COVID-19: UK Study Suggests 2 Doses Of Pfizer, AstraZeneca Vaccines Effective Against Delta Variant

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Even as the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is now spreading rapidly across the world, a UK-based study has found that vaccines are highly effective against this COVID-19 strain. This assumes significance as the National Centre for Disease Control had concluded that this variant was responsible for the second wave in India. First detected in India, the Delta variant has been listed as a “variant of concern” by the WHO. The aforesaid study was conducted by Public Health England- an executive agency of the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care between April 12 and June 4.

It entailed an analysis of 14,019 cases of the Delta variant out of which 166 persons were admitted to hospitals in the UK. While 96% of persons taking two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were protected from hospitalization, the corresponding finding for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92%. Thus, these are comparable with vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization from the Alpha variant. However, the level of protection from mortality from the Delta variant is yet to be established. Reacting to this development, UK Health and Social Care Secretary stressed the importance of getting the second dose of the vaccine.

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