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UK study finds Pfizer/BioNTech, AZ/Oxford vaccines reduce severe COVID-19 in older people

Data suggests vaccine is 80% effective at preventing hospitalisations in over-80s

A pre-print study from Public Health England (PHE) has suggested that the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca(AZ)/Oxford University vaccines can significantly reduce severe COVID-19 in older people.

The real-world study’s main outcome measures included symptomatic, PCR-test-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalisations and deaths associated with COVID-19 among vaccinated individuals aged 70 years and older.

It found that since January 2021, protection against symptomatic COVID-19 ranged between 57-61% for one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and between 60-73% for the AZ/Oxford vaccine after four weeks.

The data also suggests that in people aged over 80, a single dose of either vaccine is over 80% effective at preventing hospitalisation with COVID-19 around three to four weeks after vaccination.

In addition, the study found evidence which suggested the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has an 83% reduction in deaths from COVID-19 in older adults.

“This adds to growing evidence showing that the vaccines are working to reduce infections and save lives,” said Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE.

“While there remains much more data to follow, this is encouraging and we are increasingly confident that vaccines are making a real difference.

“It is important to remember that protection is not complete and we don’t yet know how much these vaccines will reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 on to others,” she added.

Last week, another real-world study from PHE found a significant decrease in COVID-19 among healthcare workers who have received a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The data showed 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.

Another major real-world study that included around 1.2 million people has also found the Pfzer/BioNTech vaccine to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19.

The research, conducted in Israel, used data from Clalit Health Services to evaluate the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, BNT162b2.

The researchers measured vaccine effectiveness for the study outcomes at days 14 to 20 after the first dose of BNT162b2, and at seven or more days after the second dose.

They found that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 57% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 after the first dose, which climbed to 94% following the second dose.

After the second dose, the vaccine was also 87% effective at preventing hospitalisation and 92% effective at preventing severe disease.

The study also estimated effectiveness for the prevention of death from COVID-19 to be 72% for days 14 through 20 after the first dose.

The findings for effectiveness in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 was also consistent across all age groups, although the researchers added there could potentially be slightly lower effectiveness for people with multiple coexisting conditions.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

2nd March 2021

From: Research

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