In The News: Pfizer And Astra-Zeneca Vaccines Found To Be ‘Highly-Effective’ Against New COVID Strains

According to a new study by Public Health England, the Astra-Zeneca, and Pfizer vaccines are very effective against new strains from India and the U.K..

Testing done between April 05 and May 16 discovered that Pfizer’s BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against a coronavirus variant ( B.1617.2 ) from India, two weeks after a second dose is administered. Its effectiveness is 93% against the B.1.1.7 strain from the U.K..

The Astra-Zeneca vaccine was found to be 60% effective against the B.1.617 compared to that of a 66% against the B.1.1.7 strain.

Public Health officials in England expect to see “even higher levels of effectiveness against hospitalizations and death” as a result of these vaccines.

“It’s now 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,” Health and Social Care secretary, Matt Hancock said via public statement.

“This study provides reassurance that two doses of either vaccine offer high levels of protection against symptomatic disease  from the B.1.617.2 variant,” Head of Immunization, Mary Ramsay said in the same statement. “We expect the vaccines to be even more effective at preventing hospitalizations and death, so it’s vital to get both doses to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants.”

“We now have early evidence that the vaccine protects against the India variant,” said Susan Hopkins, the COVID-19 strategic response director for PHE. “That’s really good news. What we are saying now is push the second dose and get as many people vaccinated as possible.”

Sources: The Guardian, The Week, Axios,


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