First real-world UK data shows Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides high levels of protection from the first dose

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PHE has today published the first independent analysis in the UK showing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective against COVID-19 from the first dose.

Data analysed by Public Health England (PHE) shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides high levels of protection against infection and symptomatic disease from the first dose.

Early data from PHE’s SIREN study shows a promising impact on infection in healthcare workers aged under 65. Healthcare workers in the study are tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) every 2 weeks – whether or not they have symptoms.

Data shows one dose reduces the risk of catching infection by more than 70%, rising to 85% after the second dose. This suggests the vaccine may also help to interrupt virus transmission, as you cannot spread the virus if you do not have infection.

PHE’s analysis of routine testing data also shows that one dose is 57% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 disease in those aged over 80. This effect occurs from about 3 to 4 weeks after the first dose.

Early data suggests the second dose in over 80s improves protection against symptomatic disease by a further 30%, to more than 85%.

Hospitalisation and deaths rates are falling in all age groups – but the oldest age groups are seeing the fastest decline since the peak in mid-January.

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Date: 2 March 2021