Efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines: From clinical trials to real life

Therapie. 2021 Jul-Aug;76(4):277-283. doi: 10.1016/j.therap.2021.05.004. Epub 2021 May 12.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread around the globe leading to the COVID-19 pandemic. To mitigate the effects of the virus on public health and the global economy, vaccines were rapidly developed. In less than one year, with respect to usual clinical development rules, several vaccines have been put on the market and mass vaccination campaigns have been deployed. During the phase I to phase III clinical trials, most of these vaccines have demonstrated both their safety and efficacy. Despite questions remain about the impact of virus variants and the duration of the immune response, messenger RNA (mRNA)-based and adenoviral vectored vaccines have demonstrated an overall efficacy from 70 to 95% in both phase III trials and real life. In addition, all these vaccines also reduce the severe forms of the disease and might strongly impact the mortality which could change the course of the pandemic.

Keywords: Adenoviral vector; COVID-19; Clinical trials; Efficacy; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccine; mRNA.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / immunology*
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • COVID-19 Vaccines