Researcher working on vaccine in the lab
Photo | Researcher working on vaccine in the lab

New data show vaccines reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults

New data show both Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines significantly reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults.

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Today Public Health England (PHE) has submitted a pre-print of a real-world study that shows that the Oxford / AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are both highly effective in reducing COVID-19 infections among older people aged 70 years and over. Both vaccines had about 60% protection against symptomatic infection in this age group.

Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, Senior Clinical Researcher in the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: ‘It is really encouraging that this new ‘real world’ data shows that both vaccines being used in the UK offer very good protection against COVID-19 infection in older adults aged 70 years and over. The NHS vaccination programme is doing a fantastic job of getting vaccines to those most at risk – it is important that we all do our bit by having a vaccine if we are offered one.’

In the over 80s, data suggest that a single dose of either vaccine is more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalisation, around 3 to 4 weeks after the jab.

The new analysis adds to growing evidence that the vaccines are working and are highly effective in protecting people against severe illness, hospitalisation and death.

Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, and Chief Investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said: ‘These new data show that widespread use of effective vaccines will offer high protection against severe COVID-19 infections in adults aged 70 years and over and builds confidence in roll out programmes for all ages. With millions of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being distributed this week through COVAX, the hard work to protect everyone everywhere is truly underway.’