The coronavirus vaccines are “effective” in reducing your chance of catching coronavirus by 60 percent for those aged 70 and above according to the head of immunisation for Public Health England. She said recent data also showed the risk of requiring hospital admission is also reduced by a further 40 percent.
More than 25 million people in the UK have now received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Those aged 50 and above are now able to book their jab, which means the vaccination programme has now officially been opened up to the last group on the first priority list from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations.
According to the Government’s coronavirus dashboard, a total of 25,273,226 people received first doses of the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, while 1,759,445 people have had their second dose.
This means almost half of the adult UK population has now received their jab.
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is an extraordinary feat, coming exactly 100 days after Margaret Keenan received the first authorised jab in the whole world.
“It has been a national mission, one of the one of the biggest logistical exercises since the war and I’d like to thank everyone who played their part.”
Speaking from Downing Street on Wednesday, Mr Hancock added: “The data shows that if you live with someone who’s been vaccinated, you have a 30 per cent lower risk of catching COVID-19 yourself.
“This is the first data that directly measures the impact of the vaccine on reducing transmission. And it shows that the vaccines are saving lives.
“Both vaccines being rolled out in the UK are not just safe but they make you safe. They’re saving lives and protecting people.
“And because we’re rolling out this vaccine so fast, and because we’ve protected so many people so quickly, we’re now able to extend the offer of a vaccination to yet more people.”
Do the Covid vaccines make you immune?
Coronavirus vaccines work by helping bodies to develop immunity to the virus which causes COVID-19 without allowing the host to get the illness.
Each vaccine works differently and offers protection against different aspects of the virus.
In the UK, three vaccines have been approved for use by the MHRA: Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna.
Speaking from Downing Street, the PHE’s head of immunisation Dr Mary Ramsay revealed vaccine data is showing good protection in the over-70s, with a 60 percent reduction in the chance of catching coronavirus after both jabs.
Even if you get COVID-19 after vaccination, your risk is reduced by a further 40 percent, for both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.
If you have had a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine but catch covid your risk of dying drops by 54 percent.
Dr Ramsay added healthcare workers who are vaccinated are 70 percent less likely to get infected with Covid after a single dose and have a 30 percent lower chance of passing the virus on to their household contacts.
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Final data from the Pfizer vaccine found it offers 95 percent protection against the virus after two doses.
After the first dose, it was found to offer 52 percent protection after 12 days.
The vaccine dose proved 94 percent effective among adults aged 65 and over after two doses.
Moderna’s results indicate 94.5 percent effectiveness but the trials are ongoing and the final number could change.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine works using adenovirus technology.
This Covid vaccine smuggles the coronavirus gene into human cells to make the spike protein which is a unique signature of COVID-19.
This method helps to build an immune response over time which is activated if the real virus enters the body.
The Oxford vaccine was found to be 62 percent effective, but when people were given a half dose followed by a full dose a month later its efficacy rose to 90 percent.
The UK medicine regulator added the Oxford vaccine was up to 80 percent effective when the second dose was delayed by 12 weeks.