First UK real-world study by UKHSA shows increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection

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Findings of the first UK real-world study by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) show that 2 weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1% in those with AstraZeneca as their primary course, and 94.0% for Pfizer-BioNTech.

Vaccine effectiveness against severe outcomes such as hospital admission remains high for several months after completing the primary course; however, greater waning has been seen in older people and those with underlying medical conditions compared to young, healthy adults.

As a result, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended a booster vaccine programme to eligible groups, which includes adults aged 40 years and above.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said: ‘Our findings demonstrate the protection provided by the booster dose against symptomatic infection in those at highest risk from developing severe COVID-19. We know that in older age groups, protection from the first two vaccines is beginning to wear off, leaving millions that need extra protection as we head into winter.

‘That is why it is critical that you come forward for your booster as soon as you become eligible, so we can drive down hospitalisations and deaths over the winter.’


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