London: As the concerns revolving around the Delta variant which is regarded as the most infectious among the Covid variants is looming, a new analysis has revealed that two doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B16172) variant.
The findings, presented in a research letter published in The Lancet, come as U.K. officials wrestle with whether to delay a lift in pandemic restrictions as the Delta variant spreads.
According to a new analysis from Public Health England (PHE), the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96 per cent effective against hospitalisation after two doses, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation after two doses.
The new analysis included 14,019 cases of the Delta variant, 166 of whom were hospitalised between 12 April and 4 June, looking at emergency hospital admissions in England.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, in a statement, asserted that the evidence of the effectiveness of two doses against variants shows just how crucial it is to get the second jab. He further urged the public who got their first dose but haven't booked the second to do it as it will help save lives and boost us on the road to recovery.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE noted that these hugely important findings confirm that the vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.
"It is absolutely vital to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants," he added.
A study by PHE in May showed that three weeks after the first dose of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine provided only 33 per cent protection against the Delta variant, while it offered 50 per cent effectiveness against the Alpha variant.
The B16172 variant was first discovered in India and is one of three related strains. It was declared as a variant of global concern last month by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha strain identified in the UK.