Two doses of Covid-19 shots prevent hospitalisation from Delta variant, says Public Health England
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TWO doses of Covid-19 vaccines are “highly effective” in preventing hospital admission with the Delta variant, Public Health England (PHE) said on Monday (14).
Scientists said two jabs of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine stopped the need for in-patient treatment in 96 per cent of cases. With a double dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot, the rate was 92 per cent, PHE added.
The findings were published as Britain grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases, most of which were of the Delta strain, that was first reported in India and is said to be one of the causes behind the country’s deadly second wave.
The increase in Delta variant cases in the UK is again raising concerns about the potential strain on hospitals, prompting prime minister Boris Johnson to delay the reopening as planned on June 21 by four weeks in a press conference on Monday (14).
The restrictions have been in place since January, when the Alpha strain of the coronavirus, which was first identified in Kent, southeast England, spread rapidly.
The government, which began a mass-vaccination programme with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab in December last year, is pushing for more people to get two jabs.
PHE said the vaccine effectiveness for the Delta variant is comparable to that for the Alpha strain after looking at 14,019 cases of the new variant in England between April 12 and June 4.
Head of immunisation Mary Ramsay said: “These hugely important findings confirm that the vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.”
Further investigations were underway to determine the level of protection against death from the Delta variant, PHE said, but added that it was expected to be “high”.
Previous analysis indicated that one dose of vaccine is 17 per cent less effective in preventing a person developing symptoms from the Delta variant than the Alpha one. But the latest research showed there was only a small difference after two doses.
Nearly 57 per cent of the UK’s adult population now have two doses, according to government statistics.
Simon Kolstoe, senior lecturer in evidence-based healthcare at the University of Portsmouth said that vaccination is clearly working.
“The vaccine certainly seems to be doing its job in breaking this link but a few more weeks to get more people vaccinated certainly seems like a sensible option,” he said.