Britons who've had a booster jab are 93.4% less likely to die from Covid, study finds

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People who have been triple-vaccinated against Covid are 93 per cent less likely to die from the virus than the unjabbed, latest official figures show. 

A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) looked at 70,000 coronavirus deaths in England between July and December 2021.

The death rate was 23.6 per 100,000 for the fully boosted, compared to the 356.5 per 100,000 rate in the unvaccinated during the period.

Adjusting for age, statisticians found having two doses also reduced the risk by 81 per cent during the same period.  

The period does not cover the full Omicron wave, which may influence the findings. The new variant has made two doses significantly weaker, but Omicron itself is much milder than past strains. 

In the ONS report, people were classified based on how many jabs they received and whether there had been more or less than 21 days since their last dose.

The risk of dying was consistently lower every month from September for people who had a booster since third doses started being rolled out.

More than 37.4million people in the UK have now had their Covid booster, with 80 per cent of those eligible over-18s coming forward for a third dose.  

Covid vaccine booster doses reduced the risk of dying with the virus by 93 per cent in the six months up to December, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed today. The death rate was 23.6 per 100,000 for the fully boosted between July and December last year, 93.4 per cent less than the 356.5 per 100,000 rate in the unvaccinated during the period.

Graphs show: The age-adjusted Covid death rate by vaccine status and age from January to June (top) and July to December (bottom)

Graphs show: The age-adjusted Covid death rate by vaccine status and age from January to June (top) and July to December (bottom)

The risk of dying was consistently lower every month from September for people who had a booster (red line) since third doses started being rolled out. Graph shows: Age-adjusted Covid death rates by vaccination status over time

The risk of dying was consistently lower every month from September for people who had a booster (red line) since third doses started being rolled out. Graph shows: Age-adjusted Covid death rates by vaccination status over time

UK’s Covid wave falls on every front as daily cases, hospital admissions and deaths drop 

Britain’s Covid wave fell on every front yesterday as daily cases, hospitalisations and deaths all trended downwards — and separate figures suggest infections are finally falling in children. 

Government dashboard data shows there were another 88,171 infections over the last 24 hours, a fall of nine per cent compared to last Thursday.

Today’s infections also include two days worth of Scottish cases due to a technical error earlier in the week, which means the true drop-off in cases today is likely to have been lower.

Another 303 deaths were also recorded, marking a 10 per cent dip on the previous week. Latest hospital data shows there were 1,386 admissions on January 30, down 16.4 per cent in a week. 

Meanwhile, separate data from the UK Health Security Agency shows that cases have started to fall in primary school children in England for the first time since Christmas. 

ONS statisticians looked at all of the more than 69,000 people aged 10 or over who died with Covid in England last year to calculate their risk of dying based on how many doses they had. 

The most vulnerable over-90s saw an 89 per cent fall in risk after getting a booster, with death rates falling from 3,237.1 per 100,000 in the unvaccinated to 343.2 per 100,000 in the triple-jabbed.

For much of 2021, mortality rates for death involving Covid for people who had received two doses of vaccine remained well below the equivalent figures for people who were unvaccinated, the ONS found.

But rates among double-jabbed people started to increase at the end of last year, jumping from 92.0 deaths per 100,000 in October to 221.1 in November and 367.7 in December.

This may have been driven by a change in the composition of the double-jabbed group, with most older people having received a booster or third dose by this point, the ONS said.

It might also be connected to ‘waning protection from prior vaccination’.

They found the rate was 462 per 100,000 in people not vaccinated during December, when Omicron caused a surge in cases across the country.

But in people who had a booster at least 21 days before, the rate was reduced 94 per cent to just 24.5 per 100,000.

For comparison the rate was 377.7 per 100,000 (18 per cent less) in people who had just one jab.

And it was 367.7 per 100,000 (20 per cent less) in those who had two jabs.

The rate was nearly six times higher in the double-jabbed compared to their six-month death rate from July to December, which was 67.2 per 100,000.

Experts warned Omicron’s slightly higher vaccine escape and waning immunity from the second dose would result in more deaths if people did not get their boosters at the time. 

Mortality rates should not be taken as a measure of vaccine effectiveness, the ONS stressed.

The figures have been adjusted to account for differences in age and population size, but there may be other differences between the groups, such as underlying health issues, that could affect mortality rates.

Separate UK Health Security Agency data shows that around six months after a second dose, protection against death with Omicron was around 60 per cent in those aged 50 and over. 

However, this increased to around 95 per cent two weeks after receiving a booster vaccine dose. 

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said: ‘The evidence is clear — the vaccine helps to protect us all against the effects of Covid and the booster is offering high levels of protection from hospitalisation and death in the most vulnerable members of our society. 

‘The pandemic is not over yet and the vaccine is the best way to increase your protection against the serious consequences of this virus – please book your appointment for your first, second or third vaccine without delay.’ 

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