Jabs effective in preventing severe Covid-19 cases among seniors
PARIS: Vaccination is highly effective at preventing severe cases of Covid-19 among older people, even against the Delta variant, a vast study in France has shown.
The research published yesterday - focusing on prevention of severe Covid-19 and death, not infection - looked at 22 million people over 50 and found those who had received jabs were 90 per cent less likely to be hospitalised or die.
The results confirm observations from the US, Britain and Israel, but researchers say it is the largest study of its kind so far.
Looking at data collected starting in December last year, when France launched its vaccination campaign, researchers compared the outcomes of 11 million vaccinated people with 11 million who were unvaccinated.
They formed pairs matching an unvaccinated individual with a vaccinated counterpart from the same region and of the same age and sex, tracking them from the date of the vaccinated person's second jab to July 20.
Starting 14 days after a second dose, a vaccinated subject's risk of severe Covid-19 was reduced by 90 per cent, according to the research conducted by Epi-Phare, an independent medicines safety research group that works with the French government.
Vaccination appears to be nearly as effective against the Delta variant, with 84 per cent protection for people 75 and older and 92 per cent for people aged 50 to 75.
That estimate, however, is based only on a month of data, since the variant became dominant in France only in June.
"The study should be followed up to include results from August and September," said epidemiologist Mahmoud Zureik, the head of Epi-Phare.
The study covers vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca jabs, but not Johnson & Johnson, which was authorised much later and is far less widely used in France.
The results also suggest that over the period of study - up to five months - vaccination protection against severe Covid-19 did not diminish. - AFP