Covid vaccines cut risk of serious illness by 80%
A single shot of either the Oxford-AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid jab reduces the chance of needing hospital treatment by more than 80%, an analysis in England shows.
The Public Health England data showed the effect kicked in three to four weeks after vaccination.
It was based on people over 80 who were the first to receive the jab.
Government scientists hailed the result, saying vaccines would soon take the UK “into a very different world”.
More than 20 million people in the UK have had their first dose of a vaccine.
That’s over a third of the adult population.
But the scientists stressed two doses were still needed to give the best protection.
It comes after similar findings were published by Scottish health authorities last week, which they hailed as “spectacular”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the latest vaccine results were “very strong”.
He added: “They may also help to explain why the number of Covid admissions to intensive care units among people over 80 in the UK have dropped to single figures in the last couple of weeks.”
The latest daily figures show there were 104 deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 1 March 2021.
This takes the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test to 122,953.
There were also 5,455 new infections recorded in the last 24 hours.