LONDON — Two U.K. studies released Monday show COVID-19 vaccination programs are contributing to a sharp drop in hospitalizations, boosting hopes that the shots will work as well in the real world as they have in carefully controlled studies.
Preliminary results from a study in Scotland found that the Pfizer vaccine reduced hospital admissions by up to 85% four weeks after the first dose, while the AstraZeneca shot cut admissions by up to 94%.
The Scottish researchers looked at data covering the entire Scottish population of 5.4 million people over the last few months, of which about 20% have received a first dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine.
Between December and the middle of February, more than 8,000 people in Scotland ended up in the hospital with COVID-19. However, only 58 of those hospitalized were part of the vaccinated group.
In England, preliminary data from a study of health care workers showed that the Pfizer vaccine reduced the risk of catching COVID-19 by 70% after one dose, a figure that rose to 85% after the second.