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Two doses of Pfizer shot 88 percent effective at preventing the Delta variant, while two doses of AstraZeneca are 67 percent effective.
Two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are almost as much effective against the highly transmissible variant of the Delta coronavirus because they are against the previously dominant Alpha variant, according to a new study.
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday showed that the vaccines were highly effective against the Delta variant, now the dominant strain worldwide, provided a person had received two injections.
The study confirms Public Health England (PHE) key findings in May on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca based on real-world data.
Wednesday’s study found that Pfizer was 88 percent effective at preventing symptomatic disease from the Delta variant with both doses, compared with 93.7 percent against the Alpha variant, broadly the same as previously reported.
Two shots of AstraZeneca vaccine were 67 percent effective against the Delta variant, up from 60 percent originally reported, and 74.5 percent effective against the Alpha variant, compared to an original estimate of 66 percent effectiveness.
“Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the Delta variant compared to the Alpha variant after receiving two doses of vaccine,” Public Health England researchers wrote.
Data from Israel estimate that Pfizer’s injection is less effective against symptomatic diseases, although protection against serious diseases remains high.
PHE had previously said that the first dose of both vaccines was about 33 percent effective against symptomatic diseases of the Delta variant.
Other vaccines also helpful
The full study, published Wednesday, found that one dose of Pfizer’s injection was 36 percent effective and one dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine about 30 percent effective.
“Our finding of reduced effectiveness after the first dose would support efforts to maximize the uptake of two-dose vaccines among vulnerable groups in the context of the circulation of the Delta variant,” the study authors said.
Recently, researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, US, also said that in a lab setting, the antibody response of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with one dose worked well against Delta and that the immune response lasted for about eight months.
In June, the makers of Russia’s Sputnik Vaccine also said it was about 90 percent effective against the highly contagious Delta variant.
The injection, which Russia has actively marketed abroad, was previously found by researchers to be nearly 92 percent effective against the original strain of the coronavirus.
Denis Logunov, the deputy director of the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow that developed Sputnik, said the efficacy of the Delta variant was calculated from digital medical and vaccine data, Russia’s state news agency RIA reported.
However, the Sputnik vaccine has caused some controversy because it was introduced to the public even before a full trial was completed. It is still awaiting approval from the World Health Organization.
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