According to new data the Pfizer vaccine offers 28% more protection than the AstraZeneca jab which is 60% effective, however both are effective against the new Indian variant.
Both of the vaccines are also effective against the Kent strain which caused the lockdown in December.
12,675 genome sequenced cases were studied and analysed and the study tested 1,054 of the Indian variant.
The Health Secretary said the results are groundbreaking with scientists saying the study was “encouraging.”
Hancock said, “We can now be confident that over 20m people, more than one in three have significant protection against this new variant, and that number is growing by the hundreds of thousands every single day as more and more people get that vital second dose.”
The head of immunisation at Public Health England (PHE), Dr Mary Ramsay said, “We expect the vaccines to be even more effective at preventing hospitalisation and death, so it is vital to get both doses to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants.”
However the strategic response director at PHE, Professor Susan Hopkins said despite the data shows the UK is heading in the “right direction,” it is “too early to say” if the data could also impact the roadmap to left all restrictions on 21 June.
Professor Hopkins added, “One week post the last restriction lifting, we will be monitoring it very carefully.”
US epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding warned today that the new Indian variant is likely to be “dominant within days” in the UK.
Dr Feigl-Ding said, “The new faster transmission B16172, Indian variant, will likely dethrone the B117, Brazilian variant, and become dominant in the United Kingdom in a matter of days.
“Since the B16172, Indian variant, was upgraded last week by both World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK, it has doubled in cases.”