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Covid vaccines reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation by 80% after one dose in over 70s, data shows

A single shot of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine or of the Pfizer vaccine works against severe infection among the over-70s with a more than 80% reduction in hospitalisations, Public Health England data has shown.

Speaking at the Downing Street briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the findings "extremely good news."

“In fact, the detailed data show that the protection that you get from catching Covid 35 days after a first jab is even slightly better for the Oxford jab than for Pfizer, albeit both results are clearly very strong," Mr Hancock said.

"The results may also help to explain why the number of Covid admissions to intensive care units among people over 80 in the UK have dropped to single figures in the last couple of weeks," he added.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam added: "At this point, we only have data for the Pfizer vaccine where the likelihood of mortality is being reduced by 85% in those over 70-years-olds. If we are patient and we give this vaccine programme time to have its full effect it is hopefully going to take us into a very different world in the next few months."

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