London, March 30 A major study of care home residents in England has found that their risk of infection with coronavirus fell by 62 per cent five weeks after they received their first vaccine dose.
The study, funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care, tracked more than 10,400 care home residents in England with an average age of 86 between December 2020 and March this year, comparing the number of infections occurring in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, Xinhua news agency quoted the Guardian newspaper as saying on Monday.
The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that both vaccines Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech reduced the risk of infection by about 56 per cent at 28-34 days after the first dose, and 62 per cent at 35-48 days.
The study is considered important as it also looks into how the vaccines can reduce asymptomatic cases, which play a crucial role in the spread of the virus.
"It's helpful to look at people who don't have symptoms because what you want to do is reduce the total number of people who've been infected," Laura Shallcross from the University College London, an author of the analysis, said.
The UK has so far reported 4,351,668 coronavirus cases and 126,857 deaths.
More than 30.4 million people have been given the first jab of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.
The government said the country is "on course" to meet its target of offering a first dose to the top nine priority groups, including the over-50s, by April 15 and all adults by the end of July.
( With inputs from IANS )
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