Pfizer vaccine 88% effective against B.1.617.2, AstraZeneca 60% effective

Pfizer vaccine 88% effective against B.1.617.2, AstraZeneca 60% effective

India's government has faced criticism over its handling of Covid-19. "We have now got early evidence that the vaccine protects [against the India variant]", she said.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the variant as B.1.617.

In the study, described in a preprint paper uploaded on the PHE website, researchers used two approaches to reach the conclusions that they did.

This is compared with 93% effectiveness against the B117 variant that emerged from Kent in the UK.

It came after a number of cases of the Indian variant (B.1.617.2) were detected in Huddersfield, but on Tuesday Kirklees Council they were "in one household" and it is working to contain the outbreak.

But the variant has been causing concerns in England where the news of vaccines' efficacy has been welcomed even though they were only 33% effective three weeks after the first dose.

Two doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are more than 80% effective against the Indian B1.617.2 variant, Public Health England has found.

A study presented at the Nervtag meeting supported the new PHE research, FT reported, suggesting that a "single vaccine dose was about 50 per cent less effective against B.1.617.2 compared with B.1.1.7, and the other showing a 20 per cent reduction".

The findings offer hope that the existing crop of vaccines can contribute significantly to tamp down the pandemic, which has flared up with unusual ferocity in some parts of the world.

Asked whether the discovery of the new variant would have an impact on the next stage of restrictions lifting on June 21, the spokesman said the five-week gap between measures relaxing would allow the variant to be monitored.

"Although it was originally imported through travel to India, it's spread fairly effectively, first of all within households and now more broadly within communities".

This includes South Africa and Brazil variants.

PHE's analysis looked at the protection provided by two Covid-19 vaccines - one developed by the University of Oxford with AstraZeneca and the other by U.S. pharma giant Pfizer with German biotech company BioNTech - against the B.1.617.2 strain found in India and B.1.1.7 variant first identified in Kent in sout-east England. It has so far administered 8 million doses of coronavirus vaccines.

While vaccinations have been accelerated in hotspots such as Blackburn and Bolton, there is criticism the government is moving too slowly to ramp up the rollout.

Hancock said yesterday that surge testing and vaccinations will start at Hounslow in London, North Tyneside, Leicester, Bedford, Burnley and Kirklees.

This would mean 9.54% of Indians who have received at least one dose have received Covishield. On May 4, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated B.1.617 as a variant of interest.

Although that protection is significantly lower for those who have only had one jab.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant medical epidemiologist at PHE and the study's lead author, said there was more confidence in the data from the first vaccine dose compared with that from the second.

"I encourage all those offered an appointment to get their jab booked in as soon as possible and take full advantage of the high levels of protection the vaccines bring", said Nadhim Zahawi, UK Vaccine Deployment Minister.

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