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COVID-19 vaccines have prevented thousands of deaths in older adults, new data shows

Public Health England (PHE) analysis indicates that the COVID-19 vaccination programme prevented 6,100 deaths in those aged 70 and older in England up to the end of February.

From 8 December 2020 to the end of January 2021, over 4 million vaccine doses were given to adults aged 70 and over. The analysis compared the observed number of deaths with the number of deaths that would have been expected, if the vaccine hadn’t been given during this time period. To allow for the time taken to develop an immune response to vaccination, the analysis assumed it would take 31 days before the effect of vaccination on deaths is observed. Using this method, PHE estimates that around 6,100 deaths were prevented to the end of February – 5,900 in those aged 80 and over and 200 in those aged 70 to 79.