Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have found effective in combating the strain of COVID-19 virus first found in India as it is against Britain’s dominant strain, English health officials said on Saturday, May 22.
The analysis was carried out between 5 April and 16 May, found the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the India variant two weeks after a second dose, compared with 93% effectiveness against the Kent strain which is Britain’s dominant COVID variant. While the AstraZeneca jab was 60% effective, compared with 66% against the Kent variant over the same period.
“It is now clear how important the second dose is to secure the strongest possible protection against Covid-19 and its variants,” the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said. “Everyone should book their jab when offered.”
It was also found that both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease caused by the India variant, three weeks after the first dose. This compared with about 50% effectiveness against the Kent variant.
The analysis was carried out on people from all age groups from 5 April to cover the time when the India variant emerged and included 1,054 people confirmed as having the variant through genomic sequencing.
Hancock said that showed that getting both doses of the vaccine was “absolutely vital.”