Pfizer & AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines ‘highly effective’ in vulnerable people in UK, study of 1 million jab recipients finds
The Covid-19 vaccines made by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech are just as effective in people with underlying conditions as the rest of the population, a UK study of one million participants has shown.
Last year the British government advised clinically extremely vulnerable people to stay at home – known as “shielding” – to protect themselves from the virus, before dropping its recommendation last month
Conditions including diabetes, severe asthma, and diseases that weaken the immune system – like blood cancer – have all been linked to an increased risk of hospitalisation or death from Covid-19.
On Friday, the government said a Public Health England (PHE) study had shown that people with such conditions are protected against symptomatic infection by two doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines – the UK’s most widely used Covid jabs.
The report, published in preprint format without being peer-reviewed, showed an efficacy of 60% among at-risk groups for either vaccine after one dose.Also on rt.com Over 3,800 Germans got sick with Covid-19 following full vaccination, hundreds were hospitalized – health watchdog
After a second dose, this rises to 81% for AstraZeneca among the ‘at risk’ 16-64 age cohort, PHE said in a statement.
For people in at-risk groups aged 65 and over, the efficacy is 89% for Pfizer and 80% with AstraZeneca.
For people with weakened immune systems, the efficacy for either jab after a first dose is only 4%, although this rises substantially to 74% after a second dose.
“This real-world data shows for the first time that most people who are clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 still receive high levels of protection after two doses of vaccine,” Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said.Also on rt.com Europe’s drug regulator urges heart condition to be added to list of potential side effects of mRNA Covid vaccines
The study’s authors addressed the relatively low protection of 4% that one dose of the vaccines offers immunosuppressed people.
The result “stands out,” they said, but they added that once people with weakened immune systems get a second dose they would only see a “minor reduction in vaccine effectiveness” compared to people who aren’t clinically vulnerable.
In the UK, more than 86% of people have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 65% have received a second dose, according to the latest data from Thursday.
The government reduced the interval between doses for clinically vulnerable people from 12 to 8 weeks in May, and it now says everyone in this group should have been offered a second dose.
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