Just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine could reduce the risk of Covid by 65%, it was reported (Picture: Getty/ PA)
Just one dose of a Covid vaccine can reduce a patient’s risk of infection by 65%, new data has revealed.
The research, which will be officially published this week, showed that the Pfizer vaccine can start working in as little as two weeks, The Sun reports.
One dose of the Pfizer vaccine can reduce the symptomatic risk of infection by 65% in younger adults and 64% in over-80s, it was claimed.
These figures then increased to 79% and 84% upon receiving the second dose of the jab. This is slightly lower than efficacy rates shown in clinical trials, but a Government source said it was still ‘hugely positive’.
The source also noted that the data showed the Pfizer vaccine was having a similar impact on those under and over the age of 80, with the only difference being that it works faster on younger people.
It takes around three weeks to work on elderly patients, compared to around 15 days on those under 65, they noted.
The Oxford vaccine is believed to be similarly effective (Picture: Getty Images)
Scientists told The Sun that early data also shows the Oxford vaccine offers a similar level of protection.
As of Tuesday, more than 12.64 million people have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine in the UK, while 516,392 have also had their second jab.
Scientists had previously urged the Government to administer the two vaccine doses no more than three weeks apart, as was been done in clinical trials.
However, Government experts decided not to follow the advice, as they said evidence showed a single jab offered enough protection to allow people to wait nine weeks for their second dose.
More than 12.64 million people have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine in the UK (Picture: Getty Images)
Paul Hunter, a University of East Anglia medicine professor, said the new figures on the vaccine’s efficacy were ‘very reassuring’. He said he felt confident that there would be a ‘gradual opening of society’ in early March.
He went on: ‘If they are achieving 65% protection after three weeks with both jabs, then I think that’s really good.
‘That’s a vindication of our current strategy as it protects more people than giving two doses three weeks apart.’
Boris Johnson has pledged to start reopening schools on March 8, once the top four priority groups have all received their first dose of a Covid vaccine. This should be completed by mid-February.
The UK could begin reopening from March, one professor said (Picture: PA)
Based on the Government’s vaccination figures, published today, an average of 392,252 first doses will be needed each day this week to meet the target of 15 million first doses by February 15.
A Public Health England spokesperson said: ‘We are analysing data collected since the start of the vaccination rollout and will publish our findings in due course.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.