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Coronavirus / Covid vaccines’ link to reduced risk of hospitalisation ‘exceptionally encouraging news’

A NEW study which shows that vaccination has been linked to a substantial reduction in the risk of Covid admissions to hospital has been hailed as “exceptionally encouraging news” by first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The research shows that by the fourth week after receiving the initial dose the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19 in up to 85 per cent and 94 per cent respectively.

The study was carried out by Public Health Scotland and the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrew’s.

The data was gathered between 8 December and 15 February. During this period, 1.14 million vaccines were administered and 21 per cent of the Scottish population had received a first dose.

Speaking during her daily briefing on Monday, Sturgeon said it was very encouraging news.

She added that an indicative route map out of current coronavirus restrictions will be unveiled tomorrow (Tuesday).

The first minister said it would be a “cautious” way forward and would not include firm dates, adding that it would unveil an “indicative order of priority” for the lifting of restrictions.

Shetland’s third mass vaccination centre, meanwhile, is due to open at the Scalloway games hall by 1 March.