New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delta variant of COVID-19, first reported from India has been suggested by experts to be the key reason behind the surge in Coronavirus cases in India leading to the second wave of the pandemic. However, according to health authorities in England, the AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India to be sold as ‘Covishield’, is “highly effective” after two doses at preventing hospitalisation in case one gets infected by Delta variant.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was found 92 per cent effective in preventing people from being hospitalised while managing to help the body combat the virus at the asymptomatic state itself. Earlier a report published in The Lancet had categorically stated that people infected with Delta variant are twice as likely to be hospitalised as compared to the initial variants of the virus.

“It is absolutely vital to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants,” Public Health England said in a statement on Monday.

“The second shot is critical,” said Dr Paul Offit, a vaccine researcher at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who was quoted as saying by NBC News. “We know from the phase one studies that the second shot induces a level of virus-specific neutralizing antibodies that’s about tenfold greater than that after the first dose,” Dr Paul added.

Pfizer-BioNTech shot 96 per cent effective against Delta variant: UK study

The UK study also said that Pfizer BioNTech shot is 96 per cent effective against hospitalisation, further suggesting that the existing vaccines should be enough to combat the emerging variants of the virus.

The pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently not available in India. However, the US vaccine maker has indicated the availability of a “certain volume of vaccine” in the coming months, starting next month, Dr Vinod Paul, Chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for covid-19 (NEGVAC) had said during a press conference on May 27.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan