AZ safe and really effective against known variant viruses

Covid-19 virus variants

From the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Bulletin:

A new study by Public Health England has shown for the first time that two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the variant first identified in India.

The effectiveness of the vaccine against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant is similar after two doses compared to the B.1.1.7 (Kent) variant dominant in the UK, and PHE expects to see even higher levels of effectiveness against hospitalisation and death.

The study found that, for the period from 5 April to 16 May:

  • the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant two weeks after the second dose, compared to 93% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant
  • two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were 60% effective against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant compared to 66% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant
  • both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from B.1.617.2, three weeks after the first dose compared to around 50% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant

The analysis included data for all age groups, from 5 April, to cover the period since the B.1.617.2 variant emerged. It included 1,054 people confirmed as having the B.1.617.2 variant through genomic sequencing, including participants of several ethnicities. Data published on Thursday 20 May for vaccine effectiveness covered the period since December for those aged over 65.

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