Sunday, January 31, 2021

Very Brief Blog: COVID and "Number Needed to Vaccinate" NNV, per Death Avoided

In healthcare, we often talk about "number needed to treat," or NNT, per outcome obtained or event avoided.   (In diagnostics, the equivalent metric is "number needed to test," also NNT.

While I am sure experts vary in their calculations, see a tweet from former biopharma executive Dr. Thomas Wilckens (here), pointing to a new article by Prof. Hermann Brenner of Heidelberg on  number needed to vaccinate per death avoided in COVID - article here.  

He argues that NNV in COVID is as low as 8 in the institutionalized elderly, to 167, in relatively healthy 65-74 year olds, to 12,873 in the low risk population < 65.    He also calculates that 99% of deaths avoided are reached with 33% of population vaccinated (being older or higher risk).  

The paper is open access.