Recently released data reveals those who have been vaccinated are still protected from the Delta variant of COVID-19. Moreover, it is not causing a surge in hospitalizations or deaths.
A new study from Public Health England (PHE) found that the Pfizer vaccine is 96% effective after two doses at staving off hospitalization due to the Delta variant. The AstraZeneca vaccine was determined to be 92% effective.
The study included over 14,000 emergency hospital admissions of the Delta variant — 166 of which were hospitalized. While the findings suggest that vaccines prevent hospitalization, future studies are needed to determine the level of protection against mortality from the variant.
“This evidence of the effectiveness of 2 doses against variants shows just how crucial it is to get your second jab,” Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said. “If you have had your first dose but haven’t booked your second yet – please do so. It will help save lives and boost us on the road to recovery.”
A previous analysis from PHE showed that one dose is 17% less effective at preventing symptomatic illness from the Delta variant, compared to the Alpha. However, the difference is greatly minimized after the administration of two doses.
“It is extremely encouraging to see today’s research showing that vaccines are continuing to help break the link between hospitalisation and the Delta variant after one dose, and particularly the high effectiveness of 2 doses,” vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said.
“Studies from Canada and the U.K. show 79% to 87% effectiveness against symptomatic infection with the Delta variant,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “This is all excellent news, as is the finding that 99% of hospitalizations for COVID-19 are among unvaccinated people. The vaccines are as good as first heralded, even against new variants. That unvaccinated people are still being hospitalized underscores the continuing need to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”
The Wall Street Journal also analyzed CDC data and “found that the hospitalization data support none of the alarming headlines suggesting Delta is more dangerous than earlier strains … Whatever else we know or don’t know about Delta, its prevalence clearly isn’t driving hospitalizations.”