Vaccines 'highly effective' against hospitalisation from Delta variant - PHE

14 June 2021, 18:38

Data from Public Health England has shown that vaccines provide similar protection from hospitalisation from the Delta variant as for the Alpha variant
Data from Public Health England has shown that vaccines provide similar protection from hospitalisation from the Delta variant as for the Alpha variant. Picture: PA

By Daisy Stephens

Two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine are "highly effective" against hospitalisation from the Delta variant, new analysis by Public Health England (PHE) has shown for the first time.

The data showed that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine is 96 per cent effective against hospitalisation, and two doses of AstraZeneca is 92 per cent effective, meaning that the protection offered by both is similar to protection from the Alpha variant.

“These hugely important findings confirm that the vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalisation from the Delta variant,” said Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE.

“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.”

The analysis included 14,019 cases of the Delta variant – 166 of whom were hospitalised – between 12 April and 4 June, looking at emergency hospital admissions in England.

PHE has previously published analysis showing that one dose is 17% less effective at preventing symptomatic illness from the Delta variant, compared to Alpha, but there is only a small difference after two doses.

Further work remains underway to establish how well the vaccines protect people from dying from the virus.

However, as with other variants, this level of protection is also expected to be high.

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Separate analysis from PHE indicates that the COVID-19 vaccination programme has so far prevented 14,000 deaths and around 42,000 hospitalisations in older people in England, up to 30 May.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the data on vaccine effectiveness has highlighted the importance of getting both doses of the vaccines.

"If you have had your first dose but haven’t booked your second yet – please do so,” he said.

“It will help save lives and boost us on the road to recovery.”