Not one but two doses provide a useful shield to protect against the variant Delta. The vaccines anti-Covid by Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca were found to be highly effective after the double injection in preventing hospitalization of people infected with the mutation which, after the UK, alarms half the world for its rapid transmission. In the vaccinated, infections occur in almost all cases in a non-serious form. Hence the urgency highlighted by the researchers to complete the cycles according to the indications provided.
Protection after 14 days
The injection of Pfizer/BioNTech it is 96% effective against hospitalization after 2 doses, while inoculation of AstraZeneca/ University of Oxford Covid is 92%, according to an analysis announced Monday by Public Health England. The results are comparable to the protection offered against the Alpha variant first identified in Kent. However, the timing of the achievement of the expected goal is decisive. «All vaccines – Massimo specifies Ciccozzi, head of the Medical Statistics and Epidemiology Unit of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome – reach maximum protection 14 days after inoculation and this applies to both the first and second dose. We know that the antibody duration is 6 months from the clinical data of the trials done but it could also be up to 9, we will fully understand it only by going ahead with vaccinations in terms of real life ».
Two effective doses to reduce the risks
Leaving aside a (small) slice of non-responders, at the overall level the incoming evidence is very encouraging also in comparison with the strength demonstrated by the Delta variant. According to the results presented in a research letter published on The Lancet the risk of hospitalization in contagion with the Delta variant, the “former Indian”, is almost double that of the English one (Alpha). At the same time the analysis of Public Health England (Phe) explains that although the Delta variant reduces the effectiveness of vaccines against symptomatic infection, 2 doses of the vaccine still protect against severe disease. Some data from May showed that the efficacy of both vaccines against symptomatic Delta variant disease was only 33% three weeks after the first dose.
Phe’s results follow a Scottish study that showed 2 doses of a vaccine anti-Covid among people who tested positive they reduced the risk of hospitalization by 70%, despite not enough hospital admissions reported to compare vaccines. Although further work is underway to establish the level of protection against mortality of the Delta variant, the forecast is that it will prove to be high in any case.
In Italy Delta variant under 1%
According to the surveys at the moment in Italy the circulation of the Delta variant is very limited. In the latest report of theHigher Institute of Health (Iss) its diffusion is estimated below 1%, as well as the so-called “Nigerian”, although a recent increase in the frequency of reports on the national territory is highlighted. The latest cases have been reported in Lombardy and Sardinia. There are 81 cases of the Delta variant detected so far in Lombardy, 2 in April, 70 in May and 9 to 14 June. There is therefore a downward trend in this month of June. In Sardinia, on the other hand, 12 cases have been reported. Also in South Tyrol a person has been infected with the Delta variant of the virus and is currently in intensive care.
Late closure is debated in London
The rebound of Covid infections in the United Kingdom fueled by the Delta variant fuels the clash between the opposition and the government at the Wednesday question time in the House of Commons. Labor leader Keir Starmer accused Johnson to have hesitated too much in terms of border control allowing the entry of 20 thousand people from India in April before putting the Asian country on the 23rd of that month in the red list of destinations subject to travel ban and the obligation to supervised quarantine in the hotel ad hoc for those who repatriate.
A delay that in the opinion of Starmer has opened the doors to a diffusion of the variant currently higher than the rest of Europe, now imposing the need to postpone the last stage of the post lockdown reopenings from 21 June to 19 July, with serious consequences for some sectors of the business. Instead, for Prime Minister Johnson, the stop to travel from India was decided before the Delta variant was identified on April 28 and declared “attention variant” on May 7. Empty accusations also because, according to the premier, the United Kingdom identifies more variants than other countries with 47% of all genomic tests done in the world.