Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Heavily reduced hospitalizations in Scotland thanks to vaccination


Preparation for the administration of a vaccine against Covid-19. – Marin Driguez / SIPA

A study published Monday and led by the University of Edinburgh confirms the importance of vaccination in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca / Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccines administered as part of the vaccination campaign in Scotland have resulted in a drop in the risk of hospitalization linked to the disease in that nation of the United Kingdom.

The study indicates that four weeks after receiving a first dose, the risk of hospitalization was reduced by 85% with the Pfizer vaccine and by 94% with that of AstraZeneca, compared to people who did not receive the vaccine. Among those over 80, one of the most at-risk groups, the combined preliminary results of the two vaccines show an 81% reduction in hospitalizations.

“These results are very encouraging and give us good reason to be optimistic for the future,” said Prof Aziz Sheikh, University of Edinburgh. “We now have evidence at the national level (…) that vaccination provides protection against hospitalizations linked to Covid-19”, he added, calling for an acceleration of the administration of a first dose in the world “to overcome this terrible disease”.

The issue of protection time

Like the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland began vaccinating its 5.5 million inhabitants in early December and made it the central axis of its strategy to exit lockdown. During the period examined by the study, between December 8 and February 15, 1.14 million doses (650,000 from Pfizer and 490,000 from AstraZeneca) were administered, covering 21% of the population.

If the results of this study are “extremely promising”, the president of the British Society for Immunology, Arne Akbar, stressed that it was now necessary to “understand how long the protection offered by a dose of vaccine last”: “Additional studies are necessary,” he said, according to comments relayed by the Science Media Center.



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