New data has revealed both of the Covid-19 vaccines currently used in the UK significantly cut hospital admissions caused by the virus.
Research found both the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines reduce the risk of of needing hospital treatment by 85 per cent and 94 per cent respectively.
The findings, which come on the same day PM Boris Johnson is expected to unveil his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, have been hailed as “great reasons to be optimistic for the future”.
And the vaccine may bring even more hope, amid reports from MSN that Pfizer’s jab is also highly effective in stopping transmission..
While that study is yet to be made public or peer reviewed, it could alter the course of the pandemic as it means vaccines could potentially curb the virus.
On Monday night, Boris Johnson will reveal his blueprint for ending the third – and what he hopes will be the final – national lockdown.
One of the six key tests for ending restrictions is falling hospital admissions.
And researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Strathclyde and Public Health Scotland found the vaccine had made a huge dent in that number.
They made their findings after comparing those in hospital who had been vaccinated at least four weeks earlier, and those who had not.
“These results are very encouraging and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future,” said Prof Aziz Sheikh, lead researcher of the Scotland vaccine study and director of the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute.
“We now have national evidence – across an entire country – that vaccination provides protection against Covid-19 hospitalisations.”
Other experts working on the trial say the findings are further evidence as to why people should take up the offer of a vaccine.
This weekend, it was confirmed that the Government hope to offer every British adult their first Covid-19 jab by July 31.
However, despite increasing confidence in the vaccine, the Government is expected to take a ‘cautious’ approach – spanning several months – in easing the lockdown.
Currently Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca’s vaccines are the only jabs approved by regulators for use in the UK, although several more are in development and could be added to the UK’s arsenal in the coming months.