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Pfizer/BioNTech, AZ vaccines effective against Delta COVID-19 variant after two doses

Pfizer/BioNTech and AZ vaccines found to be 96% and 92% effective against variant, respectively

New real-world study data from Public Health England (PHE) has demonstrated that two doses of either Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca’s (AZ) COVID-19 vaccines are ‘highly’ effective against the Delta variant (previously known as the Indian variant).

The study included 14,019 individuals in England who had tested positive for the Delta variant, of which 166 were hospitalised between 12 April and 4 June.

According to the data, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 96% effective against hospitalisation or death caused by the Delta variant following two doses.

The AZ vaccine was 92% effective against hospitalisation or death from the Delta variant after two doses.

The data also showed that a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 94% effective at preventing hospitalisation, while AZ’s jab was 71% effective after the first dose.

The AZ vaccine was also less effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Alpha variant (previously known as the Kent or UK variant) and the Delta variant, with protection levels of 74% and 64%, respectively.

However, the UK’s Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the results are still “extremely encouraging”, adding that the vaccines “are continuing to help break the link between hospitalisation and the Delta variant after one dose, and particularly the high effectiveness of two doses”.

“This real-world evidence shows that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine provides a high level of protection against the Delta variant, which is currently a critical area of concern given its rapid transmission,” said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president, BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AZ.

“The data shows that the vaccine will continue to have a significant impact around the world given that it continues to account for the overwhelming majority of supplies to India and the COVAX facility,” he added.

Rising COVID-19 cases, driven primarily by the Delta variant – which is more transmissible than the Alpha variant – recently led to a delay in easing lockdown restrictions in England.

Social distancing restrictions had been due to be lifted on 21 June, and this date has now been pushed back to 19 July.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that two-thirds of adults will have been offered two COVID-19 vaccine doses by this date, with the target of offering all adults a first dose being brought forward to 19 July.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

16th June 2021

From: Research

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