Vaccines Less Effective Against Delta Variant According to UK Study

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According to the largest study yet regarding the vaccines and Covid-19, the vaccines are less effective against the delta variant. When a vaccinated person got infected with the delta variant, they were shown to have similar levels of the virus in their body as people who had not had vaccines.  This is the primary focus of the study showing that mass vaccinations may not protect those who don’t get vaccinated.  However, there is not enough data yet on hospitalizations and severe cases.

These findings may bolster the calls for booster shots for fully vaccinated people.  In Israel, one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, has shown the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 86% effective for people over 60 years old.

Simon Clarke, an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading said, “We’re seeing here the real-world data of how two vaccines are performing, rather than clinical trial data, and the data sets all show how the delta variant has blunted the effectiveness of both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs.”

This study comes at a time when infections are rising in the UK by 8% over the last week.  The United States is also seeing spikes in cases among unvaccinated people. The study backs up a recent CDC statement amount the higher transmission rates of the delta variant.  Sarah Walker, a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at Oxford, who helped lead the study said, “The hope was that unvaccinated people could be protected by vaccinating lots of people. The higher levels of virus that we’re seeing in these infections in vaccinated people are consistent with the fact that unvaccinated people are just going to be at higher risk, I’m afraid.”

Penny Ward, a visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London said, “No vaccine is completely protective against infection with the delta variant.  The low incidence of hospitalization seen to date suggests that in this respect, at least, the vaccines are protecting individuals from developing severe Covid.”

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