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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 101

COVID-19 vaccine: From dream to reality

Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Gerash University of Medical Sciences, Gerash, Iran

Date of Submission09-Dec-2021
Date of Acceptance16-Dec-2021
Date of Web Publication27-Jul-2023

Correspondence Address:
Masoud Mohammadi
Gerash University of Medical Sciences, Imam Hossein Blvd, Daneshjoo Blvd, Gerash, Fars
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.ijpvm_506_21

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How to cite this article:
Mohammadi M. COVID-19 vaccine: From dream to reality. Int J Prev Med 2023;14:101

How to cite this URL:
Mohammadi M. COVID-19 vaccine: From dream to reality. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Sep 27];14:101. Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2023/14/1/101/382449

Dear Editor,

It has been a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the emergence of a new virus in December 2019 following the outbreak of the severe respiratory disease in China. Subsequently, the virus causing the pandemic was called COVID-19.[1],[2] According to a report by the WHO on December 8, 2021, approximately, 2 years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has infected more than 266 million people and killed more than 5 million people worldwide.[3]

Due to the high number of cases, relatively high mortality rate, and other impacts of the virus and the associated crises caused by this disease, over the past year, all researchers' efforts globally have been put into discovering a suitable vaccine for COVID-19. The results of such researchwork finally led to the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine by the American company of Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech; this vaccine received the necessary licenses and approval from the US Food and Drug Administration as the first vaccine against this disease. Almost at the same time, another American firm, Moderna, announced the discovery of a similar vaccine, and received the necessary approval as the second COVID-19vaccine.[4]

The Pfizer-Biotech vaccine (referred to as BNT162b2) and the modern mRNA-based vaccine both use fat nanoparticles to deliver part of the genetic code in the form of mRNA from the Coronavirus into human cells. In addition, both of these vaccines, that is, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, require two injections at intervals of 21 days and 28 days, respectively. The only information that has been reported so far about the effectiveness of these vaccines is that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have 95% and 94.5% effectiveness rates, respectively.[4]

It seems practically meaningless to only report a single numerical index (effectiveness) for such vaccines, since no supplementary information has been provided about the performance of the vaccines. Moreover, what has been reported about the demographic combination in the clinical trial phases itself raises further doubts.

We can consider a vaccine effective when we are able to provide other important measures and ask the right relevant questions: Absolute Risk Reduction, that is, how many people will not get the disease by vaccinating and reducing the risk factor? Number Needed to Treat, that is, how many people need to be treated to reduce one death? Number Needed for Harm, that is, how many people should be treated to report a vaccine-related complication?

Therefore, despite that the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccines is a significant achievement for the global health, hasty decisions to distribute and offer the vaccines, based on a single numerical indicator (effectiveness), cannot assure their success. Therefore, it is necessary and logical to offer the vaccines after gaining sufficient information about their performances and obtaining clear answers to the questions raised earlier. Nonetheless, other scientifically approved health protocols, until the final confirmation of the effectiveness of vaccines, should not be neglected within the communities.


MM contributed to the design, prepared the manuscript.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, Ren L, Zhao J, Hu Y, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet 2020;395:497-506.  Back to cited text no. 1
Xu Z, Shi L, Wang Y, Zhang J, Huang L, Zhang C, et al. Pathological findings of COVID-19 associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Lancet Respir Med 2020;8:420-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard, available at: https://covid19.who.int/ [Last accessed on 2022 Jul 11].  Back to cited text no. 3
Centres for disease control and prevention (CDC). Available form: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html. [Last accessed on 2020 Dec 22].  Back to cited text no. 4


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