London: Public Health England (PHE), UK's executive agency in charge of public health, has said that as per the new analysis of real-world data, two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are around 85 to 90 per cent effective against the symptomatic disease. The data has been evolved following the rollout of the jab in the UK.
The PHE in its latest weekly COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report on Thursday also estimated that up to May 9, 2021, 13,000 deaths have been prevented in people aged 60 years or older in England (11,100 deaths in individuals aged 80 years and older, 1,600 in individuals aged 70 to 79 and 300 in individuals aged 60 to 69 years).
That compares to 90 per cent estimated effectiveness against symptomatic disease for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to reports.
Commenting on the PHE data, UK Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said the new statistics show the vaccine "saves lives and protects you from ending up in hospital with COVID-19." "The 13,000 deaths and the 39,100 hospitalisations that have been prevented are not just numbers. They are our family, our friends, our loved ones and a poignant reminder of the impact the vaccine is having," he said.
With the threat of new variants, it has never been more important to get the vaccine, Hancock added.
UK's Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi said: "This new data highlights the incredible impact that both doses of the vaccine can have, with a second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine providing up to 90 per cent protection." "There is no better weapon to send this virus into retreat than our life-saving vaccines. A second dose is vital to ensure you have the strongest possible protection so we can return to normality and get back to the things we love," Zahawi said.
PHE estimates also indicate that the vaccination programme has prevented around 39,100 hospitalisations in those aged 65 years and over in England (approximately 4,700 admissions in those aged 65 to 74, 15,400 in those aged 75 to 84 and 19,000 in those aged 85 and over).
The method for analysing the approximate number of deaths and hospitalisations prevented by the vaccine programme now takes into account the impact of both first and second doses, due to more data being available. Earlier, the method only used the impact of the first dose of vaccination on hospitalisations and deaths.