Vaccines cut infection rates after the first jab by up to two-thirds, according to a British study likely to put pressure on Boris Johnson to lift lockdown faster.
Early results of the vast UK study on the impact of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine rollout suggests that the level of protection was about 60% to 65%.
The results applied to vaccine recipients of all ages, and protection began after two weeks.
A draft has been sent to the government but on Wednesday Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said he was not publishing its results yet because he wanted more data.
The figures, first reported in The Sun and confirmed by a Whitehall source, showed that one dose reduced the symptomatic infection risk by 65% in younger adults and 64% in over-80s.
Protection for those given two shots rose to between 79% and 84%, depending on age.