LONDON (Reuters) – Scotland’s vaccination drive seems to be markedly lowering the chance of hospitalisation for COVID-19, suggesting that each the Pfizer-BioNtech and Oxford-AstraZeneca pictures are extremely efficient in stopping extreme infections, preliminary examine findings confirmed on Monday.

Outcomes of the examine, which coated your entire Scottish inhabitants of 5.four million folks, confirmed that by the fourth week after the preliminary dose, the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines had been discovered to scale back the chance of hospitalisation by as much as 85% and 94% respectively.

“These outcomes are very encouraging and have given us nice causes to be optimistic for the long run,” mentioned Aziz Sheikh, a professor on the College of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute who co-led the examine.

Sheikh cautioned at a media briefing that the outcomes are preliminary information, but to be peer-reviewed by unbiased scientists, however added: “I’m very inspired. We now have nationwide proof…that vaccination supplies safety in opposition to COVID-19 hospitalisations.”

He mentioned he anticipated different international locations utilizing the identical two vaccines and an identical technique – reminiscent of England and Wales for instance – would see an identical constructive influence in lowering the variety of folks being hospitalised with COVID-19.

Information for the vaccines’ impact in Scotland was gathered between Dec. eight and Feb. 15. Researchers mentioned that in this era, 1.14 million vaccines had been administered and 21% of Scotland’s inhabitants had obtained a primary dose.

Amongst these aged 80 years and over – one of many highest threat teams for COVID-19 – vaccination was related to an 81% discount in hospitalisation threat within the fourth week, when the outcomes for each vaccines had been mixed.

Jim McMenamin, Public Well being Scotland’s COVID-19 incident director, mentioned the findings are significantly essential “as we transfer from expectation to agency proof of profit from vaccines”.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, modifying by Mark Heinrich)