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State-funded UK study says Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines are ‘highly effective' against Indian Covid-19 variant

Added 05-23-21 01:37:02pm EST - “Two doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines provide sufficient protection against symptomatic disease from the Indian strain of Covid-19, which is thought to be more vaccine-resistant, a study by Public Health England says.” - Rt.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “State-funded UK study says Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines are ‘highly effective’ against Indian Covid-19 variant”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

“New study by PHE shows for the first time that 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective” against the virus variant first identified in India, a UK government press release citing the study’s results said.

The research shows that the Pfizer vaccine provides 88% protection against symptomatic disease caused by the Indian variant two weeks after the patient receives the second dose, while AstraZeneca’s vaccine is 66% effective.

The first dose of both vaccines is only 33% effective against symptomatic disease. The press release explains the difference in the effectiveness of the two by the fact that the “rollout of second doses of AstraZeneca was later than for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” and it “takes longer to reach maximum effectiveness with the AstraZeneca.”

“This study provides reassurance that 2 doses of either vaccine offer high levels of protection against symptomatic disease from the [Indian] variant,” Dr. Mary Ramsay, the head of immunisation at Public Health England (PHE), said.

She also said the researchers expect the vaccines to be “even more effective at preventing hospitalisation and death,” though they do not have sufficient evidence to estimate the effectiveness against severe outcomes of infections caused by the Indian strain, the government statement said.

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