If you’re wondering if vaccinations are effective in preventing death from the aggressive Delta variant, the answer is a resounding yes. A recent real-time study conducted nationwide in Scotland, as vaccinations rolled out and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 90 percent effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine 91 percent effective at preventing death from the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant.
The Moderna vaccine, also available in Scotland, wasn’t included in the research because no deaths have been recorded in people who have been double-vaccinated with it.
The massive study involved a team of researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, and Public Health Scotland, who analyzed data from 5.4 million people in Scotland from April 1 to September 27, 2021. During this four-month period, 115,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 and of those, 201 deaths were recorded from the virus. Death from COVID was defined as anyone who died within 28 days of a positive PCR test, or with COVID-19 recorded as a cause of death on their death certificate.
“If you still have not taken up your offer to be vaccinated, I would encourage you to do so based on the clear benefits it offers.”
“With the Delta variant now the dominant strain in many places worldwide and posing a higher risk of hospitalization than in previous variants seen in the UK,” Aziz Sheikh, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and the study’s lead author, said in a press statement, “It is reassuring to see that vaccination offers such high protection from death very shortly after the second dose.” She added: “If you still have not taken up your offer to be vaccinated, I would encourage you to do so based on the clear benefits it offers.”
To get their results to the public as quickly as possible, the study was submitted as a letter to the editor in New England Journal of Medicine. It has not yet been peer-reviewed.