COVID-19 infection rates are three times lower for double vaccinated people, the latest REACT-1 study findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show.
Over 98,000 volunteers took part in the study in England between 24 June and 12 July to examine the levels of COVID-19 in the general population. The latest data show infections in England have increased fourfold from 0.15% to 0.63% since the last REACT-1 report which covered the period 20 May to 7 June.
Despite this increase, the findings indicate the spread of the virus was slowing as of 12 July and infection rates for double vaccinated people are three times lower than in unvaccinated.
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‘These findings confirm our previous data showing that both doses of a vaccine offer good protection against getting infected. However we can also see that there is still a risk of infection, as no vaccine is 100% effective, and we know that some double vaccinated people can still become ill from the virus. So even with the easing of restrictions, we should still act with caution to help protect one another and curb the rate of infections,’ said Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme from Imperial’s School of Public Health.
Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows vaccines are highly effective against all variants of COVID-19. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after both doses. PHE estimates that the vaccination programme in England has prevented 22 million infections, around 52,600 hospitalisations and between 35,200 and 60,000 deaths.
PHE hospitalisation data shows that between 21 June and 19 July, 1,788 people were admitted to hospital after testing positive for the Delta variant. Of these, 970 (54.3%) were unvaccinated, while 530 (29.6%) had received both doses of the vaccine. In total, 3,692 people have been hospitalised with the delta variant, of whom 2,152 (58.3%) were unvaccinated and 843 (22.8%) were fully vaccinated. The latest PHE risk assessment for the Delta variant reflects early signs of increased risk of reinfection with Delta compared to Alpha. Further investigations are being undertaken by PHE and data will be updated on Friday.
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‘Our vaccination rollout is building a wall of defence that means we can carefully ease restrictions and get back to the things we love, but we need to be cautious as we learn to live with this virus,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
‘Today’s report shows the importance of taking personal responsibility by self-isolating if you are contact traced, getting tested if you have symptoms and wearing face coverings where appropriate. I urge anyone who has yet to receive a vaccine to get jabbed and take up both doses – the vaccines are safe and they are working.’