The varying “effectiveness” rates miss the most important point: The vaccines were all 100% effective in the vaccine trials in stopping hospitalizations and death.Waiting for a more effective vaccine is actually the worst thing you can do to lower your risk of getting severely ill and dying of COVID-19.

We do not vaccinate to prevent a minor case of the sniffles. The reason we have vaccines is to prevent severe disease and death caused by infections. The polio vaccine prevents paralysis. The measles vaccine prevents pneumonia, brain infections and blindness. Annual influenza vaccines prevent pneumonia, sepsis and heart attacks. If COVID-19 only caused a cold, we would not have bothered to develop vaccines for it. While there are many mild cases of COVID-19, about a fifth of infections result in severe disease, and nearly 1% of infected people die. For older people and those with underlying health problems, the risk of death can be anywhere from 10 to several hundred times higher.

All seven COVID-19 vaccines that have completed large efficacy trials — Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Sinovac — appear to be 100% effective for serious complications. Not one vaccinated person has gotten sick enough to require hospitalization. Not a single vaccinated person has died of COVID-19.