The World Health Organisation (WHO) approved Covid-19 vaccines offer 90 per cent protection against developing severe disease and hospitalisation due to the Delta variant, a top WHO scientist said.
“The Delta variant is more transmissible than the previous variant and also has been able to resist the antibodies that we have in our blood. So, what that means is that you need a higher level of antibodies to overcome this variant as compared to, let’s say, the Alpha variant. Now, the good news is that all of the WHO emergency-use listed vaccines do protect against developing severe disease, hospitalisation and death due to the Delta variant,” WHO’s chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan told ‘Science in 5’, which is WHO’s conversation in science.
This means that three vaccines: Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca, which are approved by the WHO, and available in the UAE, protects a person from getting severely ill and cuts chances of hospitalisation and death. Dr Swaminathan underlined that although vaccines have different levels of efficacy, all are 90 per cent effective in preventing hospitalisation.
“You read about the efficacy trials. They may range from 70 to 90 per cent. But in terms of just looking at the prevention of severe disease and hospitalisation, they’re all very good, over 90 per cent effective,” she said during a discussion on ‘Delta variant and vaccines’.
She noted that people must take both the doses of the vaccine to be protected against the Delta and other variants.
“There are studies now from countries where there is a predominance of Delta variants to show that people who’ve been vaccinated are much less likely to end up in hospital. And you need the full course of vaccination in order to give you that full immunity to protect you against the Delta variant.”
Medical experts in the UAE urged unvaccinated community members to take the jab to boost immunity levels against the different variants. Dr Alaa Zedan, specialist, internal medicine, Burjeel Hospital, Dubai, said the new variants are a major reason for the spike in new cases and stressed on the importance of vaccination.
“Vaccination is an effective tool to deal with the new variants. Vaccines have proven to be effective in reducing hospital admission, ICU care and fatality. So, we encourage all the eligible persons to inoculate as early as possible and those who require booster doses to follow the directions from health authorities to get it.”
The health authorities on Friday reported 1,663 new cases, 1,638 recoveries and six deaths because of Covid-19 complications.