Public Health England says Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines effective in high-risk groups

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(Corrects figures in third paragraph to 81%, 89% and 80%, not 78%, 87% and 76% after PHE amended its statement)

LONDON (Reuters) - Public Health England (PHE) said on Friday Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines were effective against symptomatic COVID-19 infection in high risk groups, citing a preprint study based on 1 million vulnerable people.

Overall vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease in risk groups was around 60% after one dose of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech with little difference by age, PHE said.

That rises to 81% for AstraZeneca following a second dose in people in risk groups aged 16 to 64, with no data available for Pfizer. Among those over 64, Pfizer was 89% effective and AstraZeneca 80% effective after the second dose, the health agency said.

"This real-world data shows for the first time that most people who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 still receive high levels of protection after 2 doses of vaccine," said Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Kate Holton)

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