SYDNEY – Early data from the Australian outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant suggests that two vaccine doses provide significant protection against serious illness and hospitalization.
Health authorities in Sydney, Australia’s most populous city currently under lockdown due to the Delta outbreak, said on Saturday that no one who received two doses of a vaccine needed to be hospitalized. Of the 47 people in the hospital, 37 have not been vaccinated, data provided on Saturday shows.
Four people who were in the hospital received one dose of the AstraZeneca PLC vaccine and one person received one dose of the Pfizer Inc. – BioNTech SE vaccine. The other five people received two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, but they are nursing home residents who were admitted as a precaution.
“Two doses of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine are incredibly effective in preventing hospitalization and death, which is an incredibly positive contribution,” said Kerry Chant, the chief health officer for the state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney.
The figures from Australia are in line with evidence from other countries, including the UK and Israel, showing that vaccines provide a high degree of protection against serious diseases of the Delta variant. However, recent data from Israel showed that the Pfizer vaccine is less effective at protecting against infection from the Delta variant compared to previous strains, posing a challenge to health authorities as many countries ease coronavirus restrictions as vaccination programs progress.