A joint research team from the University of Edinburgh and Strathclyde and Public Health Scotland analyzed data from 5.4 million Scottish people. Of particular interest to this issue is the fact that, according to a recent report, the delta variant accounts for 91% of new cases in the UK.
Preliminary results indicate that two doses of the vaccine provide protection against the delta variant, but this may provide a lower level of protection than the alpha variant. The study added that the vaccines were found to reduce the risk of hospitalization, but the strong protective effects against the delta variant did not occur until at least 28 days after the first vaccination.
The researchers also found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine offered 79% protection against infection with the delta variant at least two weeks after the second dose, compared to 92% against the British variant (alpha). For AstraZeneca, the same efficiency was reduced from 73% to 60%.
Although two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are not as effective as the other variants, they offer significant protection against infection and hospitalization risks. Therefore, when introducing second doses, it is very important for people to take it to protect themselves and reduce its spread in the community,” said Professor Aziz Sheikh, Head of Research.
A feature of the research’s mixed conclusions is that, in the meantime, another study published today came to more positive conclusions. Public Health England (PHE) found that two doses of the coronavirus vaccine were very effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization with a delta variant. According to PHE, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against “hospitalization” after two doses, compared to 92% for Oxford-AstraZeneca.
The results of the two studies do not conflict with each other, as while one estimates the likelihood of developing mild symptoms and the other estimates hospitalization, the latter is inherently smaller. At the same time, it is interesting (and at the same time reassuring) that protection against hospitalization decreases less for the new variant than protection against mild illness.
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