vaccines work against Indian variant – fr

vaccines work against Indian variant – fr

LONDON (AP) – British health officials expressed optimism on Sunday that the remaining coronavirus restrictions in England can be lifted in June after an official study found the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offered protection effective against the variant first identified in India.

British authorities have expressed concern in recent weeks that increasing cases of the Indian variant could undermine the UK’s successful plan to reopen its economy so far. More than 2,880 cases of the Indian variant have been recorded in England, according to the figures.

The government said the variant appears to be more heritable, but there was still uncertainty as to the severity of this situation.

Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said UK officials are on track to take the final step of unlocking the country from June 21 if the public remains cautious.

“It looks good if people continue to heed all the safety signs,” she told the BBC. However, she warned that the Indian variant was starting to become the dominant strain in parts of North West England and people in sensitive areas needed to be vigilant.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said he was “increasingly confident” that the country could follow through with its unlock plans.

Their comments came after a study by Public Health England found that two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines offer “high levels of protection” against the symptomatic disease of the Indian variant.

The study, which took place between April 5 and May 16, found that the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against the variant after two doses. That compared to 93% effectiveness against the variant first identified in Kent, England, according to the researchers.

The AstraZeneca jab was 60% effective after the two doses against the Indian variant, compared to 66% against the Kent variant.

Both vaccines were only 33% effective against symptomatic Indian variant disease three weeks after the first dose.

Strict lockdown rules eased in most parts of the UK earlier this month, largely thanks to an effective vaccine rollout program. Limited indoor socialization is again allowed in homes, restaurants and pubs, and a general ban on foreign travel has also been partially lifted.

Officials said they plan to reopen nightclubs and allow large events like festivals from June 21 if infection rates continue to stay low.

More than 37.7 million people, or 72% of the adult population, have received their first dose of the vaccine in the UK. About 42% received their second dose.


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