Q and A


Do the COVID-19 vaccines protect against the Delta variant

Thanks. Will the vaccines protect against the new Delta variant? I had both shots with Oxford/AZ. The last one was in June.



This is an important question as most cases in the UK are now with the Delta variant.

The limited information suggests that also infections are reported in people who have had both doses, this is much less than in people who have not been vaccinated.

Other studies show that vaccines should still offer good protection against sever COVID-19, but this depends on having both doses.

If you have only had one dose so far, do not assume you are protected against the Delta variant. Even after two doses, still be careful if you are at risk of a low vaccine response.

For example, if you are taking immune-suppressing drugs, your response to the vaccines can be less strong.

A study just published in the journal Nature reported:

  • Immune responses to the Delta variant are less strong compared to the Alpha variant.
  • A single vaccine dose of the Pfizer or Oxford/AZ vaccine is not protective.
  • Two doses of these vaccines will still protect 95% of people. The level of responses is weaker, compared to the Alpha variant.

Ref: Reduced sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 variant Delta to antibody neutralization. Nature. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03777-9. (29 June 2021).


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