By Rachael Grealish
There will be ‘brighter days ahead’ Matt Hancock has said as new data shows the COVID-19 vaccines are having an impact on hospitalisations and deaths.
Speaking from Downing Street today, Monday March 1, the Health Secretary has said new data published by Public Health England is ‘seriously encouraging news’.
He said new evidence shows: “A single shot of either the Oxford vaccine or the Pfizer vaccine works against severe infection in over 70s with a more than 80 percent reduction in hospitalisations.”
“The protection you get from catching Covid 35 days after a first jab is even slightly better for the Oxford jab than for Pfizer, albeit both results are very strong,” he added.
Covid admissions among the over-80s to intensive care units have fallen to single figures, the Health Secretary went onto to say.
Hancock also added the government is making sure the vaccine programme is getting all the funding it needs – including money to develop the next generation of vaccines which will work against new variants.
So far over 20 million people – almost a third of the UK population- has received their first dose of the vaccine. Hancock also confirmed the over 60s would now begin to be invited to have their vaccine.
Professor Johnathan Van-Tam, who also joined the Secretary of State alongside Dr Susan Hopkins, said public health agencies were now confident in reporting that both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are 60 percent effective against illness after the first dose.
The data applies to individuals over 70.
JVT went on to say data from those who still become infected suggest both vaccines reduce the likelihood of being taken to hospital by 80 percent.
The likelihood of death in the over-70s who have received the Pfizer vaccine is reduced by 85 percent after one dose.
“It shows us how – if we are patient… the vaccine programme is going to take us into a very different world in the next few months,” he said.
But he did stress the importance of coming forward for both the first and second dose of the vaccine when called.