Data from two different studies conducted in the United Kingdom, one in England and one in Scotland, have shown that COVID-19 vaccines are effective in reducing transmission and hospitalization of diseases beginning with the first dose.
The Public Health England (PHE) study released on Monday shows that the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech decreases the risk of infection after the first dose by more than 70%. After the second dose, the risk is decreased by 85 percent.
“Overall, we’re seeing a really strong effect to reducing any infection, asymptomatic and symptomatic,” PHE’s strategic response director Susan Hopkins told a media briefing.
Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, welcomed the development as’ extremely good news’ in a statement shared on social media.
“It shows that the vaccines work and it shows that vaccines save lives.”
The analysis of real-world evidence by the public health agency also indicates that all vaccinated individuals who become infected are much less likely to die or be hospitalized.
According to the study, hospitalization and virus deaths was decreased by more than 75% in those who have received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the UK is among the hardest hit countries in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 121,000 deaths.
It was the first nation to launch mass vaccinations in December and more than 17 million individuals have now received at least their first dose of the vaccine, nearly one-third of the UK’s adult population.
“We will see much more data over the coming weeks and months but we should be very encouraged by these initial findings,” Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, said.