New data indicates that both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines being administered in the Covid-19 vaccination rollout may significantly slash the risk of both infections and transmissions. According to the data, just one shot of the two vaccines can cut Covid-19 infections and transmissions by two-thirds, with this impact seen across all age groups.
Information and data are currently being compiled and submitted to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he prepares to unveil his lockdown exit plan this coming week. While these are early findings, many are optimistic about the data, which also appears to support the move to extend the period between the first and second vaccines.
Vaccination rollout continues across Britain
The data has emerged as the Covid-19 vaccination rollout continues across the country. Already, older people, those considered vulnerable, and care/health workers have received their jabs. The rollout is going so well that there is speculation that the NHS could offer all over 40s their first jabs over the coming few weeks.
It was also revealed the government plans to base the next phase of the vaccination programme on age alone rather than occupation. This means seniors will still be the first to receive their second dose, but care and health workers will not be prioritised.
While the government has been slated over its handling of the pandemic on many levels, it has made impressive headway with the vaccination rollout. Vaccination targets have been met and exceeded since the rollout began. While over 40s should be offered first jabs by the start of May, this target could be hit as early as the end of March.
With millions of people already protected by their first doses, Public Health England has confirmed that Covid-19 cases appear to be falling in all regions of the country. In addition, figures suggest the death rate among people in their 80s has plummeted by two-thirds over the past few weeks.
Impact on lifting the lockdown
The nation anxiously awaits the Prime Minister revealing the plans for exiting lockdown this coming week. Many believe the latest data could have a further impact on when he lifts restrictions. However, in recent days he has affirmed he plans to take a cautious approach.
Over recent days, reports have suggested it could be as late as July before the government can make any significant changes to the current lockdown restrictions. This has led to a lot of pressure from both government officials and the public to ease restrictions much earlier.
The release of this data about the two Covid jabs' effectiveness will put the PM under even more pressure to lift the lockdown sooner rather than later.