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Background: The BNT162b2 mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy against infection in phase 3 clinical trials and are now being used in national vaccination programmes in the UK and several other countries. There is an urgent need to study the ‘real-world’ effects of these vaccines. The aim of our study was to estimate the effectiveness of the first dose of these COVID-19 vaccines in preventing hospital admissions.Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study using the Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) database comprising of linked vaccination, primary care, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing, hospitalisation and mortality records for 5.4 million people in Scotland (covering ~99% of population). A time-dependent Cox model and Poisson regression models were fitted to estimate effectiveness against COVID-19 related hospitalisation (defined as 1- Adjusted Hazard Ratio) following the first dose of vaccine.Findings: The first dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine was associated with a vaccine effect of 85% (95% confidence interval [CI] 76 to 91) for COVID-19 related hospitalisation at 28-34 days post-vaccination. Vaccine effect at the same time interval for the ChAdOx1 vaccine was 94% (95% CI 73 to 99). Results of combined vaccine effect for prevention of COVID-19 related hospitalisation were comparable when restricting the analysis to those aged ≥80 years (81%; 95% CI 65 to 90 at 28-34 days post-vaccination).Interpretation: A single dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 vaccines resulted in substantial reductions in the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalisation in Scotland.Funding: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council); Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund; Health Data Research UK.Conflict of Interest: AS is a member of the Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer’s COVID-19Advisory Group and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (NERVTAG) Risk Stratification Subgroup. CRS declares funding from the MRC, NIHR, CSO and New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and Health Research Council during the conduct of this study. SVK is co-chair of the Scottish Government’s Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and ethnicity, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) subgroup on ethnicity and acknowledges funding from a NRS Senior Clinical Fellowship, MRC and CSO. All other authors report no conflicts of interest.Ethical Approval: Approvals were obtained from the National Research Ethics Service Committee, Southeast Scotland 02 (reference number: 12/SS/0201) and Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care (reference number: 1920-0279).

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