Categories: World

AstraZeneca won’t reduce virus severity, say UK researchers

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Researchers in the UK say that even though the AstraZeneca vaccine reduces virus transmission, it doesn’t lessen the severity of the disease.

According to CNN, the AstraZeneca vaccine may effectively reduce virus transmission but not lessen the severity of the disease. COVID-19 cases are currently surging in the UK since the discovery of a new variant.

In the last few months, the rate of positive PCR tests has come down by about half after every two doses. This is according to the preliminary results by researchers at the University of Oxford.

AstraZeneca: Is it a complete solution or not?

Speaking of the vaccine trials, then the early test results are not coming out as expected. After giving every two doses of AstraZeneca, the rate of positive PCR tests has significantly dropped. In terms of percentage, it’s around 67 percent.

“While transmission studies per se were not included in the analysis, swabs were obtained from volunteers every week in the UK study, regardless of symptoms, to allow assessment of the overall impact of the vaccine on risk of infection and thus a surrogate for potential onward transmission,” said the authors of the study.

So far, most of the Coronavirus vaccine trials have tried to prevent the symptomatic cases of COVID-19. It means that AstraZeneca might be useful, but it’s not resulting in the desired impact. Helen Fletcher also asserted this. She is a professor of immunology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She said that the recent study suggests the possibility that the vaccine could affect transmission. But there’s a need for a follow-up to ensure a confirmation regarding the same.

Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology, Dr. Dough Brown, also stressed a similar point. He said that the study had suggested the vaccine’s effectiveness in “stopping people from being able to transmit the virus.”

But he also added that there is a need for more data to confirm this possibility fully. And thus, people still need to follow the practice of social distancing, he said.

The pandemic is still intense

Since the outbreak of a new variant of the Coronavirus, there’s been a state of panic once again across the globe. After the announcement of vaccines by several countries like India and the UK, there was a slight positivity. But after the discovery of another variant of COVID-19, people have been in doubt. And its regarding the effectiveness of already announced vaccines such as AstraZeneca.

While they are indeed giving out several positive results, complete elimination of the disease will take a more extended period. It implies that new cases of the virus may increase unexpectedly in various parts of the world in the coming months. As a result, the situation of an extended lockdown in many cities is likely to occur.

Image courtesy of Sky News/YouTube Screenshot

MK Tomar

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MK Tomar

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