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June 16, 2021

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine shows effectiveness against Delta variant

The vaccine shows 92% and 86% efficiency against hospitalisation in Delta and Alpha variant cases, respectively.

AstraZeneca has reported new data showing that its Covid-19 vaccine provided increased levels of protection against the Delta variant, B.1.617.2, formerly known as the Indian variant.

Developed by the University of Oxford, along with Vaccitech, the vaccine utilises a weakened adenovirus and has the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein genetic material.

On vaccination, the surface spike protein is generated, which prepares the immune system to fight SARS-CoV-2 on contracting Covid-19.

The new real-world data from Public Health England (PHE) showed that two doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca had 92% efficiency against hospitalisation in Delta variant cases.

No deaths were reported among those inoculated with the vaccine, the company noted.

The analysis was conducted on 14,019 cases of the Delta variant observed between 12 April and 4 June this year in England.

Furthermore, the vaccine was effective against the Alpha variant or B.1.1.7 and decreased hospitalisation by 86% with no deaths observed.

The data also showed that the vaccine had lower effectiveness against milder symptomatic Covid-19. The effectiveness was 74% and 64% against symptomatic disease by the Alpha and Delta variants, respectively.

The high effectiveness against severe disease and hospitalisation is backed by the latest data which demonstrated a strong T-cell response to the vaccine, indicating increased and long-lasting protection.

The PHE analysis also showed that the Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine was 96% effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant on administering two doses.

AstraZeneca BioPharmaceuticals R&D executive vice-president Mene Pangalos said: “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.

“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 development comes after AstraZeneca announced that its long-acting antibody combination, AZD7442, failed to meet the primary endpoint in the Phase III STORM CHASER study involving people with recent exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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