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.

You can read the study, which was published as a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine (external website). It describes 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 (external website). 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% 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”.

Last updated: 22 September 2022