LONDON: Two doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B16172) variant, according to new analysis from Public Health England (PHE).
The analysis suggests that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96 per cent effective against hospitalisation after two doses, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation after two doses.
These are comparable with vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation from the Alpha (B117) variant: 96 per cent after two doses with Pfizer vaccine and 92 per cent after two doses from AstraZeneca vaccines.
The new analysis included 14,019 cases of the Delta variant, 166 of whom were hospitalised between 12 April and 4 June, looking at emergency hospital admissions in England. The results have been posted as a preprint. Preprints are yet to be peer-reviewed.
"This evidence of the effectiveness of two doses against variants shows just how crucial it is to get your second jab. If you have had your first dose but haven't booked your second yet — please do so. It will help save lives and boost us on the road to recovery," said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, in a statement.
"These hugely important findings confirm that the vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalisation from the Delta variant. The vaccines are the most important tool we have against Covid-19. Thousands of lives have already been saved because of them. It is absolutely vital to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants," added Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE.
A study by PHE in May showed that three weeks after the first dose of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine provided only 33 per cent protection against the Delta variant, while it offered 50 per cent effectiveness against the Alpha variant.
The B16172 variant was first discovered in India and is one of three related strains. It was declared as a variant of global concern last month by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha strain identified in the UK. (IANS)