Covid-19 infections down 70%, hospitalisations down 75% after 1 dose of Pfizer vaccine: UK study

For those aged above 80, the risk of dying is 56 per cent lower in vaccinated cases compared to unvaccinated cases.

Ashley Tan | February 23, 2021, 06:48 PM

Results from studies in the United Kingdom have revealed the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The UK's health agency, Public Health England (PHE), stated that the vaccine offered high levels of protection to those who had taken the first dose.

Reduces risk of Covid-19 infection

Early data from the PHE's Siren study among healthcare workers under 65 showed that one dose reduces the risk of being infected by more than 70 per cent.

After the second dose is administered, the risk of getting an infection is reduced by 85 per cent.

PHE stated that this suggests that the vaccine helps to stop transmission of the virus as well, as those who are not infected cannot spread the virus.

Healthcare workers in the study are tested for Covid-19 every two weeks, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.

For those above 80 years old who are at higher risk of becoming severely ill or dying from Covid-19, data shows that the first dose is 57 per cent effective against symptomatic illness around three weeks after it is administered.

The second dose improves protection to more than 85 per cent.

Reduces risk of death and hospitalisation

Early data from another ongoing study also suggests that those who have been vaccinated and become infected after are less likely to be hospitalised, or die, from the virus.

Data shows that hospitalisation and death from Covid-19 will be decreased by over 75 per cent in those who have received one dose of the vaccine.

Additionally, for those aged above 80, the risk of dying is 56 per cent lower in vaccinated cases compared to unvaccinated cases, at least 14 days after receiving the first dose.

Meanwhile, those over 80 who are infected after vaccination are around 40 per cent less likely to be hospitalised than someone with an infection who has not been vaccinated.

While the data was promising, PHE acknowledged that it is still uncertain how much the vaccine is capable of reducing virus transmission.

"So even if you have been vaccinated, it is really important that you continue to act like you have the virus, practice good hand hygiene and stay at home," Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE said.

Vaccination efforts in Singapore

Just today (Feb. 23), vaccination efforts for taxi and private hire car drivers commenced.

Over 50,000 active taxi and PHC drivers will progressively get SMSes with a unique link for them to book their vaccination appointments.

They can take the vaccine at any of the vaccination centres, 20 polyclinics, or Public Health Preparedness Clinics operating as vaccination sites.

The Straits Times reported that around 300 drivers got their first jabs today at a vaccination centre occupying the former Hong Kah Secondary School.

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Top photo from Hristo Rusev/Getty Images