A study has concluded that the Pfizer vaccine for Coronavirus is 88% effective against the Indian variant after two doses.
No th Pfizer And AstraZeneca vaccines were found to be nearly as effective against symptoms of the disease from the Indian variant as they were against the Kent variant after the second dose.
However, it was only 33% effective three weeks after the first dose, according to the Public Health England (PHE) report.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the result «groundbreaking», while PHE said it expects to see higher levels of effectiveness against hospitalizations and deaths.
The study, conducted between April 5 and May 16, found that the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against asymptomatic diseases of the Indian variant two weeks after the second dose, compared to 93% efficacy against the Kent variant.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca’s hit was 60% effective, compared to 66% against the Kent variant over the same period.
Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic diseases of the Indian type three weeks after the first dose, compared to approximately 50% against the Kent variant.
About 12,675 genome-sequenced cases were included in the analysis, but only 1,054 cases were of the Indian species.
The study included data for all age groups from April 5 to cover the period since the variable appeared.
Data from PHE showed that there were at least 2,889 cases of Indian variants recorded in England from February 1 this year to May 18.
Of these cases, 104 cases resulted in a visit to the hospital’s emergency department, 31 required hospitalization overnight, and six cases resulted in death.
The most common variable in England, according to the data, is the Kent variable, with 132,082 cases recorded during the same period.
About 1,569 people died of the variant, while 2011 cases resulted in overnight hospitalizations and 5,238 cases requiring a visit to the hospital’s emergency department.
There is greater confidence in the data from the first vaccine dose than from the second vaccine dose, said Dr. Jimmy Lopez Bernal, consultant medical epidemiologist at PHE and lead author of the study.
He said, «There are larger numbers who were vaccinated with a single dose. So I think we classify that as moderate certainty about the first dose, but low confidence levels around the second dose.»
However, Professor Susan Hopkins, Director of Strategic Response to COVID-19 at PHE, said the data trend was «crystal clear» and was heading in the «right direction».
PHE said the difference in efficacy between vaccines may be due to the second AstraZeneca dose released at a later date than the Pfizer vaccine.
The data also shows that the AstraZeneca Strike takes longer to reach maximum effectiveness.
PHE added that there are not enough cases and follow-up periods to estimate the efficacy of the vaccine against severe results from the Indian variant but that this will be evaluated over the coming weeks.
In response to a question about how the data would affect the easing of restrictions from June 21, Professor Hopkins said it was «too early to say.»
«A week after the last restrictions were lifted, we will watch that very carefully,» she said.
“This new evidence is groundbreaking and proves how important the COVID-19 vaccination program is in protecting the people we love,” said Mr. Hancock.
«We can now be confident that more than 20 million people – more than one in three – are very protective against this new variant, and that number is increasing by the hundreds of thousands every day as more and more people are getting that vital second dose.»
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at PHE, added: “This study provides reassurance that two doses of any vaccine provide high levels of protection against symptoms of the B1617.2 variant.
«We expect vaccines to be most effective in preventing hospitalization and death, so it is imperative to obtain both doses to obtain maximum protection against all current and emerging variants.»
A separate analysis by PHE indicates that the vaccination program has so far prevented 13,000 deaths and nearly 39,100 hospitalizations for elderly people in England, as of May 9.
The latest numbers show that more than 50 million doses Coronavirus vaccine is now in England.
A total of 50,246,402 vaccines for COVID-19 were administered between December 8 and May 21, according to data from NHS England, including first and second doses.
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