Coronavirus Pandemic

Delta variant: Covid vaccines 90% effective in preventing hospitalisations, WHO scientist says

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on July 2, 2021

(Reuters file)

Medical experts in the UAE urged unvaccinated community members to take the jab to boost immunity levels.

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.

“The Covid-19 vaccines elicit a broad immune response involving a range of antibodies and cells,” said Dr Muhammed Anas Ayoob, specialist pulmonary disease, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

“As long as the virus is circulating elsewhere and gaining new mutations, there is probably no way to keep it out and unvaccinated communities remain at risk. We are all safe only if everyone is safe.”

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.

“To avoid a surge in caseloads and deaths in the coming weeks, we should adhere to safety protocols and follow the directions from health authorities,” Dr Zedan added.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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