Oxford vaccine: Fergus Walsh on results and Macron’s comments
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The French President launched a stunning attack on the UK’s vaccination programme and questioned the effectiveness of the jab developed by scientists at the University of Oxford. Last month, Mr Macron said the Oxford vaccine was “quasi-ineffective” on people older than the age of 65 – but just hours later European regulators approved it.
He also condemned the UK’s decision to maximise the number of first doses and extend the time for people to receive their second dose.
Now, a study by scientists in Scotland found the Oxford vaccine could reduce a person’s risk of being admitted to hospital by as much as 94 percent four weeks after the first dose.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, said it is “clear that AstraZeneca works and it works in older people”.
The French President has since been mocked by a number of Express.co.uk readers who let the opinions known in the comments section of an earlier story.
One reader wrote: “Macron just proved to be ‘quasi-effective’ of being president”.
A second added: “He should be made to answer why he come out with such nonsense, seen as he doesn’t have a PhD in science or virology.
“He should be made to answer he’s bizarre statements that he regularly spouts out.”
A third commented: “Macron obviously jumped the gun in anticipation but without the evidence. It certainly was an unnecessary statement by him that could cost lives in Europe.
A fourth wrote: “The EU blew it big time on this one, thank heavens we are out and free at last.”
Scientists from the universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrews and Public Health Scotland looked at data on people who had received either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.
People who received the Pfizer jab had a reduction in risk of up to 85 percent between 28 and 34 days after the first dose.
Data for the two jabs combined showed that among people over the age of 80 – who are at high risk of severe disease – the reduction in risk of hospital admission was 81 percent, four weeks after the first dose.
Lead researcher Professor Aziz Sheikh, director of the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, said: “These results are very encouraging and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future.
“We now have national evidence – across an entire country – that vaccination provides protection against Covid-19 hospitalisations.”
He added: “We are overall very, very impressed with both these vaccines.
“When we move beyond trial circumstances you never know what the results are going to be, but this is out in the field and both are performing incredibly well.”
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Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said: “We are delighted to see that the real-world evidence reported today from the University of Edinburgh which confirms that both the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine have a very substantial impact against hospitalisation with Covid-19 disease.
“Vaccines work. We now need to make sure that everyone everywhere is protected.”
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