A new study by researchers at Imperial College London has found that fully vaccinated people have their risk of infection from the COVID-19 Delta variant reduced by 50 to 60 per cent.
The study emphasised the need for people who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to go for their second dose, noting that it would protect them against the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The study also reconfirmed the link between COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations which has begun to wane.
It stated that the Delta variant is causing a rise in cases of hospitalisation.
According to the researchers, any approved vaccine significantly protects against COVID-19 provided people are double-vaccinated.
“Considering those who had the symptomatic infection, they were at least 59% less likely to contract the illness when double vaccinated.
“These estimations are lower than previous data presented by Public Health Data, which shows two doses of Pfizer’s shot was 88 per cent effective at preventing the symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, compared to 93.7 per cent against the Alpha variant,” the researchers said.
One of the researchers and Imperial Epidemiologist, Paul Elliot, said, “We’re looking at effectiveness against infection amongst a random sample of the general population, which includes asymptomatic individuals. The study tested people without symptoms, who may not have otherwise got a test. So again, it’s a different bunch of people.”
Another London study carried out by Public Health England researchers revealed that two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are nearly as effective against the highly transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant as they are against the previously dominant Alpha variant.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2021, found that two doses of Pfizer’s shot were 88 per cent effective at preventing the symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, compared to 93.7 percent against the Alpha variant, broadly the same as previously reported.
According to the study, two shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine were 67 per cent effective against the Delta variant, up from 60 per cent originally reported, and 74.5 pe rcent effective against the Alpha variant, compared to an original estimate of 66 per cent effectiveness.
“Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the Delta variant as compared with the Alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses,” the researchers said.
The study further revealed that one dose of Pfizer’s shot was 36 per cent effective, and one dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine was around 30 per cent effective.
“Our finding of reduced effectiveness after the first dose would support efforts to maximise vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable groups in the context of circulation of the Delta variant,” the researchers noted.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 has now been detected in 124 territories worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation.
It is expected to become the dominant variant globally in the coming months, with the WHO predicting that there could be more than 200 million confirmed cases within a matter of weeks.
Data from the past few months suggest that 99.5 per cent of people who died from COVID-19 in the U.S. were unvaccinated.
The WHO also says COVID-19 deaths have increased by 80 per cent in the past one month in Africa, mostly driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, adding that Infections have increased in every region of the world, with some even reaching 80 per cent more in the past months.
The United Nations health agency blamed the rise of cases on increased social mixing and mobility, the inconsistent use of public health and social measures, and inequitable vaccine use.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has urged residents of the state who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to go for their second dose to gain full protection against the virus.
Abayomi noted that they should go to the vaccination centres where they received their first dose to receive the second dose.
According to the commissioner, getting a second dose of the vaccine offers full protection against COVID-19.
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