By LUKE ANDREWS HEALTH REPORTER and STEPHEN MATTHEWS HEALTH EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE
UNITED Kingdom — Britain’s coronavirus vaccine drive is working, with the first published real-world data showing both jabs currently being deployed cut the risk of being hospitalised by the illness by up to 95 per cent.
Researchers examined coronavirus hospital admissions in Scotland among people who had had their first jab and compared them with those who had not yet received a dose of either vaccine.
By the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to slash the risk of hospital admission from Covid by up to 85 and 94 per cent, respectively, they found.
Experts from the universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, as well as Public Health Scotland, claimed the data provided ‘compelling evidence’ that both vaccines cut the risk of being hospitalised.
Lead researcher Professor Aziz Sheikh 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.’
It comes after the UK’s vaccines ministers Nadhim Zahawi today said evidence that the jabs curb transmission — as well as prevent severe illness — ‘looks good’.
He told Sky News: ‘We wouldn’t be in this place this morning to be able to say that we’re going to reopen schools on March 8… if we’re not confident that actually the vaccine programme is beginning to really bear fruit.’
Boris Johnson is set to unveil the national ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown today, with all schools reopening from March 8 but precious few other easings until Easter.
The roadmap, which runs to around 60 pages, is set to include modelling supporting the government’s tentative strategy. It will be published alongside more positive news about the effectiveness of jabs in reducing transmission. (AI/MAILONLINE)