Study Shows First Covid-19 Dose Lowering Transmission, Hospi
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Data from two separate studies published in the UK, have shown vaccines against Covid-19 are effective in cutting disease transmission and hospitalisations from the first dose. Analysis from Public Health England has shown the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech reduces the risk of catching infection by more than 70 percent after a first dose. That risk is reduced by 85 percent after a second dose.

The public health body's study of real-world data also showed vaccinated people who go on to become infected are far less likely to die or be hospitalised. Hospitalisation and death from Covid-19 are reduced by over 75 percent 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 coronavirus," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

'National evidence'

At the same time, a study in Scotland has shown the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations have led to a reduction in Covid-19 admissions to hospitals after a first dose. The study found that by the fourth week after receiving the initial dose the Pfizer vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalisation from Covid by up to 85 percent.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the risk by 94 percent. "These results are very encouraging and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future," Professor Aziz Sheikh, who lead the research, said in a statement.

The research compared the outcomes of those who had received their first jab with those who had not. It found that vaccination was associated with an 81-percent reduction in hospitalisation risk in the fourth week among those aged 80 years and over when the results for both vaccines were combined.

'Extremely promising'

The project, which used patient data to track the pandemic and the vaccine roll-out in real-time, analysed a dataset covering the entire Scottish population of 5.4 million between December 8 and February 15. Some 1.14 million vaccines were administered to 21 percent of the Scottish population during the period.

The Pfizer vaccine was received by 650,000 people in Scotland, while 490,000 had the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It is the first research to describe the effect of vaccinations on preventing severe illness resulting in hospitalisation across an entire country. The data reported "is extremely promising," said Arne Akbar, the president of the British Society for Immunology.

Source:
https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n523
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