After two doses, some vaccines are also effective against the Indian variant

After two doses, some vaccines are also effective against the Indian variant

After two doses

According to a study not yet published but available in preprint, two doses of the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca are also effective against the variant found for the first time in India. We cannot comment on the other vaccines because we have no information

(illustration: Getty Images) The study of the effectiveness of vaccines against the new coronavirus variants does not stop. Today, what is frightening is the variant discovered in India in April 2021, in acronym e B.1.617.2, which is also widespread in Europe and Italy. A study conducted by Public Health England indicates that two doses of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca would also be effective against the variant. The two vaccines mentioned are the only ones currently studied against this new strain, therefore we cannot exclude or affirm that the others (of which in Italy we are currently using Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) can provide protection. The results are not yet peer reviewed but the research, conducted by the authorities and some British universities, is available in preview, in preprint, here.

The study

The researchers based on vaccination data collected by the British authorities until May 16, 2021, combined with those of Covid-19 infections and with the sequencing of the virus genome, which allows to identify the presence of the variants - in this case those considered are the one traced in India and the English one. According to the study, good coverage would occur after receiving the second dose of both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines and not the first. In particular, for both products, after a single administration the effectiveness against the variant found in India would be 33.5% against 51.1% in the case of the English variant.

The results with two doses

While with two doses things are better. Researchers report that Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine has approximately 88% efficacy against symptomatic forms of Covid-19 associated with the Indian variant two weeks after the second dose. The efficacy against the English variant with the same vaccine is 93%. While with Vaxzevria by AstraZeneca the percentages are a bit lower and equal to 60% in the case of the Indian variant and 66% for the English one.

The interpretation

"Overall" , the authors write, “we have documented a high level of efficacy of vaccines against symptomatic forms of Covid-19 after the administration of two doses. The estimates of the effectiveness are only slightly lower than those relating to the variant B.1.1.7 ", the English one, so to speak. "It is likely - they add - that the vaccine's effectiveness against more severe forms is greater. […] We expect to see higher levels of protection against hospitalization and death ”. In other words, the protection against severe Covid-19 could be broader. The reason AstraZeneca's vaccine is less effective may also be traced to how it is vaccinated, according to the authors. In this case, in fact, the recall is made after the one with Pfizer-BioNTech (after 12 weeks and the other after 3) and the difference can have an impact in the estimate of efficacy, given that the peak of efficacy could be reached. even beyond two weeks after the second dose, at which time the study was carried out.

Whether delaying the second dose in this case may not work well

The results, write the authors in the conclusions, they support the hypothesis of administering the vaccination in two doses to frail people or people at greater risk of Covid in the case of the circulation of the Indian variant.

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