India variant: Expert discusses vaccines that are 'effective'
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Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, Dr Sara Kayat admitted the “data is limited” on whether the AstraZeneca jab could be effective against this new strain. Laboratory studies suggest it is, but “we need world wide data”. As it stands, Dr Kayat said researchers “just don’t know” but, with time, that data will come through. The Indian Covid variant is proving to be “at least as transmissible as the Kent variant, or more so”.
Certain ethnic groups, such as the south Asian community, are said to be one pocket of society not taking up the offer to have any of the vaccines.
The other two jabs currently on offer in the UK – the Moderna and Pfizer jabs – “seem to be effective” against the Covid Indian strain, said Dr Kayat.
This is based on the seal of approval put forward by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
These two are mRNA vaccines, which is a relatively new method of inoculation.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained that Covid mRNA vaccines instruct cells to make a harmless spike protein.
This spike protein is similar to that found on the surface of the Covid virus.
Once the cells construct the spike protein, the immune response creates antibodies.
This immune cell response prepares the body to fight more readily if it ever came in contact with the notorious virus.
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Dr Kayat said: “All of our restriction easing is dependent on the vaccination programme, which has been incredible thus far.”
She urged everyone who is invited for a vaccine to “please go ahead and do it”.
Even though the AstraZeneca vaccine is still under investigation when it comes to the Covid Indian variant, laboratory studies are promising.
Dr Kayat said: “Early studies are showing that it is probably going to be effective.
“Maybe not so much in catching the virus, but certainly in reducing deaths and severity of disease.”
As for the easing of lockdown, Dr Kayat advised the June 21 freedom date “needs to be fluid”.
Any further lifting of restrictions will be dependent on data at the time.
As for this winter, “respiratory viruses always flourish in winter”, which means you can expect cases of Covid to increase.
This is “why we’re trying to get everyone vaccinated before that point”, said Dr Kayat.
Although Covid vaccinations can’t stop a person from catching the disease, they are effective at preventing severe illness.
This means fewer people are likely to end up in hospital beds and the NHS won’t be as overwhelmed.
As a consequence, fewer people will lose their lives to this disease.
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