Which vaccination works best against the Delta variant?


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All vaccines approved in Germany help against a severe course of Covid-19, triggered by the delta variant of the coronavirus. But not all are equally reliable against infection. Biontech, Moderna, Astrazeneca or Johnson & Johnson – which vaccine works best?

The delta variant is now also on the advance in Germany. In mid-July their share was already more than 70 percent. Vaccinations are an effective method of containing the pandemic, but how safely do the individual vaccines protect against infection with the Delta variant?

Only complete vaccination provides extensive protection

According to a study by the British health authority Public Health England (PHE), a full corona vaccination can be just as effective in preventing the delta variant as it is in the alpha variant. Two doses of the active ingredient from Biontech / Pfizer prevented in-patient treatment in 96 percent of the cases.

For the Astrazeneca vaccine, the rate was 92 percent. According to the study, which was published in the specialist magazine “The Lancet”, three weeks after the first vaccination with Biontech, there was only 32 percent protection against the Delta variant.

The French Pasteur Institute also stated that the one-time vaccination with Astrazeneca provided “little or no protection”. Data from the British government point in the same direction: three weeks after the first dose, both vaccines were only 33 percent effective against symptomatic Covid 19 disease caused by the Delta variant.


Biontech / Pfizer: Also effective against Delta

According to a study by the UK Health Authority (PHE), two weeks after the second dose, patients are 88 percent protected against infection caused by the Delta variant of the virus. According to this study from June, severe courses are even prevented by 96 percent. Another study from July confirms these values.

Data from Israel make you sit up and take notice. According to the national health ministry, the double Biontech vaccination now only protects 64 percent against infection with the Delta variant. The protection against a severe course is still very high – namely 93 percent. The ministry pointed out, however, that the data situation is still limited and the study results are preliminary.

Moderna: Similar effectiveness to be expected from Biontech

An American study indicates that a similar effect can be expected with the second mRNA vaccine in addition to Biontech. The American virologist Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post that he assumed an effectiveness of 88 percent. However, data from Israel indicate that the effectiveness of Moderna in the Delta variant could only be 60 to 80 percent.

Johnson & Johnson: Long-lasting effect

The pharmaceutical company Jannsen recently announced that Johnson & Johnson also produced “strong and long-lasting antibody activity against the rapidly spreading delta variant”, but the press release did not mention a percentage of the protective effect. However, the vaccine would prevent severe disease by 85 percent.

Research also suggests that a single vaccination will protect you for at least eight months. However, experts doubt that the vaccine is sufficiently effective against the delta variant and bring a second vaccination with an mRNA vaccine as a booster into play.

Astrazeneca: Better than its reputation

According to British studies, the double vaccination with Astrazeneca is almost as effective against the Delta variant as it is against other variants of Covid-19. Infection is prevented by 60 percent with the delta mutation and 66 percent with the alpha variant. Severe gradients are even prevented up to 92 percent.

A more recent British study even confirms an effectiveness of 67 percent against the delta variant, compared with 74.5 percent against the alpha variant. Since these values ​​are generally not comparable with mRNA vaccinations, the RKI recently recommended that after a first vaccination with Astrazeneca, a second vaccination with Biontech or Moderna should be carried out. Studies also indicate that after two Astrazeneca vaccinations, a third dose can significantly increase the effectiveness again.

Michelle Halterman
Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.


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