| 19 May 2024, Sunday |

AstraZeneca dose reduces risk of death by 80 percent

Data released by Public Health England revealed that one dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduces the risk of death from Covid-19 by up to 80 percent.

Another PHE study issued on Monday showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech shot cut the risk of death by 97 percent after two doses.

The findings show the significant effects that vaccines have on reducing mortality and admission to hospital, particularly in the elderly.

PHE examined symptomatic cases between December and April and people who died within 28 days of a positive test.

People who had a single dose of the AstraZeneca drug were 55 percent protected against death, with a figure of 44 percent protection for a single dose of Pfizer, compared to unvaccinated people.

“Combined with the protection vaccines offer against becoming a case in the first place, this is equivalent to approximately 80 percent protection against mortality in individuals vaccinated with a single dose of either vaccine,” PHE said.

Protection against mortality from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine improved to 69 per cent for cases who had their second dose at least a week before they tested positive.

Combined with the estimated protection from getting Covid-19 to start with, this is equivalent to an estimated 97 per cent protection, PHE said.

The clinical results give a further boost to the UK’s vaccination campaign, which has already delivered 53 million shots to more than 35 million people.

Health authorities in England are urging people to get immunised after the release of the PHE study.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the news as “life-changing”.

“The evidence is clear that vaccines provide significant layers of protection against this awful disease,” he said. “People across the country can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their risk of becoming seriously ill or admitted to hospital with the virus is significantly reduced after being vaccinated.

“This news will be life-changing for many people who have worried about the devastating impact of this virus, either to themselves or a loved one.

“The vaccine is saving thousands of lives and giving us hope on our road to recovery. When the time comes to get your jab, please join the tens of millions of people who are now benefitting from this vital protection.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson on Monday announced further unwinding of restrictions in England, including the indoor service in restaurants and pubs and the reopening of museums, theatres and cinemas.

The prime minister also announced that people in England can hug friends and family who don’t live with them.

  • The National News