October 12, 2021 1:09:34 pm
Covid vaccinations can reduce severe risks associated with the infection by 90% in those over 50 years of age, according to a new French study. One of the largest of its kind, the study looked into data of over 22 million people in the 50+ category to reach its conclusions.
The research was conducted by the Epi-Phare Scientific Interest Group which was set up by the French National Health Data System (SNDS), the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) and the French National Health Insurance (CNAM). The results of this study is an additional stamp of approval on observations from the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel.
To evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine, the researchers used data of 22.6 million people of which 15.4 million were between the ages of 50 and 74 years and the other 7.2 million were above 75 years of age. Half of both these groups were vaccinated while the other half was unvaccinated. Researchers paired an unvaccinated person with a vaccinated person of same sex and age and the same region, and followed them between the vaccinated person’s date of second jab and July 20, according to an AFP report. Broadly, the subjects were tracked from Dec 27, 2020 and July 20, 2021.
France kicked off its vaccination program in Dec 2020.
The study found a “reduction in risk of hospitalisation superior to 90%” 14 days after the second dose and a similar reduction in the number of deaths from Covid-19. The vaccinated group comprised those who took Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines. The study found that the results were the same regardless of the vaccine used. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Jannsen vaccine, which was approved in France in March 2021, was not included in the study.
The results hold true for the highly infectious Delta variant as well. The study found that vaccines provide 84 per cent protection for those aged 75 and above, and 92 per cent protection for those in the 50 to 75 years old category. However, since delta became active in France in June 2021, these conclusions have been made on a single month’s data.
Epidemiologist Mahmoud Zureik, the head of Epi-Phare, told AFP that the study should be followed up to include results from August and September.
The AFP report added that the study’s results suggest that vaccination protection against severe Covid did not diminish over the five months it was conducted.
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