Pfizer says its vaccine highly effective against Delta variant
Pfizer which is in the final stages of striking an agreement with India claimed on Thursday that its vaccine is highly effective against the Delta variant of Covid-19, the variant which has emerged as a new threat to the world. In India, the Delta variant was considered to be the reason behind the second wave. A second mutation of the variant, called Delta Plus, has also been reported in India and in some other countries, including the UK and the US. Hence, all vaccine makers are relooking their data on the effectiveness of the vaccines on these variants.
"The data we have today, accumulating from research we are conducting at the lab and including data from those places where the Indian variant, Delta, has replaced the British variant as the common variant, point to our vaccine being very effective, around 90%, in preventing the coronavirus disease, Covid-19," Alon Rappaport, Pfizer's medical director in Israel told local broadcaster Army Radio, Reuters reported.
As Pfizer seems all set to enter India, its effect against the Delta variant will amp up India's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The union health ministry has said that both Covishield and Covaxin, the two vaccines which have been part of India's vaccination drive, are effective against the Delta variant.
Sputnik V, the Russia-made vaccine available now in India, has also claimed that the vaccine is effective against the Delta variant.
Delta variant, first reported from India, has proved to have been more virulent than the previous variant. It is now responsible for around 100 per cent of Covid-19 infections in the UK.
Pfizer in India
Pfizer CEO Dr Albert Bourla recently said that the agreement with the Indian government is being finalised. The company, as it did in all other countries, wanted legal protection in India, which initially created a bottleneck as no other vaccine maker enjoys indemnity in the country as yet. "My hope is that very soon we will finalise the approval of the product in India by the Indian health care authorities and the agreement with the government so that we can also start sending vaccines, on our side,” Bourla said.