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Pfizer, AstraZeneca COVID Vaccines Less Effective Against Delta Variant: Oxford-Led Study

The yet to be peer-reviewed study found that the people who had been vaccinated after already being infected with COVID-19 had even more protection than vaccinated individuals who had not had COVID-19 before

Pfizer, AstraZeneca COVID Vaccines Less Effective Against Delta Variant: Oxford-Led Study
Highlights
  • Study found similar virus levels with Delta infections in vaccinated people
  • Pfizer jab provided greater initial protection than the AstraZeneca: Study
  • After 5 months, the level of immunity dropped to about same level: Study

London: The COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and AstraZeneca are less effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus compared to the Alpha variant, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Oxford. The researchers, however, noted that with Delta, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Oxford-AstraZeneca preventive, known as Covishield in India, still offer good protection against new infections. Two doses of either vaccine still provided at least the same level of protection as having had COVID-19 before through natural infection, they said.

Also Read: No Data Shows Need For Booster COVID-19 Vaccines Presently: Dr Gagandeep Kang

The researchers analysed 25,80,021 test results from nose and throat swabs taken from 3,84,543 participants aged 18 years or older between December 1, 2020 and May 16, 2021. They also analysed 811,624 test results from 358,983 participants between May 17, 2021 and August 1, 2021.

The yet to be peer-reviewed study found that the people who had been vaccinated after already being infected with COVID-19 had even more protection than vaccinated individuals who had not had COVID-19 before.

However, Delta infections after two vaccine doses had similar peak levels of virus as those in unvaccinated people, the researchers said. With the Alpha variant, peak virus levels in those infected post- vaccination were much lower, they said.

We don’t yet know how much transmission can happen from people who get COVID-19 after being vaccinated — for example, they may have high levels of virus for shorter periods of time, said Sarah Walker, a professor at the University of Oxford.

Also Read: What Is Being Done To Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines Globally?

“But the fact that they can have high levels of virus suggests that people who aren’t yet vaccinated may not be as protected from the Delta variant as we hoped. This means it is essential for as many people as possible to get vaccinated,” Ms Walker said.

The researchers, including those from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the UK, also found that a single dose of the Moderna vaccine has similar or greater effectiveness against the Delta variant as single doses of the other vaccines. Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech have greater initial effectiveness against new COVID-19 infections, but this declines faster compared with two doses of Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine, they said.

Results suggest that after four to five months effectiveness of these two vaccines would be similar, however, the researchers said long-term effects need to be studied. According to the study, the time between doses does not affect effectiveness in preventing new infections, but younger people have even more protection from vaccination than older people.

The fact that we did not see any effect of the interval between first and second doses, and the greater effectiveness of having had two doses, rather than one dose, supports the decision to reduce this to eight weeks now Delta is the main variant of concern in the UK, said Koen Pouwels, senior researcher in Oxford University.

Also Read: Mixing And Matching Of Vaccines Will Help Overcome Shortage: Dr Gagandeep Kang

“While vaccinations reduce the chance of getting COVID-19, they do not eliminate it. More importantly, our data shows the potential for vaccinated individuals to still pass COVID-19 onto others, and the importance of testing and self-isolation to reduce transmission risk,” Koen Pouwels said.

The study compared protection from infections from COVID-19 vaccines before and after May 17, 2021, when Delta became the main variant in the UK. It also looked in detail at how effectiveness changes over time as well as other factors like previous infection. Simon Clarke, Associate Professor at the University of Reading in the UK said the real-world data of how two vaccines are performing show the Delta variant has blunted the effectiveness of both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs.

Of particular concern, the AstraZeneca vaccine’s effectiveness is reduced substantially by Delta and it appears to offer no more protection than what someone would get from having COVID-19 and building some natural immunity,” Clarke, who was not involved in the study, said.

“The Pfizer jab provided greater initial protection than the AstraZeneca one, but then after around five months the level of immunity dropped to about the same level seen for both of the vaccines looked at,” he added.

Also Read: WHO Calls For ‘Moratorium’ On COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Until At Least September-End To Address Vaccination Disparity

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,15,50,353Cases
20,31,59,099Active
3,34,78,247Recovered
49,13,007Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,15,50,353 and 49,13,007 have died; 20,31,59,099 are active cases and 3,34,78,247 have recovered as on October 20, 2021 at 3:48 am.

India

3,41,08,996 14,623Cases
1,78,0985,020Active
3,34,78,247 19,446Recovered
4,52,651 197Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,08,996 confirmed cases including 4,52,651 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,78,098 and 3,34,78,247 have recovered as on October 20, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,94,820 1,638

30,408 1,202

64,24,547 2,791

1,39,865 49

Kerala

48,68,640 7,643

80,857 2,922

47,60,781 10,488

27,002 77

Karnataka

29,84,022 349

9,129 64

29,36,926 399

37,967 14

Tamil Nadu

26,89,463 1,179

14,326 244

26,39,209 1,407

35,928 16

Andhra Pradesh

20,61,287 483

5,654 55

20,41,316 534

14,317 4

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,047 11

118 5

16,87,031 16

22,898

West Bengal

15,81,946 726

7,428 12

15,55,520 705

18,998 9

Delhi

14,39,441 36

322 24

14,14,029 11

25,090 1

Odisha

10,35,973 556

4,281 66

10,23,398 618

8,294 4

Chhattisgarh

10,05,701 20

188 1

9,91,943 21

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,392

38 5

9,45,400 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,326 18

185 8

8,16,055 26

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,700 10

79 2

7,82,098 12

10,523

Haryana

7,71,101 9

126 0

7,60,926 9

10,049

Bihar

7,26,033 5

42 2

7,16,330 7

9,661

Telangana

6,69,365 202

3,940 11

6,61,484 190

3,941 1

Assam

6,07,119 353

3,585 124

5,97,577 229

5,957

Punjab

6,02,081 22

216 3

5,85,316 20

16,549 5

Jharkhand

3,48,461 17

128 3

3,43,198 14

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,765 6

175 1

3,36,193 7

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,221 84

803 13

3,25,990 97

4,428

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,826 222

1,348 78

2,16,751 142

3,727 2

Goa

1,77,659 80

620 20

1,73,685 56

3,354 4

Puducherry

1,27,479 55

490 33

1,25,137 86

1,852 2

Manipur

1,22,899 95

1,358 25

1,19,640 116

1,901 4

Mizoram

1,14,466 665

10,768 606

1,03,305 1,269

393 2

Tripura

84,349 6

102 11

83,431 17

816

Meghalaya

83,079 65

740 37

80,900 101

1,439 1

Chandigarh

65,310 4

25 1

64,465 3

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,031 17

145 0

54,606 17

280

Sikkim

31,783 27

181 16

31,210 10

392 1

Nagaland

31,641 14

247 5

30,718 18

676 1

Ladakh

20,883 2

34 0

20,641 2

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676

4 0

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646 4

8 1

7,509 3

129

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