According to official data revealed today, fully-vaccinated people made up just one in 200 Covid-19 deaths in England in the first half of this year.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) identified 256 'breakthrough deaths' among the 51,281 Covid fatalities that occurred between January 2 and July 2.
More than 76 per cent of these patients were clinically extremely vulnerable to the virus, and had underlying conditions or weak immune systems.
Just one in 200 Covid deaths during first half of 2021 occurred among fully vaccinated, official data reveals https://t.co/277drgIGZ2— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) September 13, 2021
The average age of a 'breakthrough death' — when a person caught and succumbed to Covid despite having maximum immunity from two jabs — was 84.
Today's ONS report is the latest to highlight the immense impact the vaccines have already had on reducing coronavirus deaths.
However, most of the fatalities in the six months of the research occurred during the height of the second wave, before the vaccines had become widely available.
The majority of elderly and vulnerable Britons were not fully vaccinated until spring, which skews the findings.
More recently, fully vaccinated people have started to make up a greater proportion of Covid deaths but this is due to how successful uptake of the jabs has been.
More than 90 per cent of at-risk people are fully-jabbed, and because no vaccine is perfect, a small number continue to die.
Julie Stanborough, deputy director of health and life events at the ONS said: 'Our new analysis shows that, sadly, there have been deaths of people involving Covid despite them being fully vaccinated.
'However, we've also found that the risk of a death involving Covid is much lower among people who are fully vaccinated than those who are unvaccinated or have only received one dose.
'This shows the effectiveness of the vaccines in giving a high degree of protection against severe illness and death.'
A 'breakthrough death' was defined as someone who had received both vaccine doses and had a first positive PCR test at least 14 days after the second dose.
This was done to differentiate between people who caught Covid sometime during their dosing regimen but were not given the full time to develop immunity.
The ONS said that 13 per cent of the 'breakthrough deaths' occurred in people were who were immunosuppressed.
Studies have shown that these people may have struggled to mount a strong immune response after the standard two dose vaccine regimen.
For this reason, about 500,000 immunosuppressed people have been invited for a booster third dose.
A wider booster programme is still to be announced this week but is expected to include the very elderly and patients with serious health issues.
But the Government's vaccine advisory panel believes the jabs are still offering high protection to the vast majority of the population.
There are currently about 140 daily Covid deaths across the UK now compared to the more than 1,000 in January - the last time infections were running this high.
A mixture of the Delta variant and much more testing being carried out has meant that infection numbers are much higher now than last autumn.
The mutant Delta strain is thought to be at least twice as virulent as the original Covid virus and can infect vaccinated people more easily.
While Florida approaches 50,000 reported COVID-19 deaths he’s in Nebraska running for President https://t.co/X69wIgNfH7— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) September 13, 2021
There are about 36,000 new UK infections every day now compared to just 3,000 in early September 2020.
But thanks to the vaccines, Public Health England believes unvaccinated people are still up to five times more likely to be hospitalised if they catch the virus than the double-jabbed.
In new data published last week, the agency looked at admission rates among the two groups for the month of July.
It found that for 60 to 69-year-olds that had not got the vaccine, the rate was 94 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, compared to just 19.1 among the vaccinated.
People in their fifites were four times less likely to be admitted if they are jabbed, with a hospitalisation rate of 17 in the fully jabbed compared to 80 in the unvaccinated.
The vaccines even appear to be offering the most elderly extremely high protection, with over-70s also at a threefold lower risk of needing hospital care.
Findings were even more stark when it came to deaths. Unvaccinated people were up to ten times more likely to die from Covid compared to the double-dosed.
But protection against infection from the jabs wanes over time, the figures suggest, with vaccinated people in some age groups just as likely to catch the virus as the unvaccinated.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.