In the UK, people are still dying from delta variants even though they have been vaccinated. Is the current COVID 19 vaccine still effective? Just look at the facts. Yes, full vaccination still prevents Delta.
At least 259 people have died in the UK after contracting the Delta variant of COVID-19. According to the latest figures from Public Health England (PHE), an agency of the UK Department of Health, 116 of these people received the full vaccine. So one of the biggest questions on the internet right now is; Does the vaccine still prevent the delta variant?
First the good news: yes, vaccination can still protect you.
Why is there still a residual risk after double vaccination?
To date, there is no licensed vaccine that protects people 100% from infection with the coronavirus, as studies have shown since its introduction.
Vaccinated people, especially those with pre-existing conditions, still face a small risk of infection and, in the worst case, death. However, despite rising infection rates, the current mortality rate in the UK remains low.
Christian Drosten, one of Germany’s leading virologists, said in a coronavirus update podcast in June that “there are cases where even dually vaccinated people die”. He advised experts to look closely at the exact cause of the deaths and how the diagnosis was made.
The high proportion of vaccinated people who died may be due to the fact that about half the population is now fully vaccinated and the overall number of deaths is declining.
In addition, according to PHE, 116 of the 118 deaths were over 50 years old.
Peggy Riese, a scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), explains the situation with a concrete example. She told that”If 100 percent of people are vaccinated, the few who are vaccinated will also die. This does not mean that the vaccine is unsafe, he said, only that it does not offer 100 percent protection.
In addition, Georg Behrens, a professor at the Clinic for Rheumatology and Immunology at Hanover Medical School, recently told DW that a small number of vaccinated people could die if the vaccine is not effective because of immunosuppressive drugs, as is the case with transplanted people.
Behrens said that the effect of the vaccination also wears off after a few months. In the unfortunate constellation, some people can still suffer from serious diseases. The vaccine is very protective, but Behrens also warns that no vaccine can provide 100 percent protection.
A study by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Biometrics Unit at the University of Cambridge (UK) showed that vaccination prevented around 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths in England alone,” he says. Paul Birrell, one of the scientists involved in the study, said, “The number of infections and deaths prevented by the vaccination program is not only incredibly high but increases exponentially over the course of the vaccination program.
Good protection after complete vaccination
All experts interviewed expressed confidence in the effectiveness of the delta variant of the vaccine. Friedman Weber, a virologist at the University of Giessen, for example, says: “The vaccination is very good. Vaccinated people who received two doses and waited accordingly had on average a higher immune response, or as high an immune response as those who received an immune response after infection,” he explained.
Scientific evidence supports the expert’s assessment.
According to a recent study published in the journal Nature, the BioNTech-Pfizer dual vaccine continues to provide strong protection against the delta variant. However, new data from Israel shows that protection against the delta variant is slightly less effective than previous variants.
In a press release, Israeli health authorities announced that the effectiveness of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine against the delta variant in completely preventing infection has dropped to 64%.
Nevertheless, the vaccine still protects 93 % of people from hospitalization for severe infections. It is not transparent how the Israeli health authorities obtained this data.
Is a “booster” necessary?
Georg Behrens from Hanover Medical School stressed that it is important to take into account when Israelis infected with the delta variant were vaccinated. The first vaccine was administered in December 2020, and Behrens said that the effect of the first vaccine can slowly wear off, making another dose necessary.
The manufacturers of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine also pointed in this direction in their recent press release. In order to maintain effectiveness, they are calling for a third dose to be authorized six months after the second vaccination.