Public Health England analysis shows that the vaccination programme prevented 10,400 deaths amongst the over 60s up to the end of March, during which time 13 million first doses and 2 million second doses of the vaccine were given to people in that age group.
The data compared the number of deaths to the number of deaths expected if the vaccines hadn’t been given during the same time. It found that the vaccine had prevented 9,100 deaths in people aged over 80, 1,200 deaths in those aged 70 to 79 and 100 deaths of people aged 60 to 69.
John Denley, Wolverhampton’s Director of Public Health, said: “The direct effect of the vaccine is clear to see; it saves lives.
“Whilst we can’t extrapolate local data, the statistics show the benefit the vaccination programme is having, with over 10,000 lives saved in 4 months. Not only are the vaccines saving lives and protecting people now, they will also help to protect against serious illness or death if we see an increase in infection rates over the coming months.
“That’s why it is so important that everyone has both doses when they can. Please don’t delay; have yours as soon as you can and be sure to return for your second dose too.”
Dr Mary Ramsay, Public Health England’s Head of Immunisation, said: “This latest analysis is further evidence that the Covid-19 vaccinations are continuing to prevent hundreds of deaths every day. I would encourage anyone who is offered a vaccine to take it as soon as possible.
“While the vaccines have a striking impact on mortality, we don’t confidently know yet how much these vaccines will reduce the risk of you passing Covid-19 onto others. Even if you have been vaccinated, it is really important that you continue to act like you have the virus, practise good hand hygiene and stay at home.”
Public Health England analysis compared the actual number of deaths with the number expected if the vaccine had not been given, based on estimates of the effectiveness of vaccination against symptomatic infection (58%) and of death given infection (54%), which combined gives 81% protection against death.
It also reported that there is increasing evidence that the vaccines also prevent infection and transmission. As this is not included in the analysis, the real number of deaths prevented is likely to be higher.
People aged 45 and over, anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, frontline health and social care workers and people who are in receipt of Carer's Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person are now eligible for the free vaccine.
For more information about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Covid-19 Vaccine or NHS. People will need to register with a GP surgery in England in order to receive the vaccine. For more details, please visit NHS.
A full copy of the PHE report is available in the Downloads section.