Vaccines substantially reduce Covid-19 hospitalisations: Scotland study – Times of India

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LONDON: Hospitalisations with Covid-19 were substantially reduced after the first dose of the two-dose Pfizer/BioNtech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines by 85 per cent and 94 per cent respectively, a first-of-its-kind assessment of the UK’s vaccine rollout programme revealed on Monday.
A research led by the Public Health Scotland (PHS) found at four weeks after the first dose, hospital admissions were reduced by 85 per cent for the Pfizer/BioNtech and 94 per cent Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs — the two vaccines currently being administered UK-wide by the National Health Service (NHS).
Among those aged 80 years and over, one of the highest risk groups, vaccination was associated with an 81 per cent reduction in hospitalisation risk in the fourth week, when the results for both vaccines were combined.
“These results are important as we move from expectation to firm evidence of benefit from vaccines. Across the Scottish population, the results show a substantial effect on reducing the risk of admission to hospital from a single dose of vaccine,” said Dr Jim McMenamin, National Covid-19 Incident Director at the PHS.
“For anyone offered the vaccine, I encourage them to get vaccinated. We are continuing our evaluation and look forward to describing the benefits that we hope will follow the second doses of these vaccines,” he said.
Researchers compared the outcomes of those who had received their first jab with those who had not. As part of the EAVE II project, which uses patient data to track the pandemic and the vaccine roll out in real-time, the PHS, the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrew’s analysed data on the vaccine effect.
“These data show real promise that the vaccines can protect from the severe effects of Covid-19. We must not be complacent though. We all still need to ensure we stop transmission of the virus, and the best way we can all do this is to follow public health guidance — wash hands often, keep two metres from others, and if you develop symptoms, isolate and take a test,” said Dr Josie Murray, PHS Public Health Consultant Lead for EAVE II.
“We also all need to protect ourselves, our families and friends by taking the second dose of vaccine when it is offered,” she said.
The data was gathered between December 8, 2020, and February 15 this year. During this period, 1.14 million vaccines were administered and 21 per cent of the Scottish population had received a first dose.
Lead researcher Professor Aziz Sheikh, Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, said: “These results are very encouraging and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future. We now have national evidence — across an entire country — that vaccination provides protection against Covid-19 hospitalisations.
“Roll-out of the first vaccine dose now needs to be accelerated globally to help overcome this terrible disease.”
He explained that the study was led from the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, which is one of five Data-Driven Innovation Hubs as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
The institute is dubbed a sector-leader in applying data science to develop innovative and financially sustainable models of health and social care that improve lives.
The study was funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research and Health Data Research UK, and supported by the Scottish government.

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