(London) Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines protect more than 90% of hospital treatment after infection with the delta type of coronavirus, which first emerged in India, according to a study published by British health authorities on Monday.
The Public Health England (PHE) study shows 96% protection against hospitalization after two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 92% of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Of the 14,019 people who contracted this type, only 166 were hospitalized, revealed the study conducted between April 12 and June 4, confirming that these are “results similar to the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent hospitalization associated with the alpha variant,” which appeared at the end of 2020 in southern East England.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said: “This evidence of the effectiveness of two doses against variants shows how important vaccination is again,” welcoming that Britain’s vaccination program has “already saved thousands of lives”.
PHE analysis previously showed that two doses of the vaccine protected the delta variant as effectively as alpha, but not a single dose.
For Mary Ramsay, who is responsible for the PHE vaccination, “it is absolutely essential to receive both doses as soon as they are given in order to obtain maximum protection against all current and emerging variants.”
More contagious than the alpha variant, the delta variant is now prevalent in the UK, the country hardest hit in Europe by the pandemic with nearly 128,000 deaths.
Currently, nearly 80% of adults have received a single dose of the vaccine in the UK, but only 57% have received two doses.