Two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have proved to be around 90% effective against symptomatic disease according to real-world analysis in England. The latest estimates indicate that the vaccination programme has averted more than 35,000 hospitalisations and 10,000 deaths in adults aged 60 or older.

The Public Health England, an executive agency of the British government, said in its weekly surveillance report that the AstraZeneca vaccine was 89% effective after two doses, and 53% after the first shot. To understand the protection provided by the vaccine better, the effectiveness was also compared 4 to 13 days after vaccination. In this, the AstraZeneca shot provided 58% effectiveness after the first shot and 90% after the second.

A similar study of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine showed that it was 90% effective against symptomatic disease after two doses, and 54% after the first shot. When studied four to 13 days after the first vaccine dose, the effectiveness rose to 57%, and it rose to 91% after the second dose.

However, Public Health England cautioned that the data was still developing and inconclusive.

Source: Public Health England

The United Kingdom has recorded 44,71,065 coronavirus cases and 1,27,963 deaths since the pandemic broke out in January 2020, according to Johns Hopkins University tracker. The country has, however, focussed on vaccinating its adults as fast as possible. Almost one-third of its population is fully vaccinated.

There are three vaccines currently in use in the United Kingdom – those by Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna.

As of May 9, based on the direct effect of vaccination and vaccine coverage rates, Public Health England estimated that “11,100 deaths were averted in individuals aged 80 years and older, 1,600 in individuals aged 70 to 79 and 300 in individuals aged 60 to 69 years giving a total of 13,000 deaths averted in individuals aged 60 years or older in England”.

Similarly, as of May 9, around 39,100 hospitalisations were prevented in those aged 65 years and over in England. This included 4,700 admissions in those aged 65 to 74, around 15,400 in those aged 75 to 84, and 19,000 in those aged 85 and above.

“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% protection,” Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said, Reuters reported.

“This new data shows the vaccine saves lives and protects you from ending up in hospital with Covid-19,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, according to Bloomberg. “With the threat of new variants, it’s never been more important to get the vaccine.”