The AstraZeneca vaccine by the Oxford group has turned out to be effective for people of all age groups, including older adults. According to a new study, it shows 80% efficiency to prevent the virus after delivering the first dose only. The preliminary report on this study is waiting for a peer-review.
This new study has added to the evidence suggesting AstraZeneca is efficient and safe for older adults, who are highly vulnerable to side effects and vaccine after effects otherwise. Although many studies have advised not to vaccinate older people, a safety evaluation of the commonly available vaccines may change this decision.
The research team from the University of Bristol investigated the effects of vaccines on Covid-19 patients and non-Covid patients over 80 years of age. These patients were hospitalized for respiratory problems. These patients were categorized into two groups, Covid-19 positive and Covid-19 negative group.
Then these patients were separated on the basis of any Covid-19 vaccine that they have received, either by AstraZeneca or Pfizer. Only 9 people among the total 36 Covid-19 patients received the AstraZeneca vaccine dose.
The non-Covid-19 patients who confirmed getting a vaccine shot were only 53, out of a total number of 90 patients. This huge difference between the Covid-19 positive and negative cases shows that it has helped the majority of them (58.9%) to avoid contracting the virus.
This difference in the Covid-19 positive and Covid-19 negative cases who have got one dose of the vaccine found nearly 80.4% efficiency in results to lower the risk of disease. 18 people out of the total 245 Covid-19 patients received one dose of Pfizer vaccine while 90 people from the 269 Covid-19 negative group also received the same vaccine. The response between these two groups receiving the same vaccine was nearly 71.4%.
The study authors reveal that one dose of any of the Covid-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca vaccine, or Pfizer vaccine lowers the chances of Covid-19 related hospitalization in older, weak people.
This study shows that vaccines are helpful for all age groups, with the least risks of side effects, however, older adults are not made a part of most vaccines’ trials. Note that these results are obtained after a single dose of the vaccine but the vaccine needs both doses, a few weeks apart to do the complete work.
The research team didn’t focus on the AstraZeneca vaccine only, but also studied the Pfizer vaccine’s effects. The phase three clinial trials of both these vaccines found that they are helpful for people in older ages, yet many countries are hestitant to approve them for their older communities.
The regulatory agencies in Germany, as well as France, have put a limit on the AstraZeneca vaccine receivers, restricting it for people over 65 years of age. In addition to this, Spain shared that it will not allow this vaccine for people over 55 years of age. Many other countries have shared similar views on not giving the vaccine to senior citizens fearing the side effects, these countries include Norway, Greece, Netherlands and Denmark.
President Emmanuel Macron of France that there are good chances that AstraZeneca vaccine is only “quasi-ineffective” for those who are over 65. This vaccine has been given to a limited number of people in France, and Germany but UK is vaccinating more and more people every day, even the older adults, using the same vaccine.