Delta variant is growing ‘rapidly’ in Ontario, but coronavirus vaccines offer better protection than previously thought: Yaffe – –

Delta variant is growing ‘rapidly’ in Ontario, but coronavirus vaccines offer better protection than previously thought: Yaffe – –

The highly infectious Delta variant is set to become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Ontario, but there is hope that vaccines will offer more protection against it than previously thought, according to one of the best Ontario physicians.

“Yes, it is true that the Delta variant is growing rapidly in Ontario,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said at a press conference Monday.

While the Alpha variant first identified in the UK dominated Ontario for months, the Delta variant, first identified in India, accounted for a growing share of the province’s new COVID-19 infections. .

“Quickly the UK is shrinking and the Delta is increasing, so we expect it to become the predominant strain,” Yaffe said.

She pointed out that the Delta variant is about one and a half times more transmissible than the Alpha variant.

While a study suggesting that a single dose of vaccine provides about 33% protection against the Delta variant was widely cited by local health officials, Yaffe said on Monday that new research suggests that a single dose of vaccine is more effective than previously thought.

“But in real life, it seems like, certainly with mRNA vaccines, it looks more like 47 to 48 percent effectiveness,” Yaffe said.

She pointed out that this figure indicates how many people with a single dose of the vaccine have developed a symptom of COVID-19.

“In terms of severe infection, even a dose is pretty protective,” Yaffe added.

New research on the Delta variant published by Public Health England this week suggests that after a single dose, Pfizer was 94% effective against hospitalization, while AstraZeneca was 71% effective.

Yaffe said two doses of an mRNA vaccine appeared to be about 88-90% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, while two doses of AstraZeneca appeared to be about 60-70% effective in preventing any symptoms of COVID-19. COVID-19.

“This is one of the reasons why we are extending the interval between the first dose of AstraZeneca and the second dose of the vaccine of the individual’s choice, because we want people to be as completely protected as possible as quickly as possible. possible with the Delta strain. evolve in Ontario as it is, ”said Yaffe.

While Ontario initially spaced vaccine doses at 16 weeks in an attempt to extend a baseline level of protection to as many people as possible more quickly, the province began to ramp up second doses as a supply constant and abundant vaccine arrives.

The province is also allowing anyone who received a first dose of AstraZeneca to receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine and said over the weekend that people who received AstraZeneca for the first dose would only have to wait eight weeks instead of 12 to receive a second one. dose.


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