But now comes the Variant from India. (the scientific name is B1.617.2 variant of concern).
The Indian variant appears to be more transmissible but no evidence yet that the Indian variant is inherently more deadly than the Kent variant.
Naturally, we are in a better place now than last year because of the vaccination.
But there is some evidence that spontaneous changes (mutations) in the B.1.617.2 variant virus may make it partially resistant to antibodies produced by vaccines.
So how effective are the current vaccines against this Variant from India?
PHE data shows that after two doses, Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against Indian variant compared to 93% effectiveness against the Kent strain.
After two doses, AstraZeneca jab is 60% effective against Indian variant compared to 66% effectiveness against the Kent variant.
But after the first dose, both vaccines were only 33% effective against Indian variant compared to around 50% efficacy against the Kent strain.
The vaccine protection is better with two doses of vaccine and that’s why the Govt is speeding up second vaccine dose in affected areas.
Fingers crossed, hope this strategy works !
BMJ. Covid-19: Caution urged while lockdown eases in England because of vaccine success
BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1203 (Published 11 May 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1203
BMJ News Covid-19: UK cases of variant from India rise by 160% in a week
BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1315 (Published 21 May 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1315
U.K. Govt. Most vulnerable offered second dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier to help protect against variants. From: Department of Health and Social Care. Published 14 May 2021
Guardian. India Covid variant: is it a threat to the UK’s reopening plans?
Ian Sample Science editor
Fri 14 May 2021 11.19 BST
Daily Mail. UK is in a ‘very good position’ against Covid variants as Pfizer says there is NO proof current jab needs updating to fight mutant strains. By Luke Andrews Health Reporter For Mailonline
16:30, 10 May 2021 , updated 18:12, 10 May 2021
Daily Mail. How deadly is India’s Covid variant and is it REALLY behind explosion of cases? Scientists say ‘perfect storm’ fuelled nation’s crisis and mutant strain just had a ‘head-start’ – as study shows vaccines DO work against it. By Connor Boyd Assistant Health Editor For Mailonline
16:26, 27 Apr 2021 , updated 08:17, 28 Apr 2021
Collier, DA et al. SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 sensitivity to mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies. Nature; 11 March 2021; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03412-7
BBC. What is the India Covid variant and will vaccines work?
BBC. Covid: Increasing confidence jabs work against Indian variant
By Doug Faulkner
ONS. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 21 May 2021 (“early signs of a potential increase in the week ending 15 May 2021”)
BBC. Covid: Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs effective against Indian variant – study
By Dulcie Lee
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