First coronavirus vaccine dose cuts infection risk by 62 pct in England: UK study

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LONDON, March 29 (Xinhua) — A major study of care home residents in England has found that their risk of infection with coronavirus fell by 62 percent five weeks after they received their first vaccine jab, British media reported Monday.

The study, funded by the British Department of Health and Social Care, tracked more than 10,400 care home residents in England with an average age of 86 between December 2020 and March this year, comparing the number of infections occurring in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, The Guardian newspaper reported.

The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that both vaccines Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech reduced the risk of infection by about 56 percent at 28-34 days after the first dose, and 62 percent at 35-48 days.

The study is considered important as it also looks into how the vaccines can reduce asymptomatic infections, which play a crucial role in the spread of the virus.

“It’s helpful to look at people who don’t have symptoms because what you want to do is reduce the total number of people who’ve been infected,” said Dr Laura Shallcross from University College London, an author of the analysis.

Another 4,654 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,337,696, according to official figures released Monday.

The country also reported another 23 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 126,615. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

More than 30.4 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures. The British government said the country is “on course” to meet its target of offering a first dose to the top nine priority groups, including the over-50s, by April 15 and all adults by the end of July.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. Enditem

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