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Double COVID-19 jab seems to curb Delta variant: EMA

The upbeat assessment came as the World Health Organization warned that the variant first spotted in India could fuel a new wave of cases in Europe. The EMA's head of vaccine strategy, Marco Cavaleri, said the Amsterdam-based watchdog was "aware of concerns caused by the rapid spread of the Delta variant."

July 01, 2021 / 06:30 PM IST
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Representative image

Two doses of COVID vaccine appear to provide protection against the rapidly spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus, the European Medicines Agency said on Thursday.

The upbeat assessment came as the World Health Organization warned that the variant first spotted in India could fuel a new wave of cases in Europe.

Also Read: WHO warns of third coronavirus wave in Europe

The EMA's head of vaccine strategy, Marco Cavaleri, said the Amsterdam-based watchdog was "aware of concerns caused by the rapid spread of the Delta variant."

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"Right now it seems the four vaccines approved in the European Union are protecting against all the strains circulating in Europe, including the Delta variant," he said.

"Emerging data from real world evidence are showing that two doses of vaccines are protective against the Delta variant."

Four vaccines are currently approved for use in the EU: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
AFP

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