Is the Covid Indian variant a threat to vaccines? This Friday May 28, 2021, a study carried out by the Institut Pasteur released on BioRxiv guarantees the Pfizer vaccine is effective against the B.1.617.2 variant - barbaric name of the "Indian" variant. The study yet shows "effectiveness was notably lower". Yet, "the Pfizer vaccine is known to be protective", cowriter and head of the virus and immunity unit at the Institut Pasteur Olivier Schwartz states.
Institut Pasteur scientists also tested the effectivenes of the AstraZeneca vaccine faced with the Indian variant based on people vaccinated with one dose. As a matter of fact, scientists did not get access to "samples from individuals that received two-doses of AstraZeneca vaccine" since the injection of the second doses started in late April, after the study was led by the institute. The study notes that one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine works very little against the Indian and South African variants.
For the record, this past May 22 a study from the Public Health England was carried out from April 5 to May 16, 2021 stating both vaccines are working against this new strain of the virus. Two effective vaccines, at 88% for Pfizer and 60% for AstraZeneca after two doses, and results are similar for both serums to those already issued against the UK variant.
Results hailed by British State Secretary for Health Matt Hancock, who described them as “groundbreaking” as the spread of the Indian variant seems to compromise the ongoing vaccination campaign in the country as well as the lockdown exit. As for the Public Health England, they also hailed these results through one of the executives, Mary Ramsay: “two doses of either vaccine would offer high levels of protection against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 [India] variant and we expect the vaccines to be even more effective at preventing hospitalization and death”.
Please note that to prevent the Indian variant from spreading, the study recommends to reduce the time period between both doses of vaccine to eight weeks instead of the current three months for people aged 50+, as well as people the most at risk. A reduced period of time also because of the effectiveness of both vaccines for the first dose, dropping at 33% against 50% for the UK variant.
For the record, in the United Kingdom, over seven people in ten have been given a dose of vaccine, and over four in ten both doses required for maximum protection. This is the EU country totaling the highest death toll because of coronavirus, with over 127,000 dead.