By Jean-Louis Montastruc, published July 11, 2021 in Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology


Several vaccines are being developed as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of clinical trials for these vaccines were published with efficacy values of more than 90%, using mainly relative risk (RR). In this paper, we decided to reanalyse the data using the different validated methods of risk expression. Using main publications, absolute risks (AR), AR reduction (ARR), number needed to treat (NNT) were calculated for five COVID-19 vaccines (tozinameran Comirnaty®, Moderna, Vaxzevria®, Janssen, and Sputnik V vaccines). AR, ARR, NNT, and RR values varied according to COVID-19 vaccines. The order of the different vaccines was not the same according to the chosen efficacy parameters. This is a further example of the need to express results of clinical trials, using not only RR, but also AR, ARR, and NNT in order to clearly present the clinical interest of drugs.

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