The first data released by the UK shows that Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective against COVID-19 from the first dose.
In a report Monday, Public Health England (PHE) said the vaccine offers a “high level of protection” against infection after just one dose.
It also suggests that vaccinated people in both groups were “far less” likely to die or be hospitalized if they did get infected.
The PHE’s Siren Study, which was carried out on healthcare workers under the age of 65, found that one dose of the vaccine reduced the risk of infection by more than 70 per cent, while two vaccine doses reduced the risk of infection by 85 per cent.
This high level of protection extended to the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first identified in the UK in December.
PHE’s analysis of routine testing data also shows that “one dose is 57 per cent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 disease in those aged over 80.”
This effect occurs from about 3 to 4 weeks after the first dose, it said
The study suggests the second dose improves protection of people over 80 years against symptomatic disease by a further 30 per cent to more than 85 per cent.
“Hospitalisation and deaths rates are falling in all age groups – but the oldest age groups are seeing the fastest decline since the peak in mid-January.
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“Early data suggests vaccinated people who go on to become infected are far less likely to die or be hospitalised. Overall, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 will be reduced by over 75% in those who have received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” PHE said
PHE predicts those aged over 80 who develop COVID-19 infection after vaccination are around 40 per cent less likely to be hospitalised than someone with infection who has not been vaccinated.
It also found that overall hospitalization and death from COVID-19 will be reduced by over 75 per cent in those who have received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.