Vaccines ‘offer high levels of protection against Indian variant’

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is 88% effective against the Indian variant after two doses, a study has found.

Vaccines ‘offer high levels of protection against Indian variant’ Geber86 via iStock
Vaccines: 'High level' of protection.

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is 88% effective against the Indian variant after two doses, a study has found.

Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs were found to be almost as effective against symptomatic disease from the B1617.2 strain as they are against the Kent variant after the second dose.

However, they were only 33% effective three weeks after the first dose.

Public Health England (PHE) said it expects to see even higher levels of effectiveness against hospital admission and death.

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The study, which took place between April 5 and May 16, found that the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant two weeks after the second dose.

Meanwhile, the AstraZeneca jab was 60% effective.

Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose.

Some 12,675 genome-sequenced cases were included in the analysis, but only 1054 were of the Indian variant.

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The study included data for all age groups from April 5 to cover the period since the strain emerged.

Speaking at a Scottish Government coronavirus briefing on Friday, the First Minister said authorities are “fairly certain” the increase in cases Glasgow is being driven by the Indian variant – referred to by Sturgeon as April-02 – with “extensive public health measures” deployed over the past ten days.

The number of cases per 100,000 people in Glasgow has increased from 71 last week to 122.6 in the seven days to May 18.