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First real-world coronavirus vaccine data in Britain show decline in infections, hospitalizations after first dose
By William Booth and Karla Adam
LONDON — In the first study to describe the nationwide effectiveness of two vaccines, researchers in Scotland reported Monday that both the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca shots greatly reduced hospital admissions from covid-19 among the elderly — by up to 85 percent and 94 percent, respectively.
British public heath officials hailed the results from the “real-world” studies showing that the vaccines are beginning to have a positive impact in the coronavirus pandemic. Arne Akbar, president of the British Society for Immunology, called the initial data “extremely promising.”
The Scottish researchers analyzed a data set covering the entire Scottish population of 5.4 million, of which 1.1 million people — about 20 percent of the population — have received a first dose of the Pfizer or Oxford vaccine. Then they compared the vaccinated against the unvaccinated, and they saw strong evidence of protection.