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

A milestone study, which points to the success of first dose mass vaccination in reducing COVID-19 hospitalisations across Scotland, is now available from The Lancet.

Interim findings from first-dose mass COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and COVID-19 hospital admissions in Scotland: a national prospective cohort study

Plain English summary

Is the first dose of the vaccines effective? Yes - Hospitalisations due to COVID-19 have reduced across Scotland because of first dose vaccinations The EAVE II study looked at the 1.33 million people in Scotland who were vaccinated between 8 December 2020 and 22 February 2021. Their average age was 65 To allow time for the first dose to take effect, the study focused on the 28-34 days after they received the first dose of the vaccine. Across both vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca, there was a 89% reduction in risk of hospitalisation. The vaccines remained equally effective in older people, aged 80 and over. What does this mean? A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines substantially reduced the risk of people in Scotland being hospitalised for COVID-19. Read the paper:
Infographic highlighting the key results from this paper. Right click and save image to view in full, or press, hold, and save image if using a mobile device

Background

The Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2 mRNA) and Oxford-AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1) COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials. They were both found to give protection against COVID-19 infection. They are now being used to vaccinate the public in the UK and several other countries.

We know the vaccines worked in clinical trials, and now we need to know what this means in the ‘real world’. We wanted to know how effective the first dose of these vaccines is in preventing COVID-19 hospital admissions.

Why is this study important?

Pfizer-BioNTech said the second dose should be given at 3 weeks. Oxford-AstraZeneca said the second dose should be given between 4-12 weeks. In the UK, the second dose of all vaccines is given within 12 weeks of the first dose. This study is important for the Government who make the policy on when the vaccine doses are given. This is the first study to measure the impact of the UK’s vaccine strategy.

EAVE II database

The EAVE II database holds data on vaccinations, primary care, COVID tests, hospitalisations and deaths for 5.4 million people in Scotland. This is around 99% of people living in Scotland.

What we did

We analysed the EAVE II data to find out the risk of hospital admission for COVID-19 after only having one dose of vaccine. We measured how many people had been admitted to hospital after being vaccinated.

What we found

Between December 8, 2020, and February 15, 2021, a total of 1,331,993 people were vaccinated. The average age of those vaccinated was 65 years.

By 28-34 days after being vaccinated:

The first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduced the risk of a COVID-19 hospital admission by 91% 

The first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the risk of a COVID-19 hospital admission by 88% 

The first dose of either vaccine reduced the risk of a COVID-19 hospital admission by 83% in older adults aged 80 years and older. What does this mean? A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines reduced the risk of people in Scotland being admitted to hospital due to COVID-19.

These up-to-date findings show that first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines protect against hospital admissions in all adult age groups including older age groups over 80. These findings highlight the need to speed up the roll-out of first vaccine doses and achieve high population coverage.

Dr Eleftheria VasileiouCo-Lead Author, BREATHE

Additional information

Follow the link to meet the EAVE II team, the excellent researchers leading the study: Meet the EAVE II team | The University of Edinburgh

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research and Health Data Research UK, and supported by the Scottish Government.

Additional support has been provided through Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government Director-General Health and Social Care, and the UKRI COVID-19 National Core Studies Data and Connectivity programme led by HDR UK.

Cite as

Vasileiou E, Simpson CR, Robertson C, Shi T, Kerr S, et al. Interim findings from first-dose mass COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and COVID-19 hospital admissions in Scotland: a national prospective cohort study. The Lancet. Published online April 23, 2021. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00677-2

 

Note

This plain English summary and infographic were created with the support and feedback of the EAVE II Patient Advisory Group (PAG). To learn more about the PAG, see: Our EAVE II Patient Advisory Group (PAG) | The University of Edinburgh