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NZ Herald Article written by our team 
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COVID-19 Vaccination reduces risk of death, hospitalisation and transmission from covid-19

Vaccine is effective at preventing death from Covid-19 (ONS Study UK)1

In England, between 2 January and 2 July 2021, there were 51,281 deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19); 640 occurred in people who were fully vaccinated, which includes people who had been infected before they were vaccinated.

When you take into account when people were infected with COVID-19 this number falls even further:

256 deaths (~0.5%) occurred in patients infected 14 days after their second dose (defined as a breakthrough death). 

There were only 44 deaths in individuals who first tested positive more than 3 weeks after their second vaccine dose.

The average age of breakthrough death was 84.

193 breakthrough deaths occurred in clinically extremely vulnerable individuals with other comorbid health problems.

Only 59 deaths occurred in non-extremely vulnerable individuals.

Individual risk (QCovid risk calculator)2

Research has identified individual risk factors for illness with covid-19.  Using the QCovid research tool an 85 year old male with a BMI of 22.6 kg/m2 and NO other health problems living independently would have a 24.8068% or 1 in 4 risk of dying from covid-19 if they were unvaccinated. 

Using the same tool the same patient would have a 2.5556% or 1 in 39 risk of death if they had received 2 doses of the vaccine.

Vaccine is effective at reducing hospitalisation3

Out of 40 000 patients with covid-19 who were admitted to hospital between December 2020 and July 2021 in the UK a total of 33 496 (84%) had not been vaccinated. 5198 (13%) had received their first vaccine and 1274 (3%) their second.

Vaccine is effective at reducing transmission4

There is also evidence to suggest that the vaccine reduces transmission by more than 50% (Hazard ratio 0.46 >14 days after second dose) in close (household contacts) of individuals infected with covid-19.  Unpublished data from Israel suggests that this reduction in transmission for household contacts may be even higher5.  Logically it would be reasonable to assume that the risk of transmission in vaccinated individuals in non-household settings would be lower than this. The modelling for New Zealand is based on the original vaccination data which suggested an infection reduction of around 80%6.

Vaccine status of current covid-19 community outbreak

References

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplep...

[2] https://bmjsept2021.qcovid.org...

[3] G. Iacobucci. Covid-19: How is vaccination affecting hospital admissions and deaths? BMJ 2021 Sep 20;374:n2306. doi: 10.1136/bmj.n2306.

[4] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/...

[5] Ottavia Prunas, Joshua L. Warren, Forrest W. Crawford, Sivan Gazit, Tal Patalon, Daniel M. Weinberger, Virginia E. Pitzer Vaccination with BNT162b2 reduces transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to household contacts in Israel] doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.13.21260393

[6] Nguyen T, Adnan M, Nguyen BP, et al. COVID-19 vaccine strategies for Aotearoa New Zealand: a mathematical modelling study. Lancet Reg Health West Pac. 2021;15:100256. doi:10.1016/j.lanwpc.2021.100256