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Covid-19 vaccines cut infections, hospitalisations: Two UK studies

UK analysis shows they reduce risk of infection by more than 75 per cent

EDINBURGH: Data from two studies published on Monday, one in England and another in Scotland, have shown vaccines against Covid-19 are effective in cutting transmission and hospitalisations from the first dose.

Analysis from Public Health England has shown the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech reduces the risk of infection by more than 75 per cent after a first dose. That risk is reduced by 85 per cent after a second dose.

The study of real-world data also showed vaccinated people who become infected are far less likely to die or be hospitalised.

Hospitalisation and death from Covid-19 is reduced by more than 75 per cent in those who have received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to the analysis.

"This crucial report shows vaccines are working - it is extremely encouraging to see evidence that the Pfizer vaccine offers a high degree of protection against the coronavirus," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

Britain is one of the hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 120,757 deaths. It began mass vaccinations in December and more than 17 million people have now received at least a first vaccine dose - one-third of the adult population.

"We will see much more data over the coming weeks and months, but we should be very encouraged by these initial findings," Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said.

REDUCTION

At the same time, a study in Scotland has shown the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations have led to a reduction in admissions to hospitals after a first dose.

The study, led by the University of Edinburgh, found that by the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalisation by up to 85 per cent. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the risk by 94 per cent.

Professor Aziz Sheikh, who lead the research, said in a statement: "We now have national evidence - across an entire country - that vaccination provides protection against Covid-19 hospitalisations."

Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration said it believes vaccines from PfizerBioNTech and Moderna are effective against variants currently circulating in the US.

But acting chief Janet Woodcock said drugmakers should not wait until a mutated virus is demonstrated to be able to escape the vaccines before developing new versions. - AFP, REUTERS

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