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EAVE II wins HDR UK Impact of the Year award

At this year’s annual HDR UK Scientific Conference, the EAVE II study was announced as joint winner of the Impact of the Year award for the world’s first national study on the success of first dose COVID-19 vaccinations in reducing hospital admissions.

HDR UK Scientific Conference: Data Insights in a Pandemic

The annual HDR UK Scientific Conference showcases world-class science which delivers impact both on a national and global scale. This year, the conference chose to focus on data insights in a pandemic, highlighting the value of a data-led approach during the past year and how it has informed a pivotal research response to COVID-19.

HDR UK brought together the health data science community from across their institute, as well as the UK and international. Through a varied programme and a collection of streams and talks, world-leaders from across healthcare, research, and industry demonstrated their incredible discoveries that are establishing an excellent foundation for the future.

Find out more about the conference: HDR UK Scientific Conference: Data Insights in a Pandemic

Impact of the Year award for EAVE II

EAVE II was announced as the winner of HDR UK’s Impact of the Year award for its research into the effectiveness of first dose COVID-19 vaccinations. This highlights the incredible efforts made by the entire team over the past year, and how their research is making significant impact in the pandemic.

The award was received for the study:

Interim findings from first-dose mass COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and COVID-19 hospital admissions in Scotland

This in-depth study was the first of its kind to describe the effect of the first dose vaccinations across an entire country (Scotland). The team found that the vaccines were effective at reducing hospitalisations resulting from COVID-19, with an 83% reduction across both vaccines after four weeks in those aged 80 and over. 

National and international impact of the study

This study generated crucial evidence that confirmed vaccine effectiveness in all age groups and has influenced global vaccine rollout. The UK Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister both announced the findings in press conferences that influenced the relaxing of UK lockdown.

Following publication of these findings, several countries – France, Canada, and Germany – altered their policy positions, making the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine available to older people.

The story was one of the leading media stories in the world, on the day of release, and boosted public confidence in the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Working with data on a national scale – in strong partnership between academia and Public Health Scotland – the EAVE II team has been able to move at speed in a secure environment to answer key questions about COVID-19 vaccinations in the real world.

Thank you to all involved in both EAVE II and the UK-wide DaC-VaP studies, as we continue to provide evidence to help inform government and public health responses to this pandemic in Scotland, the UK, and internationally.

Professor Aziz SheikhDirector of the Usher Institute and EAVE II and DaC-VaP Study Lead


EAVE II works with data held by Public Health Scotland, including on vaccinations, COVID tests, hospitalisations, and deaths for 5.4 million people in Scotland. This is around 99% of the population living in Scotland. 

Scotland is an ideal place to carry out this research as everyone has a unique reference number, associated with their health data - the 'Community Health Index' or CHI number. This makes it quite easy to link together information from different health data sets, to create a full picture of what is happening across Scotland.

EAVE II is now working as part of a wider team in the National Core Studies: Data and Connectivity – Covid-19 vaccines Pharmacovigilance (DaC-VaP) project to enable collaboration and replication of similar studies across the UK. 

Read more on the EAVE II website: EAVE II | University of Edinburgh 

Read more on the DaC-VaP on the Usher Institute website DaC-VaP | The University of Edinburgh

Collaborative working

The study team demonstrate collaborative working across four UK nations, involving three national public health agencies, and inter-disciplinary academics spanning the fields of primary care, public health, health services research, data science, epidemiology and statistics across numerous universities. 

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) was fundamental to, and involved at all stages of, this work – beginning with the research question, designing the study, reflecting on the findings, and contributing to the final published pre-print and paper (with 2 PPI members as co-authors).  PPI members led the production of a lay summary of the published paper. 

To be successful, it was essential the team was diverse and brought in as many different points of view as possible. The team are committed to supporting and promoting our excellent early career researchers and recognise their particular contribution to this work.

Read the lay summary on the EAVE II website: Interim findings from first-dose mass COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and COVID-19 hospital admissions in Scotland | The University of Edinburgh

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HDR UK news announcing annual award winners 2021