A SINGLE dose of a coronavirus vaccine can reportedly give 90 per cent protection from the disease – as new figures show jabs are slashing hospitalisations.

The results apply to the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, with the British jab proving slightly more effective against the bug.

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The figures, taken from a study based in England, were calculated by comparing people who had received a first dose of the jab with others of a similar age who had not got their vaccine yet.

And researchers say the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is more effective than Pfizer's vaccine at stopping people from becoming severely ill and needing to be hospitalised, the Mail on Sunday reports.

But a single shot from either of the jabs cuts the risk of needing hospital treatment by more than 90 per cent, results from the NHS vaccination programme show.

It comes as:

  • Germany and France will give the AstraZeneca vaccine to over-65s – after health chiefs cast doubts over its effectiveness
  • A mass Covid testing blitz launches tomorrow – with 32m tests being posted to families with school-age children
  • More than 12m kind-hearted Brits have volunteered their time during the pandemic
  • A union activist has launched a last-minute strike plot to disrupt the reopening of schools
  • Industry figures have claimed restricted trading will cost 200,000 jobs

It represents another huge boost to Britain’s world-beating vaccine rollout, which has now achieved nearly 20 million first injections. 

And the study helps to explain why the numbers being hospitalised are falling so rapidly in the oldest age groups.

Deaths among the over-75s have dropped by 40 per cent, while the number of over-85s being admitted to intensive care units with Covid has dropped close to zero.

Yesterday, Prince William urged Brits to ignore conspiracy theories about the supposed dangers of the vaccine.


In a video call with wife Kate to two clinically vulnerable women shielding with their families since March, the Duke of Cambridge hit out at "rumours and misinformation" on social media.

William told Shivali Modha, who has type 2 diabetes: “Catherine and I are not medical experts by any means but we can wholeheartedly support having vaccinations.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of people about it and the uptake has been amazing so far.

"We’ve got to keep it going so the younger generations also feel that it’s really important for them to have it."

He added: “Social media is awash with misinformation so we have to be a bit careful who we believe.”

The royal made the comments just days after the Queen suggested last week that it was selfish to refuse a jab.

Figures on the success of both jabs available in the UK follow a separate study by Edinburgh University – published last week – which found that "the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19 by up to 85 per cent and 94 per cent, respectively."

Phase 1 of the ambitious Covid rollout of first doses – covering 32million Brits either aged 50 and over and those at high risk – should be completed by April 15.

AMBITIOUS ROLLOUT

Phase 2 will start with those aged 40 to 49 being offered protection, then all those aged 30 and 39 before the 18 to 29-year-olds will be included.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has recommended that vaccinations should continue by descending age, not occupation.

The JCVI said the approach will “provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, meanwhile, has praised the “unbelievably brilliant” effort and enthusiasm shown by volunteers.

Some 2,500 vaccination centres have been manned by NHS staff, retired nurses and GPs.


They have been aided by Royal Voluntary Service heroes, including 50,000 from The Sun.

Mr Hancock said: “The Jabs Army marches on. They are doing an amazing job.

“I’m very grateful to everybody who has given up time.”

Brits, include those who have already received their jab, have been urged to continue following the restrictions.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, has warned against relaxing too soon, saying: “I do worry that people think it’s all over.

“Just continue to maintain discipline and hang on just a few more months. We are so close.”

According to the latest data, a further 290 people have died of Covid in the UK – with the grim daily toll down by 34 per cent on last Saturday.

Another 7,434 people have tested positive overnight, with a total of 4,170,519 infections recorded since the start of the pandemic.

This time last week, 10,406 more people tested positive and 445 died – and the previous Saturday, February 13, 13,308 new cases and 621 deaths were recorded.


 

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