1 Dose of Vaccine Has Low Efficacy Against B.1.617.2: PHE

The study shows 2 doses of the COVID vaccine provides 81% protection against the B.1.617.2 variant.

1 Dose of Vaccine Has Low Efficacy Against B.1.617.2: PHE

A data analysis study by UK's government body, Public Health England (PHE), has found that COVID vaccines are less effective against the B.1.617.2 variant (first found in India) as compared to the B.1.1.7 variant (first identified in UK), reported Financial Times.

According to the data published by the PHE, 2 doses of the COVID vaccine would be required to adequately protect against symptomatic illness from the B.1.617.2 variant.

The second dose of the vaccine, the study found, provides 87 percent protection against the B.1.1.7 variant, and 81 percent protection against the B.1.617.2.

This is significant when compared to the protection provided by the vaccines after the first dose which, according to analysis by the Financial Times, is 35 percent lesser in the case of the B.1.617.2 variant.

Their analysis also found that in the areas where the B.1.617.2 variant was identified, COVID has been on the rise particularly among young, partially vaccinated people.

This analysis was done based on data from AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.

In India, of the two, only the AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use. It is produced under the brand name of Covishield, by Pune's Serum Institute.

It is to be noted that this data is regarding symptomatic illness, and no data has been released by the PHE when it comes to severe illness.


“Public Health England scientists are evaluating the effectiveness of vaccines against the B.1.617.2 variant of Sars-Cov-2. We will be publishing the results of this evaluation in due course,” the PHE was quoted by the Financial Times.

The B.1.617.2 variant has spurred concerns for being potentially more infectious, and was, earlier in May, raised to the status of ‘variant of concern’ by the UK PHE, and eventually by the World Health Organisation.

Since then, around 3000 cases of this variant have been identified in the UK.

This report by the PHE, is likely to reinforce the importance of the booster shots and urge people to complete the dosage.

(Written with inputs from the Financial Times and The Telegraph)

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