Single dose of AstraZeneca jab reduces hospitalisations

Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, has described as “extremely good news” data showing that a single dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine reduces risk of hospitalisation in over-80s by more than 80%. He announced the findings at a No 10 press conference. Describing it in more detail, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, also said that data on individuals aged over 70 showed that for both Pfizer and the AstraZeneca jabs there was vaccine effectiveness against illness of approximately 60% after one dose. Van-Tam went on: “This shows us how, if we are patient and we give this vaccine programme time to have its full effect, it is going to hopefully take us into a very different world in the next few months.

Hancock ended the press conference by saying the link between COVID infections and deaths had now been broken. He said: “The effectiveness of the vaccine on protecting people, and on reducing transmission, is critical to the roadmap [for lifting lockdown restrictions] ... The data that we’ve published today shows that the roadmap is achievable, because it shows that we will be able to break the link from cases through to hospitalisations and to deaths, and until now in the pandemic that link from cases through to hospitalisations and deaths has been unbreakable. And we have demonstrated with the data today that the vaccines can break that link, and that is down to the power of science. So it’s good news for everybody.” (Guardian)

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