A NEW study has highlighted just how important it is to get both Covid vaccine doses to beat the Delta variant.
The strain, which is running rampant throughout the UK, is easily passed from person to person and cases are rising.
🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
Vaccines drastically weaken the effect of the variant if you get infected but, crucially, it’s spread is only impacted if everyone is double jabbed.
Just one dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca only gives 10 per cent protection against catching the bug, scientists at the Institut Pasteur in Paris found.
They discovered that after two jabs, 95 per cent of samples developed neutralising antibodies against Delta.
The authors wrote: “We isolated an infectious Delta strain from a traveller returning from India.
“We examined its sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and to antibodies present in sera (blood serum) from Covid-19 convalescent individuals or vaccine recipients, in comparison to other viral strains.
“Sera from convalescent patients collected up to 12 months post symptoms were 4 fold less potent against variant Delta, relative to variant Alpha (B.1.1.7).
“Sera from individuals having received one dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines barely inhibited variant Delta.”
While a single shot does stop the virus turning into a serious infection or cause hospitalisation by 94 (Pfizer) and 71 per cent (AstraZeneca), it’s best not to catch it at all.
GET BOTH SHOTS
This is because you run less of a risk of developing long Covid, or passing it on to someone less protected or more vulnerable.
Other studies how shown similar, but not as low, protection from only one dose against the variant.
The latest UK research found the effectiveness from one shot of Pfizer or AstraZeneca was just 33 per cent in symptomatic illness, but after two it rose to 88 per cent for Pfizer and 60 per cent for AstraZeneca.
The French study, published in the journal Nature, also found the Delta variant is four times more likely to overcome protective antibodies from a previous infection compared to the UK’s Alpha variant
Two jabs from any of the three vaccines used in the UK provides significant protection against severe disease and hospitalisation.
It comes after a jabs expert told a Government committee the rollout would end the public health crisis, despite the virus remaining as a part of life.
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard said if severe disease and hospitalisations can be prevented, we can start to properly bounce back from the crisis which began in March last year.
Getting both jabs is the best way to ensure you and the people you love remain safe, so we once again urge everyone to come forward as soon as they are eligible.
Dr Jenny Harries
Almost two-thirds of British adults have had two doses of a Covid jab.
But many youngsters have only had their first injection, or haven’t had one at all.
This morning Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency said: “The data continues to show that the sharp increase in cases that we are seeing is not being followed by a similar increase in hospitalisation and death.
“This is because two doses of the available vaccines offer a high level of protection against the Delta variant.
“Getting both jabs is the best way to ensure you and the people you love remain safe, so we once again urge everyone to come forward as soon as they are eligible.”
Delta cases have risen by 54,000 in a week – up by a third in just seven days.
As infections continue to increase throughout the country the strain has still got a grip on the UK.
It comes less than two weeks before Britain’s Freedom Day – when the Covid restrictions will end.
Experts have warned cases will continue to rise and unvaccinated youngsters will suffer as Delta spreads.
Two new variants are also being monitored by Public Health England – B.1.619 and B.1.629.
Delta variant makes up around 99 per cent cases found in Britain.
A total of 216,249 confirmed and probable infections have now been identified in the UK – up by 54,268 from 161,981 cases in the previous week, a rise of 34 per cent.