LONDON (AP) – Scotland’s COVID-19 immunization program has led to a sharp drop in hospitalization, researchers said on Monday, raising hopes that staff in the real world would work as well as in carefully controlled studies.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduced hospital admissions by up to 94% four weeks after the first dose, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduced admissions by up to 85%, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Stratclyd և Public Health Scotland.
Preliminary findings were based on a comparison of people who received one dose of the vaccine and those who had not. Data were collected from 8 December to 15 February, a time when 21% of the Scottish population had been vaccinated for the first time.
“These results are very encouraging; they have given us great reason to be optimistic about the future,” said Professor Aziz Shayk, director of the University of Edinburgh. “We now have national evidence that the vaccine provides protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations.”
According to the Institute for Osteopathy, around 650,000 people in Scotland received the Pfizer vaccine and 490,000 received the AstraZeneca shot. Because in-hospital data were collected 28 days after vaccination, hospital admissions were based on a subset of 220,000 people who received the f 45,000 Pfizer vaccine who received the AstraZeneca shot.
UK regulators allowed the widespread use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on December 30, almost a month after the Pfizer vaccine was approved.
External experts say that while the findings are encouraging, they should be interpreted with caution because of the nature of this type of observational study. In particular, relatively few were hospitalized after receiving the vaccines during the study.
Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacological epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, urged policy makers to be vigilant about the epidemic.
“It is possible that euphoria, especially from political sources who do not understand the uncertainty of digital values, does not lead to premature decision-making,” he said. “Auti cautious optimism is justified.”
Earlier this month, Israel reported on the encouraging results of people receiving the Pfizer vaccine. Six weeks after the vaccination of people over the age of 60 began, there was a 41% drop in COVID-19-confirmed infections and a 31% drop in hospitalizations.
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