Great news for Irish tourism as top scientist says that COVID vaccines could ‘almost completely’ stop virus transmission with jabs working ‘better than any of us could have imagined’.
Dr Mary Ramsay, the head of Public Health England, has revealed that new studies suggest vaccines may completely halt community transmissions of COVID-19.
A study by Public Health England shows that the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has dramatically reduced hospital admissions among the over 80 age group, and with the coming rollout among younger age groups, experts are hopeful for the future.
With studies showing that hospital admissions have declined across the country, Dr Ramsay is hopeful that two doses of the COVID vaccines could ‘almost completely’ stop virus transmission.
Hope for the future – the vaccine rollout
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today on Tuesday about the positive results of recent studies showing the effectiveness of the vaccine against COVID-19, Dr Ramsay said,
“What we don’t yet know is how long that might last and whether or not that will be enough to stop the infection spreading more widely in the population over time.
“But there are really very good signs that this is going to at least reduce infection rates across the population and hopefully prevent people passing it on almost completely if they’ve been vaccinated fully.”
If the vaccine rollout proves as effective among younger age groups, hopes will be high for a way out of the pandemic and life to return to normal.
The rollout across Europe – COVID vaccines could stop virus transmission
With the results of new studies showing the effectiveness of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccines could stop virus transmission, France has abandoned claims by President Emmanuel Macron that the jab was “quasi-ineffective on people older than 65.”
Similarly, reports suggest that German chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to lift the embargo on the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine being given to those over-65.
The rollout across the U.K. has seen over 20 million people receiving their first vaccine dosage, while almost 500,000 have received the jab in the Republic of Ireland.
Austria and Denmark have formed a new partnership with Israel to obtain crucial vaccine supplies from outside of the European Union, with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz telling Bild that the European Medicines Agency was “too slow” to approve vaccines.
Pfizer vaccine – is it proving effective?
With Public Health England studies of health workers who have received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine showing “reduced infection, regardless of whether people had symptoms or not”, Dr Mary Ramsay has said that encouraging results could be seen with the continued rollout.
With studies of the COVID vaccines showing they could ‘almost completely’ stop virus transmission, Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, gave to reasons for the positive vaccine results,
“First of all, because these data come from the hardest group to protect – those who are the frailest, the oldest adults in our population – we’re seeing an 80 per cent reduction in hospitalisation in that group, which is stunning.”
“Second, both of the vaccines performed exactly the same; there was no daylight between them.
“We’ve had all this difficulty with communication, particularly around Europe, with uncertainty about the evidence, whereas in the U.K., we’ve been rolling out both vaccines in the confidence that they would both give high levels of protection.
“And that’s absolutely what we’ve seen now in this real-world evidence – that whether you’ve had a Pfizer vaccine or the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, you have very high levels of protection.”