Vaccine success: Oxford jab ‘reduces serious illness by 90 percent and protects elderly’

Germany 'overstated' AstraZeneca data says expert

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The report also indicates that the Oxford vaccine cuts hospital cases among over-70s. The news will come as a huge relief to the NHS and its staff, who have been pushed to the brink of capacity and exhaustion by coronavirus admissions this winter. The study also showed that one shot of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine has a 90 percent efficacy in reducing hospital admissions.

However, Pfizer performed slightly less well in preventing serious disease in over-70s than Astrazeneca.

The figures were calculated by comparing Covid hospitalisation rates across England in those who have received a first dose of vaccine in the NHS rollout, to those of a similar age who have not.

So far almost 20 million people have received their first Covid jab in the UK, as the vaccine rollout continues at pace.

The Government hopes to have vaccinated all adults by the end of July.

The new research seems to prove that the vaccines can break the chain between higher infection rates and higher deaths from Covid.

The results from the study will serve as a rebuke to European leaders who have questioned the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine, particularly in older people.

Both French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have expressed scepticism over the ability of the Oxford vaccine to protect over-65s.

In Germany the vaccine is currently not recommend for the over-65s, with scientists claiming there is a lack of conclusive data.

Last week, Ms Merkel rejected suggestions that she should take Astrazeneca’s vaccine in order to set an example to a doubting German public.

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So far there has been a poor take-up of the Oxford vaccine among Germans.

Medical authorities have only been able to administer 240,000 of the 1.54 million doses it has acquired from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company.

Ms Merkel, who is 66, told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper: “I do not belong to the recommended age group for AstraZeneca.”

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