of an estimated population of 32.7 million.
This is not only a massive study, it is an important one because it gives us a good idea of HOW WELL the three vaccines used in the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) were working.
Let’s take a look at the results…
RECoVaM Study : The Good News
The good news is that the RECoVaM study showed that the COVID-19 vaccines have greatly protected fully-vaccinated individuals.
Here is a general summary from the peer-reviewed paper – PICK-ing Malaysia’s Epidemic Apart: Effectiveness of a Diverse COVID-19 Vaccine Portfolio :
- Full vaccination was 88% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections
- Full vaccination was 86% effective in preventing symptomatic infections
- 83% effective in preventing ICU admissions
- 88% effective in preventing deaths
- 50.4% of fully-vaccinated individuals admitted to ICU was 60 and above in age
- 88.6% of fully-vaccinated individuals admitted to the ICU had co-morbidities
- 76.3% of fully-vaccinated individuals who died was 60 and above in age
- 92.0% of fully-vaccinated individuals who died had co-morbidities
COVID-19 Vaccines Prevented A LOT Of ICU Admissions
COVID-19 vaccines are just self-defence classes for our immune system, but not everyone’s immune system can learn well enough to defend itself.
So even fully-vaccinated people can get infected and some will end up in the ICU. But the RECoVaM data showed the COVID-19 vaccines prevented A LOT of ICU admissions.
Using a subset of the RECoVaM data involving 1.28 million participants, I created this pie chart to show you the distribution of ICU admissions.
As you can see, unvaccinated people or partially-vaccinated people constitute the VAST MAJORITY of ICU admissions – 94%!
During the study period, approximately 44% of the population was partially-vaccinated before becoming fully-vaccinated. Yet they only accounted for just 6% of ICU admissions.
This shows just how effective the COVID-19 vaccines were in preventing ICU admissions.
COVID-19 Vaccines Prevented A LOT Of Deaths
Fully vaccinated people can also die from COVID-19. But the RECoVaM data showed that the COVID-19 vaccines prevented A LOT of deaths.
Using RECoVaM data and mortality data from the Ministry of Health, I created this pie chart to show you the distribution of COVID-19 deaths.
As you can see, unvaccinated people or partially-vaccinated people constitute the VAST MAJORITY of COVID-19 deaths – 91.5%!
During the study period, approximately 44% of the population was partially-vaccinated before becoming fully-vaccinated. Yet they only accounted for just 8.5% of COVID-19 deaths.
This shows just how effective the COVID-19 vaccines were in preventing COVID-19 deaths.
Even Sinovac CoronaVac Prevented A LOT Of Deaths
The Sinovac vaccine was obviously the least effective at preventing death, but even it greatly cut the risk of dying from COVID-19.
And how do I know that?
Take a look at this table I created to show you just how effective each vaccine was in preventing death, compared to the unvaccinated population.
- cut risk of death by 92.5%
- unvaccinated are 13.3x more likely to die
- cut risk of death by 98.3%
- unvaccinated are 59.3x more likely to die
- cut risk of death by 99.9%
- unvaccinated are 1,368x more likely to die
There is no doubt that taking ANY vaccine would GREATLY cut down your risk of dying from COVID-19.
That is why I wrote earlier this year that COVID-19 vaccine efficacy does not matter as much as its protection against DEATH.
Read more : Why COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Does NOT Matter!
RECoVaM Study : The Bad News
COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against COVID-19 infection by triggering our immune system to produce neutralising antibodies. However, antibody levels naturally drop over time.
The RECoVaM study showed that protection against COVID-19 infection wanes 3-5 months after vaccination. This is particularly a problem for Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines.
However, I should point out that while getting protected from an infection is what everyone hopes for, it is far more important that the vaccine protects us from developing severe COVID-19 or dying from it.
In that respect, Pfizer’s protection against COVID-19 infection wanes within 3-5 months, but it still offers great protection against ICU admissions and excellent protection against death.
The Sinovac vaccine though was shown to offer very little protection against COVID-19 infection and ICU admission after just two months or so…
That is why Malaysia is now offering a FREE Pfizer booster dose for Sinovac vaccine recipients, just three months after receiving Dose 2.
The Pfizer booster dose will give Sinovac vaccine recipients a much needed boost in protection, bringing it up to par with those who were fortunate enough to get vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer.
So please look out for your booster dose notification, and make sure you get it ASAP!
And I recommend that you get the Pfizer booster dose right now, instead of waiting for a third dose of the Sinovac vaccine.
That doesn’t mean that if you received other vaccines, you do not need a booster dose.
The waning effectiveness against COVID-19 infections and serious illness mean that EVERYONE should get a booster dose. You just don’t need them as early as Sinovac recipients.
Getting a booster dose will quickly restore your protection against COVID-19. So please get your booster dose as soon as you are eligible!
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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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