According to English health officials, a double dose of COVID-19 vaccinations is virtually as effective against the fast-spreading version of the coronavirus initially detected in India as it is against the prevalent strain in the UK.
The data was remarkable, according to Britain’s health minister, who expressed increasing optimism that the government would be able to eliminate further COVID-19 limitations next month.
Public Health England reported that two weeks after the second dosage, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88 percent effective against symptomatic sickness caused by the B.1.617.2 strain. In comparison, the B.1.1.7 “Kent” strain, which is Britain’s main COVID-19 variation, was shown to be 93% effective.
According to PHE, two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were 60% effective against symptomatic sickness caused by the variant first detected in India, compared to 66 percent against the Kent variation.
“I’m becoming increasingly optimistic that we’re on pace for the roadmap,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told broadcasters, “because this evidence demonstrates that the vaccination, after two doses, works just as effectively (against the Indian variety).”
According to the UK government’s plans, remaining coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on June 21.
Britain has pushed out Europe’s fastest vaccination program to date, but the proliferation of a variation first discovered in India has presented a new hurdle.
New COVID-19 cases reported in the United Kingdom increased by 10.5 percent in the seven days leading up to May 22, according to data released on Saturday, albeit they remained a fraction of the levels recorded earlier this year.
After three weeks, a first dose of both vaccinations was only 33 percent effective against symptomatic sickness caused by B.1.617.2, according to PHE, compared to 50 percent for B.1.1.7. This demonstrated the importance of receiving both vaccine doses, according to Hancock.