London, August 6 (PTI) – People who have received both doses of their coronavirus vaccine are three times less likely to get infected with COVID-19, a latest UK study has found.
The Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) study, one of the UK’s largest studies into COVID-19 infections in the country, reported on Wednesday that infections in England have increased four-fold from 0.15 per cent to 0.63 per cent since the last REACT-1 report, which covered the period from May 20 to June 7.
However, its results did show a slowdown in infections since July 12.
Analysis by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI, which had over 98,000 volunteers taking part in the study in England between June 24 and July 12, suggests double vaccinated people are also less likely to pass on the virus to others.
“Our vaccination rollout is building a wall of defence that means we can carefully ease restrictions and get back to the things we love, but we need to be cautious as we learn to live with this virus,” said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
“This report shows the importance of taking personal responsibility by self-isolating if you are contact traced, getting tested if you have symptoms and wearing face coverings where appropriate. I urge anyone who has yet to receive a vaccine to get jabbed and take up both doses the vaccines are safe and they are working,” he said.
Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the vaccines being administered in the UK are “highly effective” against all variants of COVID-19.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 96 per cent effective and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation after both doses. PHE estimates that the vaccination programme in England has prevented 22 million infections, around 52,600 hospitalisations and between 35,200 and 60,000 deaths.
“The results show the positive impact of the vaccination programme with those who are double jabbed three times less likely than unvaccinated people to get the virus and less likely to pass on this awful disease to those around them,” said UK Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
The latest PHE risk assessment for the Delta variant reflects early signs of increased risk of reinfection with Delta compared to Alpha. Further investigations are being undertaken by PHE and data will be updated on Friday.
The UK’s health service has now expanded its COVID-19 vaccination programme to everyone aged 16 and over, from the current 18 and over, after formal scientific advice in favour of younger age cohorts.