COVID-19: Pfizer and AstraZeneca Vaccines “Highly Effective” in Preventing Hospitalization in People Over 80, Study Results | UK news
Coronavirus vaccines Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca are highly effective in preventing people over 80 from being hospitalized, according to a new study.
Researchers in Bristol found that 14 days after a dose of the Pfizer Vaccine, it was 79.3% effective at preventing people in this age group from developing symptomatic disease severe enough to be ingested.
To the AstraZeneca‘s COVID-19 Sting, the effectiveness was 80.4%.
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The study is in agreement with Public Health Scotland (PHS) and Public Health England (PHE) reports released in February and Monday.
Professor Adam Finn, professor of pediatrics and lead researcher on the study at the University of Bristol, said his team took a different approach, used a smaller geographic area, and examined patients in much greater detail.
The researchers looked at 446 vaccinated patients over 80 who had been admitted to two Bristol hospitals since January and who had a lower respiratory disease.
They examined every patient from the onset of their symptoms – not just when they were hospitalized – and instead of relying on large databases, they carefully examined every aspect of each patient’s medical history.
He said, “We find similar results, but use radically different approaches to build confidence in the results as a whole.
“Your results confirm ours and ours confirm theirs. There is increasing evidence that a dose of either vaccine provides high protection against hospitalization and serious illness.”
The Bristol study initially found the Pfizer vaccine was 71.4% effective in preventing hospital admissions in those over 80 when they started the study in December when the rollout began.
However, looking at its effectiveness over the same period as the AstraZeneca burst, which only started in January, its effectiveness had risen to 79.3%.
Prof. Finn explained that this was due to the fact that the rollout was initially unstable. People who shielded themselves may have been infected on their way, and people who were desperate for the vaccine but were already infected also came.
The effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the elderly was questioned by several European countries over the past month because the first study did not include large numbers of people over 65.
Countries like France, Germany and Spain have not allowed people over 65, or in the case of Spain, to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, so doses in stores are dropping.
French President Emmanuel Macron made a partial U-turn this week, and France is now allowing people ages 65 to 74 with other health problems to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca bump.
Prof. Finn said, “This study is much more important for countries outside of the UK as we have had very high levels of acceptance. Many AstraZeneca doses in European countries are not given.
“Here is the data showing that giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to the elderly can save lives – and these countries need to start giving these vaccines to the elderly.”
The study published by PHE on Monday found that a single dose of either vaccine was about 80% effective at preventing hospitalization in people over the age of 70 – three to four weeks after a dose.
Researchers in Scotland found four weeks after the first dose of either vaccine that they were 81% effective in preventing hospitalizations in those over 80.
The Bristol Study will continue to look at vaccinated people hospitalized with lower respiratory disease and will report more results for different age groups as more people are vaccinated.
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