Vaccines prevent severe COVID-19, even from Delta: study

The study includes vaccines from Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

PARIS – A large study in France has found that vaccination is highly successful in avoiding severe instances of Covid-19, even against the Delta version.

The study, which looked at 22 million adults over 50 and focused on preventing severe Covid and mortality rather than infection, showed that those who had had vaccinations were 90 percent less likely to be hospitalised or die.

The findings corroborate findings from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel, but researchers claim it is the largest study of its sort to date.

The researchers compared the results of 11 million vaccinated people with 11 million unvaccinated people using data acquired starting in December 2020, when France initiated its vaccination campaign.

They matched an unvaccinated person with a vaccinated counterpart from the same region, age and sex, and followed them from the date of the vaccinated person’s second vaccination to July 20.

According to Epi-Phare, an independent medicines safety study group that works closely with the French government, a vaccinated subject’s risk of severe Covid was lowered by 90% starting 14 days after a second dosage.

Vaccination against the Delta form appears to be nearly as effective, with 84 percent protection for persons 75 and older and 92 percent protection for people 50-75.

However, that estimate is only based on a month’s worth of data, as the variation only became prominent in France in June.

“The investigation should be extended to include results from August and September,” Epi-head Phare’s epidemiologist Mahmoud Zureik told AFP.

The study looks at immunisation with Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines, but not Jannsen, which was approved much later and is significantly less common in France.

The findings also imply that immunisation protection against severe COVID-19 did not wane over the course of the research, which lasted up to five months.