Scientists say that there can be a “substantial” fall in the spread of the novel coronavirus from usage of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The future of the Cvoid-19 pandemic is critically dependent on the effect of the vaccines that have been developed and being used on the transmission of the virus – which is still an unknown.
According to the conclusions of a yet to be formally published study, the vaccine also had an effect on people while they waited to get the second dose. During the three months after the first shot, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed 76 per cent effectiveness kin preventing Covid-19 infection.
The impact of the vaccine on the transmission of the disease is critical.
It would be necessary for everyone to get immunised to be protected if a vaccine is able to only prevent serious illness but allows people inoculated with the vaccine to still catch and pass transmit the virus.
But if a vaccine is also able to prevent spread of the virus, then the impact on the pandemic will be far greater because it will not only protect the inoculated person from being infected but also help in protect other people too in an indirect manner by not passing on the infection.
The study that was conducted by the University of Oxford collected swabs of participants every week and tested them to find out whether the individuals had the virus in them or not.
If there would be no transmission if there is no virus within an individual who has been immunised. The study found that the number of people who tested positive for the virus reduced by 50 per cent after they had been give both the doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The data indicate that [the vaccine] may have a substantial impact on transmission by reducing the number of infected individuals in the population,” the report said.
Administering the first dose of the vaccine to as many people as possible has been prioritised in the United Kingdom unlike many other countries which has raised a debate globally. The aim of the British government is to provide some protection to more people to save more lives. But that also means that such people have to potentially wait longer for the second dose for about three months instead of just three weeks.
The study was conducted on 17,000 people in the UK, South Africa and Brazil and its results revealed that during the three months after the first dose, 76 per cent of the participants remained protected from the virus.
And after the second dose was given, that number increased to 82 per cent.
“These new data provide an important verification of the interim data that was used by more than 25 regulators including the MHRA and EMA to grant the vaccine emergency use authorisation. It also supports the policy recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation for a 12-week prime-boost interval, as they look for the optimal approach to rollout,” said Prof Andrew Pollard, from the Oxford Vaccine Trial.
(Adapted from BBC.com)