Health officials continued collecting data on safety and efficacy, even after mRNA vaccines were widely available. This huge data set helped guide decisions—for health experts and individuals alike.
Looking to the data is especially helpful when individual outcomes—like who gets seriously ill from COVID—appear varied and unpredictable. You can learn about population level trends, or break down statistics by age, gender, and health status to get more personalized information. The analyses
can help inform big picture policies that promote health and prevent disease. They can also help individuals understand what to expect from their
decisions about vaccination.
The population-level graphs here show that the COVID-19 vaccines held up to real world use. Looking at the different outcomes for vaccinated versus unvaccinated people, the conclusion is clear. An mRNA vaccine could save your life.
Large data sets are powerful for detecting very rare events, too. In the fall and winter of 2021, the chance of a vaccinated person dying from COVID-19 was very low. For those with a booster shot, the death rate was near zero. This value is low enough that a small data set could miss it. But because
there's so much data, it not only measures these rare deaths, it also sheds light on why they happened. That's an important step in prevention.
As everyone who experienced the COVID-19 pandemic knows, circumstances changed quickly. Infection levels fluctuated with the seasons, new variants surged, and vaccination rates increased. These graphs, too, tell the story of what happened as the pandemic changed over time. Tracking data this way
can help us make sense of new situations that arise. For example, when new variants emerged after the vaccines were developed, many people wondered if
their shots would hold up. And they did—the death rate for the vaccinated remained very low. Sadly, the difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated
became even bigger when highly contagious forms of the virus were circulating.
Want to explore the data on your own? Click through the slides!