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First dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces COVID-19 infection risk by 70%

COVID-19 vaccines are also reducing risk of hospitalisation

New real-world data from the UK has found a significant decrease in COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers who have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The data, analysed by Public Health England (PHE), shows that one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of infection by more than 70%, and by 95% after the second dose is administered.

In addition, PHE’s analysis of routine testing data showed that, in people aged 80 years and over, one dose of the vaccine is 57% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 disease.

On top of that, early data also suggests that a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab in over 80s increases protection against symptomatic COVID-19 to over 85%.

PHE reported that the data suggests that those who have been vaccinated and go on to become infected with COVID-19 are less likely to die or become hospitalised.

It also found that COVID-19-associated hospitalisation and death is reduced by over 75% in people who have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The risk of death in people aged over 80 years was also reported as less than half (56%) in vaccinated cases compared to unvaccinated cases, 14 days after receiving the first dose.

The early findings come from the SIREN study, which involves a sample of healthcare workers who are undertaking symptom questionnaires, respiratory swabs and serum samples.

“This is strong evidence that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is stopping people from getting infected, while also protecting against hospitalisation and death. We will see much more data over the coming weeks and months but we should be very encouraged by these initial findings,” said Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE.

“But protection is not complete, and we don’t yet know how much these vaccines will reduce the risk of you passing COVID-19 onto others,” she added.

PHE is also looking at the real-world impact of the AstraZeneca(AZ)/Oxford University vaccine, with findings expected to be published in ‘due course’.

Another study, conducted in Scotland by the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, found that by the fourth week after receiving the first dose, the Pfizer/BioNTech and AZ/Oxford vaccines reduced the risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19 by up to 85% and 94%, respectively.

In people aged 80 years and older, vaccination was also associated with an 81% reduction in the risk of hospitalisation in the fourth week, when results for both vaccines were combined.

The preliminary results, published on the SSRN preprint server, have been submitted to a journal to undergo peer review.

“Across the Scottish population the results show a substantial effect on reducing the risk of admission to hospital after a single dose of vaccine,” said Jim McMenamin, national COVID-19 incident director at Public Health Scotland.

“We are continuing our evaluation and look forward to describing the benefits that we hope will follow after the second doses of these vaccines,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

23rd February 2021

From: Research

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