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UK vaccination studies show a significant reduction in COVID-19 infection

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(Reuters)-A UK study showed a 65% reduction in COVID-19 infection in adults of all ages after the first dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine. Scientists said they showed the actual impact of a national vaccination campaign on a pandemic.

Importantly, this study was conducted when a new, more infectious variant of the coronavirus, called B1.1.7, prevailed in the UK, but vaccination was still predominant in the elderly and underlying health. Found to be just as effective for people with conditions, young and healthy.

“These real-world findings are very promising,” Health Minister James Bethel said in a statement when the data were released. He said the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination program (one of the fastest in the world) has shown to have a “significant impact.”

The data are from two studies that are part of the COVID-19 infection study: a collaborative study between Oxford University, the Government Health Department, and the National Bureau of Statistics. Both studies were published online as preprints on Friday and have not yet been peer-reviewed.

The researchers analyzed more than 1.6 million test results from nasal and throat swabs taken from 373,402 study participants between December 1, 2020 and April 3, 2021.

They found that 21 days after a single dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (without a second dose), the rate of all new COVID-19 infections was reduced by 65%.

This includes a 74% reduction in symptomatological infections and a 57% reduction in unreported infections.

The reduction in overall and symptomatological infections was even greater after the second dose (70% and 90%, respectively), found in studies, and in people who had previously had COVID-19 infection. It was similar to the effect.

The second study examined the level of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus to see how the antibodies changed after a single dose of either vaccine and after two doses of Pfizer. did.

The results showed that the antibody response to a single dose of either vaccine was slightly lower in the elderly, but higher at all ages after two doses of Pfizer.

Official data showed Wednesday that more than 33 million people in the UK have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine for the first time and more than 10 million have been vaccinated twice.

Report by Kate Keland; edited by Alex Richardson

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