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Does AstraZeneca vaccine really protect you against COVID-19? – Report

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Each COVID-19 vaccine is unique and vaccine efficacy is a complex subject which has become common discussion point since the pandemic began more than a year ago, but what protection does the AstraZeneca vaccine really offers against Coronavirus?

Every day, millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines are being administered as countries are attempting to vaccinate enough of the population to reach herd immunity.

Each vaccine has very different protection – but new data from the UK’s Public Health England making big claims about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy in protecting people against Coronavirus-related death.

What is vaccine efficacy?

Vaccine efficacy is the percentage reduction in disease in a group of people who have received a vaccination in a clinical trial.

The efficacy rate varies from a vaccine’s effectiveness because the latter measures how well a vaccine works when given to people in a community outside clinical trials.

Scientists calculate the vaccine efficacy rate by looking for a difference in new cases of disease between a group receiving a placebo and those receiving the experimental vaccine.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine was the second vaccine to be approved for public use in Europe after the Pfizer vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is still waiting for approval in the US.

The AstraZeneca vaccine – which was administered to its first patients in the UK on January 4 – was 62 per cent effective in an Oxford trial based on recipients having two doses of the vaccine.

But when people were given a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later its efficacy reportedly rose to 90 percent.

The medicines regulator said the AstraZeneca jab was up to 80 percent effective when the second dose was delayed by three months – prompting the 12-week delay between doses implemented by the Government earlier this year.

The jab already provides 70 percent protection 22 days after the first dose, according to the UK’s Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).

Public Health England researchers believe two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine provide up to 94 percent protection against dying with coronavirus in over-65s.

The healthcare body added being double-jabbed with AstraZeneca provides 92 percent protection for those aged 40 to 64.

In its weekly COVID-19 surveillance report, PHE said the majority of the data was derived from a period when the Alpha variant was still dominant.

Therefore the data did not provide a specific estimate of protection from death relative to the new and more widespread Delta variant which was first detected in India.

PHE said two Pfizer-BioNTech jabs led to 98 percent protection against mortality in both the 40 to 64 and over-65s groups.

The health organisation added for those aged under 40, early estimates show a single dose of the Pfizer jab provides 61 percent effectiveness against symptomatic disease.

A single dose of the Moderna vaccine meanwhile is 72 percent effective against the disease.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, a consultant epidemiologist at PHE, said:

This data gives us even more confidence that the vaccines offer high levels of protection against COVID-19 across all age groups.

Getting two doses of the vaccine is absolutely vital to protect you and others against the variants in circulation in the UK.

Remember that you must book your second jab when invited, to gain maximum protection.

The vaccines are very safe and very effective, and they will protect you and those around you from becoming seriously ill.

The PHE announcement came just hours before reports surfaced as hopes for a US travel corridor are diminishing as there is growing concern that people with AstraZeneca vaccine may not be able to travel to other European countries and the United States.

According to the Financial Times, it is unlikely that a conclusion will be reached about the travel corridor between the US and UK including other countries with the AstraZeneca vaccine and talks are expected to extend until August and possibly even September.

The loophole could lead to thousands of people being turned away from the US and at EU border crossings as they attempt to undertake holidays this summer.

Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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