More proof of the power of Covid vaccines: PHE unveils fresh data

More proof of the power of vaccines: PHE chief unveils raft of fresh data confirming one Covid jab slashes deaths by 85%, stops eight in 10 hospital admissions and cuts cases by 60%

  • PHE vaccine chief Mary Ramsay revealed figures at  Downing Street conference
  • She hailed the data, adding: ‘Every day we vaccinate, we prevent more deaths’
  • Comes as Matt Hancock confirmed vaccine supply shortages expected in April

The success of the Covid jabs were highlighted again tonight as officials unveiled fresh data confirming they reduce deaths in the elderly by 85 per cent.

Public Health England’s vaccine chief Dr Mary Ramsay told tonight’s Downing Street conference that ‘every day we vaccinate more people, we prevent more deaths’. 

She unveiled a raft of new data showing the real-world impact of a single dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s jabs on the UK’s crisis after it emerged 25million Brits have had at least one dose. 

Among the promising findings were an 85 per cent reduction in deaths in the over-80s and an 80 per cent fall in hospitalisations in the same age group. The analysis also found a 60 per cent reduction in catching Covid after one dose for over-70s. 

Dr Ramsay added the risk of getting infected is cut by a third if you live with someone who has been vaccinated. 

She said the jabs’ impact improves across the board when a patient has been fully vaccinated with both doses. The latest data confirms PHE’s initial findings last month.  

But Dr Ramsay urged Britons not to get complacent, adding: ‘Please don’t alter your behaviour when you have the vaccine. Don’t take unnecessary risks.’

Despite the promising evidence, the NHS has warned it will face a ‘significant reduction in weekly supply’ of Covid vaccines from the week beginning March 29.

It has raised fears that appointments for under-50s could be delayed, but Matt Hancock said the Government was still on track to vaccinate all adults by the end of July. 


Public Health England’s vaccine chief Mary Ramsay (left) unveiled a raft of new data showing the real-world impact of Pfizer and Oxford’s jabs on the UK’s crisis. Matt Hancock said the highly successful jabs are why deaths are ‘falling so fast’

The vaccine effect on catching Covid: The Pfizer (left) and Oxford (right) jabs slash the chance of getting infected in over-70s by 60 per cent after a single dose

The early signs of the vaccine effect come as the Government announced more than 25million Britons have had at least one dose

Daily coronavirus deaths in Britain are falling at a faster rate than they did when the first wave began to tail off, according to official data which provides even more evidence that vaccines are saving lives

Dr Ramsay said: ‘We are showing good protection in the over-70s, we have compared individuals who test positive to those who test negative.

‘There is a 60 per cent reduction in your chance of catching Covid if you are over 70 and have been vaccinated with both vaccines.

‘Those effects are maintained for several weeks, they don’t go away. They are still there even after a single dose and you get additional protection from the second dose.

‘On top of that, even if you do get Covid, having been vaccinated, our data shows that your risk of requiring hospital admission is reduced by a further 40 per cent based on whether you’ve had the AstraZeneca vaccine or the Pfizer vaccine.

Daily coronavirus deaths in Britain are falling at a faster rate than they did when the first wave began to tail off, according to official data which provides even more evidence that vaccines are saving lives.  

Figures from No10’s Covid dashboard show that fatalities in the second wave peaked higher and fell further in the following seven weeks than during the same time period last spring. 

For example, daily Covid fatalities hit 1,362 on deadliest day of the pandemic on January 19. This had fallen to 138 seven weeks later on March 8, the most recent snapshot available – a drop of 90 per cent. 

By contrast, the first wave peaked at a lower 1,073 on April 8 and fell by 80 per cent to just 213 in the same amount of time.

The early signs of the vaccine effect come as the Government announced more than 25million Britons have had at least one dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford University/AstraZeneca jabs.

The milestone, which means almost half of all adults in the country have been inoculated, was hit exactly 100 days after the mammoth rollout launched. Latest figures show 25,273,226 Brits have received the first injection, while 1,759,445 of them have had their second dose. 

Boris Johnson said the vaccine milestone represented ’25million reasons to be confident’ about a post-lockdown Britain. Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the achievement as a ‘national mission’. 

‘When you put those two figures together, it means that in the over-80s we are preventing 80 per cent of hospital admissions.’

Hailing PHE’s findings, Mr Hancock said the success of the roll out and effectiveness of the vaccines explained why deaths in the UK are ‘falling so fast’.

They are down a third in the past week and have fallen 90 per cent from the peak of 1,300 on January 19.

He added: ‘After a single dose of either vaccine, protection against Covid-19 is around 60 per cent, that’s protection against getting it, protection against hospitalisation is around 80 per cent and protection against death is around 85 per cent.’

But the health secretary admitted the UK’s vaccine rollout will be paused and under-50s will not be invited for jabs while supplies are used to mop up over-50s and second doses.

The NHS published a letter warning a ‘significant reduction in weekly supply available from manufacturers’ will mean ‘volumes for first doses will be significantly constrained’. 

It is not yet clear which company is causing the slowdown – sources and Scottish Government documents say Pfizer supplies will drop by almost half within weeks, while the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said in a tweet: ‘I’m told the problem is fewer AstraZeneca vaccines are available than expected’.

Britain had been on track to start offering vaccines to people under the age of 50 by the end of March but this now doesn’t look likely to happen before May; the NHS letter said the supply issue looked set to last four weeks or more.

Daily coronavirus deaths in Britain are falling at a faster rate than they did when the first wave began to tail off, according to official data which provides even more evidence that vaccines are saving lives.  

Figures from No10’s Covid dashboard show that fatalities in the second wave peaked higher and fell further in the following seven weeks than during the same time period last spring. 

For example, daily Covid fatalities hit 1,362 on deadliest day of the pandemic on January 19. This had fallen to 138 seven weeks later on March 8, the most recent snapshot available – a drop of 90 per cent. 

By contrast, the first wave peaked at a lower 1,073 on April 8 and fell by 80 per cent to just 213 in the same amount of time.

The early signs of the vaccine effect come as the Government announced more than 25million Britons have had at least one dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford University/AstraZeneca jabs.

The milestone, which means almost half of all adults in the country have been inoculated, was hit exactly 100 days after the mammoth rollout launched. Latest figures show 25,273,226 Brits have received the first injection, while 1,759,445 of them have had their second dose. 

Boris Johnson said the vaccine milestone represented ’25million reasons to be confident’ about a post-lockdown Britain.

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