New data from Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines in use in the UK are effective at reducing the severity of virus symptoms in older adults.
The data from PHE’s pre-print of a real-world study has confirmed the effectiveness of the Pfizer and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines in reducing the severity of COVID-19 in people aged 70 and over. It also highlights symptomatic infections in over 70s are decreasing from around three weeks after one dose of both vaccines.
Reducing COVID-19 severity
The new analysis adds to growing evidence that the vaccines are working and are highly effective in protecting people against severe illness, hospitalisation, and death. Further studies in healthcare workers have demonstrated that one dose of the vaccine is preventing people from catching asymptomatic COVID-19 by at least 70%.
Data shows that in those over the age of 80, a single dose of either vaccine is more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalisation, around three to four weeks after the jab, and evidence for the Pfizer vaccine suggests it leads to an 83% reduction in deaths from COVID-19.
Dr Mary Ramsay, PHE Head of Immunisation, said: “This adds to growing evidence showing that the vaccines are working to reduce infections and save lives. 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 you passing COVID-19 onto others. Even if you have been vaccinated, it is really important that you continue to act like you have the virus, practice good hand hygiene and stay at home.”
The NHS has now begun delivering the second doses of the vaccine to the people who were vaccinated first.