Covid-19 vaccines have saved 11,700 lives and stopped 33,000 people from needing hospital treatment with coronavirus in England, research released today has suggested.
The figures from Public Health England (PHE), up to the end of April, estimated 9,900 deaths were prevented in people aged 80 and over, 1,500 in those aged 70 to 79 and 300 in those aged 60 to 69.
The data also found that 3,900 hospital admissions were prevented in those aged 65 to 74, 13,100 in those aged 75 to 84 and 16,000 in those aged 85 and over.
The researchers said increasing evidence that Covid-19 vaccines help reduce transmission of the virus means the true figures could be even higher.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said the data was ‘remarkable’ following a ‘heartbreaking and difficult year’. He told people not to ‘hesitate in securing this protection’ for themselves and others when offered the jab.
He added: ‘That’s tens of thousands of parents, children, siblings, friends and loved ones saved – and millions more who haven’t had to feel the impact of that horrible loss too.’
PHE said they compared the number of actual deaths with the number of deaths that would have been expected without the vaccine. For hospital admissions, they considered vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions, vaccine coverage and observed hospital admissions, as well as modelling.
RCN professional lead for public health nursing Helen Donovan said the ‘study is further evidence that the Covid-19 vaccines are working and nurses have been leading the way on the implementation programme’.
She continued: ‘It is vital that people come forward for vaccination as soon as they are eligible so we can make sure that as many people as possible are protected from this illness.’
The latest UK figures show over 35.9m people have received their first Covid-19 vaccine dose and 18.8m of those have received their second dose.
Patients aged 38-39 became eligible to book their Covid-19 vaccination from yesterday. They can do so via the NHS’s National Booking Service, where they will be automatically directed to available appointments at vaccination centres and community pharmacy sites.
This article first appeared on our sister publication, Nursing in Practice.