|Syringes and vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine ready to be administered to frontline health care workers on December 17, 2020. (File photo by=Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] New data shows that the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine "provides high levels of protection against infection and symptomatic disease," Public Health England (PHE) said in a press release on Monday.
PHE's Siren Study, which was carried out on healthcare workers aged under the age of 65, found that one dose of the vaccine reduced the risk of infection by 72% after three weeks, while two vaccine doses reduced the risk of infection by 85%. This high level of protection extended to the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first identified in the UK in December. Health workers tested for Covid-19 infection every two weeks using PCR tests and twice a week with lateral flow tests, Dr. Susan Hopkins, strategic response director at PHE, explained, meaning "there was a lot of asymptomatic testing," she said.
Additionally, early data has also shown that vaccinated people who are subsequently infected are far less likely to die of, or be hospitalized with, the virus. People over the age of 80 who were infected post-vaccination were 41% less likely to be hospitalized with the virus and 57% less likely to die of it. PHE predicted that protection against severe disease was likely to be over 75% in those who have received one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.