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COVID vaccines: how to make sense of reports on their effectiveness

By Mark Toshner, Lecturer in Translational Respiratory Medicine, University of Cambridge
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As a middling but competent clinician-scientist, I feel desperately sorry for the general public trying to make head or tail of some of the scientific discussions on the pandemic right now.

Science is being done, disseminated, argued about – sometimes peer-reviewed if we are lucky – and then immediately rewritten days later. Even with some experience, it’s hard to keep up. Data and reports come thick and fast, with little time to assess what they really mean.

One particularly fast-moving topic at the moment is vaccine efficacy. The emerging data from vaccination programmes…

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