Covid jab slashes risk of spreading bug at home by 54%, new data shows

COVID vaccination slashes household transmission of the virus by at least 54 per cent, real world data shows.

Public Health Scotland assessed 300,000 NHS staff between December and early March.

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People living with healthcare workers who had received their first jab were 30 per cent less likely to catch Covid.

Experts say this is likely an underestimate of the effect of immunisation on transmission as household members could still catch the virus from other sources.

Workers who have had both doses of vaccine were found to be at least 54 per cent less likely to pass on the virus.

Dr Diane Stockton, PHS Lead for COVID-19 Vaccination Surveillance Programme, said: "The results from this study as part of our vaccine effectiveness work, are very encouraging because it suggests that the vaccine helps prevent people from passing on the virus to others – something that has been suspected but hasn't previously been shown."

She added: "Despite this good news, it is important to remember that infection prevention and control practices in healthcare settings remain of paramount importance, as do the mitigations to prevent spread in our daily lives."

Dr David McAllister, of Glasgow University, said: "Our study has important implications for informing vaccination strategies.

"The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in the United Kingdom recently commented on the lack of real-world evidence evaluating the role of vaccination programmes on transmission.

"We provide the first direct evidence that vaccinating individuals working in high-exposure settings reduces the risk to their close contacts – members of their households.

'ENCOURAGING'

"Our work will also be of interest to modellers, as it can be used to inform their predictions about future rates of Covid-19 in the community."

It comes as over-30s could get Covid jabs by April as a surge of 10 million extra doses become available from next week.

There is to be a "rapid increase" in the number of people getting vaccinated after a "dip" at the end of February.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi has said there will be a "big uplift" in supply in the coming weeks.

So far more than 24 million jabs have been given in the UK, including 1.2 million second doses.

Mr Zahawi told the Women and Equalities House of Commons Committee that until now "supply has been finite" but he was "expecting tens of millions of doses to come through".

New figures show another Covid vaccine is 96 per cent effective in preventing cases caused by the original version of the coronavirus.

The UK has ordered 60 million doses of the Novavax jab which has been shown to be 100 per cent effective in preventing serious illness and death.

The company said it hopes to begin seeking approval from regulators next month, before manufacture begins in Stockton-on-Tees this summer.


 

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