COVID vaccination can fight against Delta variant, study finds

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In a new study from Pasteur Institute in France, researchers found that widely used COVID-19 vaccines can offer strong protection against the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

The delta variant is surging through populations with low vaccination rates. The researchers suggest that full vaccination is critical.

They found in laboratory tests, blood from several dozen people given their first dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines “barely inhibited” the delta variant.

But weeks after getting their second dose, nearly all had an immune boost strong enough to neutralize the delta variant—even if it was a little less potent than against earlier versions of the virus.

The team also tested unvaccinated people who had survived a bout of the coronavirus, and found their antibodies were four-fold less potent against the new mutant.

But a single vaccine dose dramatically boosted their antibody levels—sparking cross-protection against the delta variant and two other mutants.

That supports public health recommendations that COVID-19 survivors get vaccinated rather than relying on natural immunity.

The findings add to real-world data that the delta variant’s mutations aren’t evading the vaccines most widely used in Western countries.

The team says that it’s crucial to get more of the world immunized before the virus evolves even more.

Other researchers in Britain found two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are 96% protective against hospitalized patients with the delta variant and 88% effective against symptomatic infection.

A report from Israel suggested protection against mild Delta infection may have dipped lower, to 64%.

The study is published in Nature. One author of the study is Delphine Planas.

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