England’s coronavirus vaccine campaign is significantly reducing cases of COVID-19, with a drop of around 70% in infections among healthcare workers who have had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, British health officials said on Monday.
Data analysed by Public Health England (PHE) showed the Pfizer provided high levels of protection against infection and symptomatic disease from a single dose, and that hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 will be reduced by more 75% in elderly people who have had a first dose.
“Overall, we’re seeing a really strong effect to reducing any infection, asymptomatic and symptomatic,” PHE’s strategic response director Susan Hopkins told a media briefing.
PHE’s head of immunisation Mary Ramsay described the data as “strong evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is stopping people from getting infected, while also protecting cases against hospitalisation and death”.
“We should be very encouraged by these initial findings,” she said.
PHE’s findings came from two separate analyses – one is an ongoing study in healthcare workers, and the second is an assessment of testing data in people aged 80 and over.