Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19 are highly effective in reducing serious coronavirus infections in people aged 70 and older, study finds. The research, published as a preprint and not yet peer reviewed, estimated the effect of the two COVID-19 vaccines on laboratory-confirmed symptomatic illness in the elderly 70 years of age or over in England.
Researchers, including those from Public Health England (PHE), compared the rate of hospitalization and death among confirmed COVID-19 patients over the age of 80 who were vaccinated more than 14 days before being tested positive, with unvaccinated cases.
Data suggests that in those over 80, a single dose of either vaccine is more than 80% effective in preventing hospitalization, about 3 to 4 weeks after the vaccine, PHE said in a report. communicated.
Evidence from the Pfizer vaccine suggests it leads to an 83% reduction in deaths from COVID-19, he said.
The data also show that symptomatic infections in those over 70 years of age decreased by about three weeks after a dose of both vaccines.
“Vaccination with a single dose of Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 has been associated with a significant reduction in symptomatic positive SARS-CoV2 cases in the elderly with even greater protection against serious illness,” said said the study authors, adding the two vaccines show similar effects.
They said protection was maintained for more than six weeks of follow-up and that both vaccines had a clear effect against the UK variant of concern.
Experts say the new analysis adds to growing evidence that vaccines work and are highly effective in protecting people from serious illness, hospitalization and death.
“This adds to the growing evidence showing that vaccines work to reduce infections and save lives,” Mary Ramsay, immunization manager at PHE, said in the statement. “While there is much more data to follow, this is encouraging and we are increasingly convinced that vaccines are making a real difference,” said Ramsay.
However, she warned that protection is not complete and it is not yet clear to what extent these vaccines will reduce the risk of someone passing the coronavirus to others.
“Even though you’ve been vaccinated, it’s really important that you continue to act like you have the virus, have good hand hygiene, and stay home,” Ramsay added.