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If a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is administered to at least 10M people by 2024, what will its efficacy rate be?

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is a novel betacoronavirus that likely emerged late last year from an animal reservoir in China. There is little to no pre-existing immunity against it in the human population. The clinical picture for the disease it causes, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), ranges from very mild to fatal. The virus is highly transmissible and has spread globally.

As of 20 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting that it is tracking the development of forty-four SARS-CoV-2 candidate vaccines. Two of these candidates have entered phase one and the other forty-two remain in the pre-clinical stage. There is an urgent need to determine when the first of these candidates will have been found to have a high degree of efficacy and will have been administered to a significant number of people.

The WHO defines vaccine efficacy as follows:

Vaccine efficacy: % reduction in disease incidence in a vaccinated group compared to an unvaccinated group under optimal conditions

If a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is administered to at least 10M people by 2024, what will its efficacy rate be?

This question resolves as the median efficacy rate across all subjects of top three most cited RCTs for the relevant vaccine candidate available through Google scholar, of the vaccine candidate that is first administered to at least 10M people.

Further details:

  • Qualifying RCTs must have at least 100 subjects in the relevant part of the study
  • Fewer than three studies may be considered, if three are not available
  • Details about the number of people having had administered a vaccine should be reported in credible media or academic literature

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