Effective vaccines against the Indian variant


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British health officials expressed optimism on Sunday that the remaining coronavirus restrictions in England could be lifted in June after an official study found that Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer effective protection against the variant first identified in India. .

British authorities have expressed concern in recent weeks that growing cases of the Indian variant could jeopardize the UK’s hitherto successful plan to reopen its economy. In England, more than 2,880 cases of the Indian variant have been reported, according to figures.

The government has said the variant appears to be more transmissible, but there was still uncertainty about its concern.

Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Safety Agency, said England officials are on track to proceed with the final phase of unblocking the country from June 21 if the public remains cautious.

“It looks good if people keep watching all the safety signs,” he told the BBC. However, he warned that the Indian variant is beginning to become the dominant strain in some areas of the North West of England and that people in the access areas need to be vigilant.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said he had “increasing confidence” that the country could follow its unblocking plans.

His comments came after a Public Health England study found that two doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines offer “high levels of protection” against symptomatic diseases of the Indian variant.

The study, which took place between April 5 and May 16, found that the Pfizer is 88% effective against the variant after two doses. This compares with 93% efficacy against the variant first identified in Kent, England, the researchers said.

The AstraZeneca jab was 60% effective after both doses against the Indian variant, compared to 66% against the Kent variant.

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

Tough blocking rules were eased in most parts of the UK earlier this month, thanks in large part to an efficient vaccine launch program. It is again allowed to socialize inland in a limited number of houses, restaurants and pubs, and also lifted in part the general ban on traveling abroad.

Officials have said they plan to reopen nightclubs and allow big events like festivals from June 21 if infection rates remain low.

More than 37.7 million people, or 72% of the , have had their first dose of vaccine in the UK. About 42% have had their second dose.

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Citation: UK Officials: Effective Vaccines Against Indian Variant (2021, May 23) Retrieved May 23, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-uk-vaccines-effective-indian-variant .html

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