English data shows 80 percent fall in hospitalization risk after vaccines

England deputy chief medical officer says decision to approve Oxford/AstraZeneca jab for people aged over 65 'clearly vindicated.'

English data shows 80 percent fall in hospitalization risk after vaccines

LONDON — The chance of needing hospital treatment for COVID-19 falls by more than 80 percent after a single dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid jab, according to new analysis in England.

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock unveiled what he said were “very strong” findings at a press conference in London today, where he claimed a “vaccine gap” between older people who had been immunized, and younger patients yet to receive a vaccine, was emerging. It “shows the power of science,” he added.

The study suggests that a single dose of either of the two vaccines currently approved for use in the U.K. is more than 80 percent effective at preventing hospitalization, around three to four weeks after the jab. The Pfizer vaccine led to an 83 percent reduction in deaths from COVID-19, Public Health England’s preliminary study claims.

England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the U.K.’s decision to approve the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab for people aged over 65, despite only having a relatively small amount of data, had been “clearly vindicated” by the fresh figures from Public Health England. Other countries, including Germany, have advised against its use in the over-65s.

“I think … the data emerging from our program will speak for itself and that other countries will doubtless be very interested in it,” Van-Tam added. He said the data showed the vaccine program was going to “take us into a very different world in the next few months.”

The press conference came after six cases of the so-called Brazil coronavirus variant, known as P1, were found in the U.K. Public health officials are trying to track down one person believed to have contracted the variant who failed to fill in their contact details after taking the test.

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