The report also indicates that the Oxford vaccine cuts hospital cases among over-70s. The news will come as a huge relief to the NHS and its staff, who have been pushed to the brink of capacity and exhaustion by coronavirus admissions this winter. The study also showed that one shot of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine has a 90 percent efficacy in reducing hospital admissions.
However, Pfizer performed slightly less well in preventing serious disease in over-70s than Astrazeneca.
The figures were calculated by comparing Covid hospitalisation rates across England in those who have received a first dose of vaccine in the NHS rollout, to those of a similar age who have not.
So far almost 20 million people have received their first Covid jab in the UK, as the vaccine rollout continues at pace.
The Government hopes to have vaccinated all adults by the end of July.
The new research seems to prove that the vaccines can break the chain between higher infection rates and higher deaths from Covid.
The results from the study will serve as a rebuke to European leaders who have questioned the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine, particularly in older people.
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So far there has been a poor take-up of the Oxford vaccine among Germans.
Medical authorities have only been able to administer 240,000 of the 1.54 million doses it has acquired from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company.
Ms Merkel, who is 66, told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper: “I do not belong to the recommended age group for AstraZeneca.”