The Health Secretary said yesterday: “What this all shows is that the link from cases to hospitalisations and then to deaths that had been unbreakable before the vaccine is now breaking. “The vaccine is protecting the NHS and saving lives right across the country. The country’s plan is working.” More than 21 million have had a first Covid jab and Mr Hancock said the average number of daily admissions was the lowest since October.
He said deaths were “declining steeply” with an average of 248 reported a day, also the lowest since October.
Mr Hancock added: “The Chief Medical Officer told us weeks ago that you first see the effect of the vaccine in fewer people dying and then in reduced hospitalisations. I believe that is exactly what is happening.”
He highlighted a Bristol University study which found a single dose of vaccine offered 80 percent protection against hospital admission for over-80s from two weeks after the jab.
Mr Hancock said this was “hard evidence” that vaccines work.
He added: “They are the best way of securing our freedom because they’re the best way of protecting us.”
The latest Office for National Statistics figures show the number of people with Covid has dropped by a third in a week.
Swab tests found one in 220 in private homes had the virus in the week to February 27, down from one in 145 last week. Experts estimated 248,100 were infected in England, dropping from a previous 373,700.