KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — New UK real-world data shows that two doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation caused by the Delta variant and prevents deaths, AstraZeneca said.
This means a fully vaccinated person has a 92 per cent lower risk of developing severe illness from the Delta variant compared to those who have not been vaccinated.
The real world data published by Public Health England (PHE), as quoted by AstraZeneca, also stated that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is 86 per cent effective in reducing hospitalisation contributed by the Alpha variant, with no deaths reported.
Two doses of the vaccine are also said to be effective against symptomatic Covid-19 infection: 74 per cent effective against the Alpha variant and 64 per cent against the Delta variant.
“This real world evidence shows that Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca provides a high level of protection against the Delta variant, which is currently a critical area of concern given its rapid transmission,” Mene Pangalos, the executive vice president of AstraZeneca’s BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said in a statement.
“The data show that the vaccine will continue to have a significant impact around the world given that it continues to account for the overwhelming majority of supplies to India and the COVAX Facility.”
The real-world data was obtained from an analysis of 14,019 Covid-19 cases in England due to the Delta variant between April 12 and June 4 in England, 166, or just 1.2 per cent, of whom were hospitalised.
AstraZeneca’s press release mentioned: “The Delta variant is a key contributor to the current wave of infection in the Indian subcontinent and beyond. It has recently replaced the Alpha variant as the dominant strain in Scotland and is responsible for a notable increase in cases in the United Kingdom.”
The Guardian last week reported that more than 90 per cent of new Covid-19 cases in the UK and 96 per cent of new infections in England were caused by the Delta variant.
The Delta variant is already circulating in Malaysia, although the extent of its spread is unknown due to limited genomic sequencing. The National Institutes of Health under the Ministry of Health reported that only 509 successful genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 have been carried out as of June 9, comprising 0.1 per cent of 520,881 new infections recorded this year. The 509 genome sequences revealed 13 cases of the Delta variant, eight of the Alpha variant, and 112 of the Beta variant, among other variants of concern.
The Delta variant has been attributed to the rapid outbreak in the small population of Labuan with fewer than 100,000 residents. Labuan recorded a Covid-19 incidence rate of about 25 cases per 1,000 population in the fortnight of May 31 to June 13, the highest in the country and more than five times higher than Selangor’s incidence rate.
According to The British Medical Journal, the Delta variant is approximately 60 per cent more transmissible in the UK compared to the Alpha variant and has a higher risk of hospitalisation. It is to be noted that the Alpha variant is already 50 per cent more transmissible than the original strain of the coronavirus.
A separate Scottish study stated that the risk of hospitalisation caused by the Delta variant is two times more than the Alpha strain.