The Public Health England (PHE) submitted a pre-print of a real-world study on Monday which revealed that a single shot of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines is over 80 percent effective in preventing hospital treatment and reducing COVID-19 deaths among people in the 80s.
This is a development that came after similar findings were published by Scottish health authorities last week.
The PHE data showed that on people above 70, a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is over 57 to 61 percent effective while a dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 60 to 73 percent effective, three weeks after it is administered.
British Health Minister, Matt Hancock, said, “These results may also help to explain why the number of COVID-19 admissions to intensive care units among people over 80 in the UK have dropped to single figures in the last couple of weeks. This is seriously encouraging”.
The scientists welcomed the results but emphasized the need to get two doses administered for the best protection.
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, noted that the data indicates how the vaccine program “is going to hopefully take us into a very different world in the next few months”.
Prof Van-Tam stressed the need to administer the second dose of the vaccine as there is a likelihood that it would “mature your immune response, possibly make it broader and almost certainly make it longer than it would otherwise be in relation to a first dose only”.
Note that Britain has administered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine to over 20 million people, in which elderly people have been prioritized.