Ema: “Vaccines effective against the Delta variant but the second dose is needed”
The Delta variant is spreading more and more in Europe but can be contained if the vaccination cycles are completed, also administering the second doses. This was reiterated today by the director of the European Medicines Agency (Ema) Emer Cooke.
The variant, first identified in India, has already become dominant in the UK within weeks, prompting the UK government to postpone the end of restrictions in England by one month. In addition to being 60 percent more effective at transmitting than the Alpha variant (first identified in England), the variant has a 2.2 times higher risk of leading to hospitalization.
Compared to what happens for Alfa, still the most widespread in Italy, a single dose of the vaccine is less effective to protect against Delta, while after the second dose the protection of vaccines against Delta is almost equivalent.
“The vaccines are also working against the Delta variant, but we must be sure that the second dose is also done,” Cooke said at the ‘Sky TG24 Live In Florence’ event, adding that the Delta variant “will be increasingly important”. in terms of diffusion in Europe.
A message also relaunched by the coordinator of the Technical Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Health and President of the Higher Health Council, Franco Locatelli. “A single dose of vaccine does not adequately cover” the Delta variant, Locatelli warned SkyTg24, reiterating the need to “complete the vaccination cycle”.
Cooke said today that 320 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Europe so far, with 52 percent of citizens vaccinated with at least one first dose and 32 percent with the second dose. In Italy, 28.3 percent of the population was fully vaccinated and 52.2 percent received at least one dose.
The director of the EMA also recalled that all four vaccines authorized by the European agency, namely Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are “safe and effective”, after the controversy following the new rules changes for the administration of AstraZeneca, associated with cerebral thrombosis in rare cases among the younger age groups.
According to preliminary data from the Higher Institute of Health (ISS) for the month of June, in Italy the diffusion of the Delta variant is increasing, with a prevalence of 16.8 percent, while the Alpha variant is still the most widespread with the 74.92 percent of new cases sequenced. In May, the figure for Delta was 4.2 percent.
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