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Expert says 8,400 lives saved by shots, presents jab data

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Around 8,400 coronavirus-related deaths have been avoided in Greece since the national vaccine rollout in late December last year, infectious disease expert and government adviser Sotiris Tsiodras said on Wednesday, while according to estimates, if people over 50 had followed the recommendations of experts and got their shots by mid-July, an additional 1,200 lives would have been saved.

The latest estimates also indicate that 5,530 intensive care unit admissions have been averted thanks to the Covid-19 shots, Tsiodras said while presenting health data up to October 11 at an emergency briefing on the merits of vaccines.

Tsiodras, who warned of a difficult winter period with a new wave of Covid-19, emphasized “the more we are vaccinated, the less the effects of the disease will be in our country.”

He brushed off skepticism over the effectiveness of the shots, saying that increasing vaccination coverage rates mean that the rate of infection among inoculated individuals will also increase. “The idea that vaccines do not work is just wrong,” he said, adding, “As vaccination coverage increases in a population, cases also occur in vaccinated people.”

“This does not mean that the vaccine is not effective and unfortunately leads many of our fellow citizens to the misconception that vaccines do not protect,” he said. 

During the briefing data were presented regarding the efficacy of the vaccine against death – 91% for the fully vaccinated and 74% for the partially vaccinated.

An analysis of the data by vaccine showed that the protection rate for the fully vaccinated is 97% for Moderna, 94% for AstraZeneca and 90% for Pfizer, and 72% for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson.

As for protection against ICU treatment, vaccines reduce the risk by 95% in fully vaccinated individuals and 76% in the partially vaccinated. Extremely high efficacy (both in those over 60 and younger) has been reported in all vaccines – 98% for Moderna, 97% for AstraZeneca, 94% for Pfizer and 90% for J&J.