Single Dose Of Pfizer Shot Gives Two-thirds Protection, Data
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Early findings from the U.K.’s vaccination program, show that the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduced the symptomatic infection risk among patients by 65% in younger adults and 64% in over-80s, a person familiar with the matter said.

The data showed that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine saw protection rise to between 79% and 84%, depending on age. While efficacy results are lower than those found in Pfizer’s clinical trials, Boris Johnson’s government is likely to hail the U.K.’s first real-world data as a significant boost to its efforts to immunize the population.

More than 12.6 million people in the U.K. have so far received their first doses of either the Pfizer shot or the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which includes more than 90% of the over-80s. But while the U.K.’s vaccine rollout is one of the most advanced in the world, the one big doubt is whether the shots will remain effective against new strains of coronavirus.

This week Johnson led efforts to reassure the public that vaccines will still work to prevent the most severe illness and death from the South Africa variant. Some scientists are concerned that the strain is far more widespread in the U.K. and could derail the plan to lift restrictions.

Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the early results were quite amazing and he believed gradual lifting of the curbs would be possible, starting with schools from early March. “If these numbers are borne out, then they are very reassuring," Hunter told. “If they are achieving 65% protection after three weeks with both jabs, then I think that’s really good."

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