The emergence of new and more infectious variants of the coronavirus has raised a troubling question: Will the current crop of vaccines protect us from severe disease?
But why are we talking about vaccine effectiveness? Well, it's because of the new villain, which has entered the variant space – the Delta variant, which was first found in India and has been blamed for the devastating second wave.
The Delta variant is now quickly spreading across the United Kingdom, which, despite its success in vaccinating the majority of its population, has 60 percent of its cases infected by this variant.
A recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet has raised concerns, because it states that the Pfizer vaccine, known to have an efficacy of 94 percent, produced five times lower antibodies against the Delta variant compared to the original variant.
Many countries apart from India and the UK are also reporting Delta variant COVID cases. The US has 6 percent (and growing) of its cases infected with the Delta variant, Germany 2 percent, and Italy and Spain about 3-5 percent.
Knowing the devastation that the Delta variant caused in India and how quickly it is spreading across the world, how effective are the vaccines available to us against this variant and how protected are you after even both the doses?
To answer these questions, for today’s episode, we spoke to Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, an epidemiologist and public health expert.