San Francisco Chronicle
Study finds vaccines to be very effective
Scotland’s COVID-19 vaccination program has led to a sharp drop in hospitalizations, researchers said Monday, boosting hopes that the shots will work as well in the real world as they have in carefully controlled studies.
The OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine reduced hospital admissions by up to 94% four weeks after people received their first dose, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine cut admissions by up to 85%, according to scientists at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Strathclyde and Public Health Scotland.
The preliminary findings were based on a comparison of people who had received one dose of vaccine and those who hadn’t been inoculated. The data was gathered between Dec. 8 and Feb. 15.
“These results are very encouraging and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future,” said Professor Aziz Sheikh, director of the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute. “We now have national evidence — across an entire country — that vaccination provides protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations.”
Outside experts said while the findings are encouraging, they should be interpreted with caution because of the nature of this kind of observational study. In particular, relatively few people were hospitalized after receiving the vaccines during the study period.