SAGE figures reassuring but vigilance still needed

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Commenting on the newly published SAGE evidence that shows COVID-19 vaccines provide protection after one dose, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: “Much hope has been placed on the vaccine and its rollout as a way of controlling this deadly pandemic and bringing back a sense of normality – these findings are therefore extremely reassuring. They provide clear, real-world evidence that vaccination is effective even after one dose.

“NHS teams have been working flat out to make sure the programme is delivered as widely as possible, and this is further welcome confirmation that their efforts are having a tangible impact in the fight against COVID-19.

"However, this research reminds us that protection through vaccination does not start immediately after getting a jab. The findings tell us a small number of people needed hospitalisation for COVID-19 soon after having been vaccinated, likely caught just before their jab, or in the days or weeks afterwards, while their immunity was still building up. An even smaller number of people needed hospitalisation for COVID-19 more than three weeks after the jab. This evidence shows that even as we receive our vaccines, we must remain vigilant – and reminds us that the crisis is not over.

"Until everyone is protected, no one is protected, and it remains imperative that we maintain other protective measures such as social distancing, hand hygiene, good ventilation, and wearing masks.”

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