The UK's rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been linked to a big drop in hospital admissions, a new study shows.
By the fourth week after receiving an initial dose, the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation from coronavirus in Scotland by up to 85% and 94%, respectively.
Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrew's and Public Health Scotland (PHS) analysed a dataset covering the entire Scottish population of 5.4 million.
Lead researcher Professor Aziz Sheikh said: "These results are very encouraging and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future. We now have national evidence - across an entire country - that vaccination provides protection against COVID-19 hospitalisations."