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Risk of Covid-19 death ’32 times greater’ if unvaccinated than if double-jabbed

By Ian Jones, PA

The risk of death involving Covid-19 is 32 times greater in unvaccinated people than in people who have received both doses, new research suggests.

Mortality rates for coronavirus deaths were found to be “consistently lower” for those who had had both jabs compared with those who had had one or no vaccinations, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The research used age-standardised mortality rates, which take into account differences in age structure and population size, to allow comparisons between vaccination groups.

Among unvaccinated people in England, there were 849.7 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 “person-years” between January 2 and September 24 2021.

By contrast, for people at least 21 days after a second dose of vaccine, the rate was just 26.2 per 100,000.

“Person-years” are based on both the number of people and the amount of time spent in a particular vaccination group – for example, 100 people in a vaccination group for 0.5 years would equal 50 person-years.

For those less than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine, the mortality rate was estimated at 192.4 per 100,000 person-years, while for those at least 21 days after a first jab the rate was lower, at 105.3.

Responding to the figures, Dr Peter English, former consultant in communicable disease control, said: “These are among the best available data on the effectiveness of vaccines at preventing the most serious adverse outcome of Covid-19.

“Vaccines are not 100% effective, so some people will get ill or die despite having been vaccinated. As the proportion of the population that is vaccinated increases, the number of deaths in people who have been vaccinated will increase.

“The important message here is that vaccination is highly effective against death from Covid-19. You are 32 times less likely to die if you have been fully vaccinated than if you are unvaccinated; and a single dose also provides some (although less than two doses) protection.”

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