One jab HALVES spread of virus: Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both slash risk of passing Covid on to others in your household, analysis shows
- Public Health England study found one vaccine dose cuts Covid risk by up to half
- Also found the jab cuts chances of passing on the virus if someone is infected
- Study involved 1.5million adults and is first to confirm effectiveness at curbing spread of virus
A single dose of vaccine slashes the risk of spreading coronavirus by up to half, a major study reveals today.
Not only does the jab reduce a person’s chance of catching Covid in the first place, it greatly reduces their chances of passing it on, should they get infected.
The research by Public Health England (PHE) which involved almost 1.5million adults is the first of its kind to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccines in curbing the virus’s ability to spread.
It comes as Boris Johnson said yesterday that the ‘road ahead looks positive’ as separate figures revealed Covid deaths have plummeted 97 per cent since the second peak.
A single dose of vaccine slashes the risk of spreading coronavirus by up to half, a major study reveals today
Not only does the jab reduce a person’s chance of catching Covid in the first place, it greatly reduces their chances of passing it on, should they get infected
The new study on transmission of the virus found that adults who received the Pfizer vaccine – but still caught the virus – were 49 per cent less likely to spread it to other household members than those who weren’t inoculated.
The results for the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab were not quite as good but nonetheless, those who received it were 38 per cent less likely to transmit it to others in their household.
But the fact that both vaccines dramatically reduce the virus’s ability to spread – as well as preventing serious illness – offer renewed hope that they hold the key to a return to normal life.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘This is terrific news, we already know vaccines save lives and this study is the most comprehensive real-world data showing they also cut transmission of this deadly virus. It further reinforces that vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic as they protect you and they may prevent you from unknowingly infecting someone in your household.
UK humiliated us! Italian MEP slams EU’s slow vaccine rollout
An Italian MEP yesterday launched a verbal attack on the European Union, declaring ‘the UK humiliated us’ with the speed of its vaccine rollout.
Antonio Maria Rinaldi spoke out as members of the European Parliament debated Brexit for the final time, ahead of the EU’s formal ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement. The former banker and member of the Eurosceptic Lega party said the UK will see higher economic growth than Europe and apologised for Brussels’ Brexit doom-mongering.
He attacked the EU’s ‘swamps of regulations’ and ‘the lies that have been told [against Britain] just for daring to no longer follow diktats’. His comments came as the Commission announced it was suing AstraZeneca over vaccine shortfalls, the latest development in a furious row that has seen European leaders bitterly attack Britain for having secured more doses than them.
Mr Rinaldi said: ‘I learned that the European Union has sued the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. We hope that the lawyers in charge are not the same ones who formulated the contracts last year.
‘Why is the Commission not using some very good London law firm this time? They would be sure to win.’
‘I urge everybody to get their vaccines as soon as they are eligible and make sure you get your second dose for the strongest possible protection. This is a huge national effort and we will beat the virus together.’
The jabs’ ability to prevent virus transmission kicked in after just 14 days and they worked regardless of a person’s age or the number of people within their household, with whom they had close contact.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: ‘Vaccines are vital in helping us return to a normal way of life.
‘Not only do vaccines reduce the severity of illness and prevent hundreds of deaths every day, we now see they also have an additional impact on reducing the chance of passing Covid-19 on to others. I encourage anyone who is offered a vaccine to take it as soon as possible.
‘While these findings are very encouraging, even if you have been vaccinated, it is really important that you continue to act like you have the virus, practise good hand hygiene and follow social distancing guidance.’
Last week, a major Oxford study found that a single dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccine reduced symptomatic infection by nearly three quarters, compared to in people who had not had the jab.
The authors were so encouraged by the findings they said the jabs would enable the country to control the pandemic without the need for future lockdowns.
There were 2,685 new coronavirus cases and a further 17 deaths reported yesterday.
The Prime Minister’s optimism about getting life back to normal comes as Office for National Statistics figures showed there were 266 deaths in the week to April 9 where Covid was recorded on the death certificate. This is down 97 per cent from 8,965 in the week to January 22, when there were more than a thousand deaths each day.
After Mr Johnson’s Cabinet meeting yesterday, a No10 statement said: ‘The PM said that while the road ahead looks positive, there will still be challenges and this Government will continue to take tough decisions where necessary to protect both lives and livelihoods.’
Yesterday the Government also announced that more than 13million adults had received both doses of the jab, meaning a quarter of the population now have the strongest protection against the virus.
All over-40s are expected to be invited for their jabs by the end of the week and officials are confident that they will hit their target of offering all adults their first dose by the end of July.
UK humiliated us! Italian MEP slams EU’s slow vaccine rollout
By the Mail Foreign Service
One in four adults in the UK is fully vaccinated against Covid, with a record number of second doses delivered in the past week.
NHS England yesterday extended the offer of a first jab to anyone aged 42 and over. Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 42, posted a photo of a vial on Twitter and wrote: ‘I’m really looking forward to getting my text.’
The Department of Health said the UK had administered 47,045,391 jabs, made up of 33,843,580 first doses and 13,201,811 second doses.
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said: ‘Just two weeks after rolling out the vaccine to those aged 45 and over, we are now ready to invite those aged 42 and 43, as the largest vaccination programme in NHS history continues at speed.
‘If you receive a text inviting you to book in for your jab, please follow the instructions provided – it is simple, effective and provides vital protection against the coronavirus.’
But a new report warned the rollout must go even faster to avoid a third wave.
The paper from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change says vaccinating adolescents and returning the pace of the rollout to its March peak would prevent a summer spike entirely. And it warns the Government should delay step four of the roadmap by a month if this cannot be achieved.
This would mean all limits on social contact would not be released until July 21, rather than June 21 as planned.
Ian Mulheirn, UK policy director at the institute, said: ‘Despite the success of the vaccine rollout, we’re not out of the woods yet. But the Government has the power to stop a deadly third wave of the virus by expanding the vaccination programme to adolescents and bringing the final step of the easing of the roadmap into line with the vaccine rollout timetable.
‘Being prepared to change the strategy could save thousands of lives and the Government should ask its advisers to explore these options now.’
It came as a study showed that just one in four people in the UK have experienced mild side effects after getting the vaccine.
Researchers at King’s College London looked at data from more than 620,000 Britons who have received either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab from the NHS.
Two-thirds suffered a tender arm after the jab, but just one in four had ‘systemic’ side effects elsewhere. Headaches, fatigue and chills were the most common symptoms.
The study shows there have been fewer side effects in the real-world vaccine programme than clinical trials had suggested, providing a major boost for the rollout.