Are the Vaccines Against Delta Variant of the Virus Effective?
It has been over a year since the COVID-19 first appeared, and since then, it has been going on and on with a new wave every few months. Just recently, the world got over the second wave, however still not completely, and now a new variant has appeared, which is the Delta Variant.
The World Health Organisation declared the delta variant as a variant of concern. This strain of coronavirus is more transmissible and causes severe illness. WHO predicts that the new delta variant is 55% more transmissible as compared to the alpha variant. Similarly, the alpha variant was 50% more spreadable than the virus from Wuhan. In this article, we are going to discuss the Delta variant and the effectiveness of the vaccines against delta variant.
How Effective Are the Vaccines Against Delta Variant
The Delta variant is a new concern, and researchers all over the world are trying to find whether the vaccine is effective against it. Developing a vaccine for every variant can be almost next to impossible as the vaccination process is a hassle. However, luckily, vaccines are effective against the delta variant.
A British study in May concluded that two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech was 88% effective against symptoms of the Delta Virus. The vaccine showed 79% effectiveness against Delta variants in a study conducted in Scotland in June. The research in Canada found that the vaccine was 87% effective against Delta Variants.
Similarly, the Israel Ministry of Health conducted a study that showed that the Pfizer- biotech vaccine was shown as 64% effective against all the virus variants. However, when the study was conducted in May before the delta variant came, the vaccine’s effectiveness was 95%.
Effectiveness of the Vaccines Against Delta Variant
The expert says that it is not possible to conclude the vaccine’s effectiveness with a single study. According to Natalie Dean at Emory University, the information needs to be taken from different studies, and too much weight should not be given to a single study. Clinical trials help to measure the effectiveness of the vaccine.
In the clinical trial, random volunteers are divided into two groups. The first group is injected with a vaccine, while the other group with a placebo. If the vaccinated group has less risk of getting infected, the researcher can be sure that it is effective and has protected them. But once the vaccine is on the market, measuring its effectiveness becomes difficult.
In the real world, researchers can no longer keep track of the people who have received the vaccine. Moreover, it’s much more challenging to measure efficacy due to different conditions. E.g., suppose the group of vaccinated people is compared with the people who are not vaccinated. In that case, the people who have not been vaccinated may be more likely to put themselves in a situation where there is more risk. It’s also possible that older people who are vaccinated might have a tough time fending off the virus. Or maybe the outbreak hits the region where most of the population is vaccinated. All these conditions can hinder the study. The best way is to compare vaccinated people with counterparts of people who are not vaccinated.
In-Depth Research About the Variant
Researchers try their best to find unvaccinated people with similar age and health conditions for the study. However, the study conducted in Israel did not go to great lengths for finding volunteers, said Uri Shalit, a senior lecturer at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The reports from the Israel test could be a little different as people may not be getting tested. Most of the people in Israel are vaccinated. When a local outburst of the virus happens, the government tests every person who contacted the infected one.
However, the good news is that most of the studies have shown positive results regarding the effectiveness of vaccines against delta variant and that the vaccines can prevent people from getting hospitalised. According to the Israel Ministry of Health, the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine effectively prevents people from severe illness and hospitalisation by 93%. According to Naor Bar-Zeev, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg, the vaccine protects against various severe diseases, reducing the mortality rate and saving people.
It is also said that more studies need to be done to find the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, he also said that if six studies are done, and five studies show different results and one shows different, the five are correct.
Other Things to Do
Most of the vaccines like Covishield, Covaxin, and others are effective against the Delta Variant. Vaccination can prevent severe illness and can save lives.
Wear your mask to stay protected, have healthy, nutritious food, and don’t forget to take supplements if required. However, consult your doctor about supplements that need to be taken to increase immunity. Vitamin C improves immunity and should be taken daily as it is water-soluble.
Although, as stated above, there have been plenty of vaccines that have been officially approved, research is still going on to understand the overall effectiveness of the vaccines against delta and various other waves which strike on.
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