Two vaccine doses, whether the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, are over 90 per cent effective at preventing deaths from the Delta variant of COVID-19 according to the findings of a research team from Public Health Scotland, University of Edinburgh and University of Strathclyde.

The study, published as a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, described how researchers analysed the health data of 5.4 million people across Scotland between 1 April and 27 September 2021 as part of the Scotland-wide EAVE-II project. Of the 115,000 people positive for COVID-19 in the community, rather than in hospital, 201 deaths were attributed to the virus.

The authors showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90 per cent effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine 91 per cent effective in preventing deaths in fully vaccinated people who tested positive for coronavirus in the community.

Professor Chris Robertson, University of Strathclyde and Public Health Scotland, said: “This study highlights the value of carrying out analyses of routine healthcare data available in near real-time. 

“Our findings are encouraging in showing that the vaccine remains an effective measure in protecting both ourselves and others from death from the most dominant variant of Covid-19.

“It is very important to validate these early results in other settings and with a longer follow-up study.”

The full research letter ‘BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine Effectiveness against Death from the Delta Variant’ can be viewed here [external link]

Last updated: 22 October 2021