The health authorities have appealed to the general public to get vaccinated against the spreading COVID-19 infection to avoid deaths and severe infection. This fact has been backed by the first-ever study conducted in the United Kingdom – which stated that individuals can avoid death and hospital admissions if they have all doses of the vaccine.
In the UK, the vaccine rollout started well. By January 2022, 90 percent of people aged 12 and older had received at least a single vaccine dose. However, following that, the number of people getting their second dose dropped significantly. By June 2022, less than half of the population had gotten both doses, according to the reports by the Guardian.
What did the study reveal?
Reportedly, this is the first-ever study that involved the entire population of the UK of approximately 67 million people. The study has underlined the fact that only 44 percent of the population had taken their recommended number of booster shots and doses by June 2022, according to the facts quoted by the Guardian.
It further revealed that during that summer season, the diligence of the general public towards COVID jabs could have contributed to avoiding at least 7,000 deaths and hospital admissions in the UK.
The study was led by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and the University of Edinburg and was published in the Lancet.
A co-author of the study – Alan Keys, who works for HDR UK and also sat on the steering group of the study, said, “The research outcome is a powerful validation of the benefits of vaccination.”
According to the experts, the study examined every citizen aged five (5) and above who possesses unvaccinated status, i.e., who has not taken all doses of the vaccine.
While emphasizing the state-wise stats, the study highlighted that as of June 1, 2022, around 49.8 percent of people in Northern Ireland, 45.7 percent of people in England, 34.2 percent in Scotland, and 32.8 percent in Wales were under-vaccinated.
Furthermore, the researchers mentioned that out of the total 40,393 COVID deaths and hospital admissions, 7,180 were avoidable between June 1 and September 30, 2022, if the population had taken all vaccinations against the virus.
The research suggested that of the total, the status of approximately 14,156 people were ‘under-vaccinated.’ The virus infected almost every age group. However, the majority of infections were reported among older people.
The study has furthermore mentioned that the population above the age of 75 is two times more likely to suffer from a severe COVID-19 infection. The official data from the study revealed that the highest levels of under-vaccination status were found among the younger population, men, people living in the higher deprivation area, as well as people belonging to non-white ethnicity.
In this regard, the co-lead of the study and research director of HDR UK – Prof Sir Aziz Sheikh, stated, “Covid-19 vaccines save lives. As new variants emerge, this study will help to pinpoint groups of our society and areas of the country where public health campaigns should be focused and tailored for those communities,” according to the Guardian.
In addition to this, the chief scientist at Health Data Research UK and director of the British Health Foundation (BHF) Data Science Center – Prof Cathie Sudlow, mentioned, “We believe that we could and should extend these approaches to many other areas of medicine, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes to search for better understanding, prevention and treatment of disease.”