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Covid vaccines have saved 11,700 lives and 33,000 hospital admissions

Vaccinator prepares to give a Covid vaccine

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Coronavirus vaccines have saved 11,700 lives and stopped 33,000 people becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 in England, research suggests.

The Public Health England analysis, up to the end of April, found people in their 70s and 80s had seen the biggest fall in deaths and hospital admissions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the figures were “remarkable”.

Getting a vaccine is “one of the most important things you will be asked to do in your lifetime”, he added.

Extra vaccination clinics are being set up in parts of Lancashire to offer more jabs to people aged 38 and over, and anyone with an underlying health condition who is over 18.

This is to help reduce the spread of the India variant, which is causing concern because scientists believe it could be at least as transmissible as the Kent variant.

Nine out of 10 people aged 40 and over have now had a first vaccine dose in England. The impact of the vaccines is likely to be similar across the UK, with more than 53 million doses administered in total.

Public Health England (PHE) used data on how well the vaccines are working and the number of people being vaccinated in different age groups, to calculate deaths and illness prevented from Covid.

It is estimated that, thanks to vaccines:

  • 9,900 deaths were prevented in people aged 80 and over
  • 1,500 deaths in those age 70-79
  • 300 deaths in those aged 60-69

and:

  • 16,000 hospital admissions were prevented in people aged 85 and over
  • 13,100 admissions in those aged 75-84
  • 3,900 admissions in those aged 65-74

The latest government data – based on evidence from the UK rollout – suggests one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine cuts the risk of infection by as much as 70%, and serious illness and death by even more.

If someone is less likely to become infected and have symptoms, then the spread of the virus between people is also less likely.

Chart showing impact of vaccination

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: “The vaccine has already saved so many lives and we can now see the huge impact it has had on preventing people becoming seriously ill and therefore also protecting our hospitals.

“As these figures highlight, getting your vaccine could save your life or stop you becoming seriously ill from Covid-19.

“It will also significantly reduce your chances of getting infected and infecting others.

“It is vital to get both doses of your vaccine when you are offered it.”

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