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A doctor prepares a dose of Oxford-Astra-Zeneca at the Vaccination Unit in London on February 28.
A doctor prepares a dose of the Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine at the Vaccination Unit in London on February 28. Holly Adams / Getty Images

New data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 by more than 80% in people over the age of 80.

The effect was seen three to four weeks after vaccination.

People over the age of 70 have also been shown to have 61% protection against symptomatic disease from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and up to 73% from the Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

“This adds to the mounting evidence showing that vaccines work to reduce infection and save lives,” said Dr. Mary Ramsey, Head of Immunization at PHE, in a press release.

During a press conference on Monday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the real-world data, highlighting that the number of daily deaths in the UK is declining “much faster” than it was at the first peak, and “declining faster in the 1980s who obtained Knockout first than in the 1980s. “

The UK has conducted Covid-19 shots to more than 20 million people, with campaigns first targeting people over the age of 80 who are most at risk of contracting the disease.

The new data supports the country’s decision to use the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines at a time when other countries in Europe have expressed concerns about using the AstraZeneca vaccine in the elderly.

“These results are particularly welcome news because of the age group of participants who are 70 years or older,” said Deborah Dunn Walters, Chair of the British Society of Immunology COVID-19 and the Immunology Task Force and professor of immunology at the center. University of Surrey.

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“Previous clinical trials for both vaccines did not include many individuals in this age group. This is important because as we age, our immune systems do not function as they did when we were younger, which means that older people sometimes produce less,” she said. Immune responses to vaccination. “

Den Walters added: “The fact that vaccination is effective in dramatically reducing symptomatic cases, hospitalization and deaths from Covid-19 in this older age group is really positive news.
“Although more research is needed, this study also provides further reassurance about the UK’s decision to introduce two doses of the vaccine 12 weeks apart.”

But Ramsay stressed the need for people to remain vigilant with measures such as social distancing and hand washing.

She said: “It is important to remember that protection has not been completed and we do not yet know how much of these vaccines will reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 to others.”

data Released last week PHE from studies of health workers found that a single dose of the vaccine prevented people from developing asymptomatic Covid-19 by at least 70%, which indicates that vaccines may help limit the spread of infection, but more is needed. data.

The UK is increasing the rate of second doses administered, with just over 800,000 now vaccinated with both injections.

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