How effective does a COVID-19 vaccine need to be to stop the pandemic?

Published: Thursday, 27 August 2020 08:54

Researchers around the world are working hard to find a COVID-19 vaccine but how effective does a vaccine need to be to allow a return to normal life? A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine provides some insights.

In the study a computer simulation model found that if 75 percent of the population gets vaccinated, the vaccine has to have an efficacy (ability to protect against infection) of at least 70 percent to prevent an epidemic and at least 80 percent to extinguish an ongoing epidemic. If only 60 percent of the population gets vaccinated, the thresholds are even higher, around 80 percent to prevent an epidemic and 100 percent to extinguish an ongoing epidemic.

The investigators say the results of their study can provide targets for vaccine developers as well as shape expectations for policy makers, business leaders, and the general public.

Read the paper (PDF).