A single dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine lowers a person’s risk of death from Covid-19 by 80 per cent – a figure that rises to 97 per cent for two shots of the Pfizer jab, new analysis shows.

The latest data, from Public Health England, further highlights the effectiveness of the UK’s two main vaccines in protecting against coronavirus. According to estimates, the jabs have already saved at least 10,000 lives since the beginning of the rollout.

Separate analysis from PHE also confirms that one dose of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine is highly effective in reducing the risk of hospitalisation, especially in those aged 70 and over.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the PHE findings would allow people to “breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their risk of becoming seriously ill or hospitalised with the virus is significantly reduced after being vaccinated”.

In determining the Covid mortality risk among vaccinated people, PHE examined the number of new symptomatic PCR positive cases between December and April with those who died within 28 days of their positive test, and compared them according to vaccination status.

Results shows that Covid-19 cases who had had a single dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccines had similar levels of protection against mortality – at 44 per cent and 55 per cent respectively – compared with people who had not had a jab.

When combined with the protection vaccines offer against becoming a case in the first place, PHE said this is equivalent to approximately 80 per cent protection against death in people who have had a single jab.

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PHE said the data shows that protection against mortality from the Pfizer vaccine is even higher – around 69 per cent – for people who had their second jab at least seven days before testing positive for the virus.

Combining this with the estimated protection from getting the virus, it is equivalent to an estimated 97 per cent protection against death in people who have had both doses of Pfizer, PHE added.

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