New Delhi: A new medical study in the United Kingdom (UK) has found that two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are ‘highly effective’ against the virus’s variant which was first identified in India. Public Health England (PHE) on Sunday (May 23) said that two does of AstraZeneca vaccines was 88 per cent effective against the variant.
Meanwhile, the vaccine from Pfizer were found to be 93 per cent effective against the variant B1.1.7 VOC compared to 66 per cent effectiveness from AstraZeneca against the B.1.1.7 variant.
Bothe the vaccines were found to be 50 per cent effective against B1.1.7 VOC after just one dose.
“This new evidence is groundbreaking – and proves just how valuable our COVID-19 vaccination programme is in protecting the people we love,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“It’s clear how important the second dose is to secure the strongest possible protection against COVID-19 and its variants – and I urge everyone to book in their jab when offered,” he said.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was 60 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the B1.617.2 VOC.
“I’m increasingly confident we’re on track for the roadmap because this data shows the vaccine after two doses works just as effectively, and we all know that the vaccine is our way out of this,” added Hancock.
This variant of the virus has been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern (VOC).
“We expect the vaccines to be even more effective at preventing hospitalisation and death, so it is vital to get both doses to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants,” she said.
“Today’s data is astounding and a true reflection of just how important it is to get both your jabs when offered. I encourage all those offered an appointment to get their jab booked in as soon as possible and take full advantage of the high levels of protection the vaccines bring,” said Nadhim Zahawi, UK Vaccine Deployment Minister.
However, the authorities ay that it needs a a larger pool of survey to effectively determine the efficacy of COVID -19 vaccines against the variants.
PHE noted that the difference in effectiveness between the vaccines after two doses may be explained by the fact that rollout of second doses of AstraZeneca was later than for the Pfizer vaccine, and other data on antibody profiles show it takes longer to reach maximum effectiveness with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
With inputs from PTI