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GOV | Vaccines highly effective against hospitalisation from Delta variant


New analysis by PHE shows for the first time that 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.61.2) variant.

The analysis suggests:

  • the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses

  • the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses


These are comparable with vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation from the Alpha variant.

Further work remains underway to establish the level of protection against mortality from the Delta variant. However, as with other variants, this is expected to be high.

The analysis included 14,019 cases of the Delta variant – 166 of whom were hospitalised – between 12 April and 4 June, looking at emergency hospital admissions in England.

Public Health England (PHE) has previously published analysis showing that one dose is 17% less effective at preventing symptomatic illness from the Delta variant, compared to Alpha, but there is only a small difference after 2 doses.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said:

“Our UK vaccination programme continues at pace and has already saved thousands of lives. It is our way out of this pandemic. This evidence of the effectiveness of two doses against variants shows just how crucial it is to get your second jab.

“If you have had your first dose but haven’t booked your second yet – please do so. It will help save lives and boost us on the road to recovery.”

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said:

“These hugely important findings confirm that the vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.

“The vaccines are the most important tool we have against COVID-19. Thousands of lives have already been saved because of them.

“It is absolutely vital to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants.”

Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi said:

“It is extremely encouraging to see today’s research showing that vaccines are continuing to help break the link between hospitalisation and the Delta variant after one dose, and particularly the high effectiveness of 2 doses.

“If you’re getting the call to bring forward your second dose appointment – do not delay – get the second jab so you can benefit from the fullest possible protection.”

Separate PHE analysis indicates that the COVID-19 vaccination programme has so far prevented 14,000 deaths and around 42,000 hospitalisations in older people in England, up to 30 May.