Doctors: Stop focusing on efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine

As COVID-19 vaccines come on the market, there's a lot of talk about their effectiveness. However, health experts say that shouldn't be the main focus.

Instead of fixating on their efficacy, they say we should focus on hospitalizations and deaths.

"It really doesn’t matter which one you got, it just matters that you got one of them," said Dr. David Hilden of Hennepin Healthcare.

Dr. Hilden says the main goal of the vaccine is not necessarily to wipe coronavirus off the map, but to make it survivable.

"This vaccine will not prevent many of us from getting low level infections," said Hilden. "It may not prevent us from getting asymptomatic infections, but it will dramatically reduce the number of people who get seriously ill and dramatically reduce the number of people that will die."

In trials of the top five COVID-19 vaccines, there was not a single death and very few hospitalizations.

The Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Regions Hospital, Dr. Greg Siwek, points out that’s better than most flu shots. 

"The numbers that we’re seeing are better than what we’re used to with our typical annual flu vaccinations which sometimes can be 50 percent," said Dr. Siwek.

By that measure, he says all of the COVID-19 vaccines look very good.