A study published on Wednesday has shown that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine - which is available in the BVI - are nearly as effective against the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 as they are against the previously dominant Alpha variant.
These findings also apply to the Pfizer vaccine
which is accessible to residents able to travel to the neighbouring US Virgin Islands to get the jab.
The findings of the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, are based on real-world data.
The study found that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine
were 67 percent effective against the Delta variant and 74.5% effective against the Alpha variant.
As for Pfizer
, two shots of that vaccine
were 88 percent effective at preventing the symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, compared to 93.7% against the Alpha variant.
“Only modest differences in vaccine
effectiveness were noted with the Delta variant as compared with the Alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine
doses,” Public Health England researchers wrote in the study.
While noting that the vaccines
are highly effective against the Delta variant — now said to be the dominant variant worldwide — researchers made it clear that one shot of the vaccines
is not enough for high protection.
Though yet to be confirmed, local health officials believe the COVID
-19 Delta variant is in the BVI and is the cause of the dozens of deaths and thousands of positive cases recorded locally in recent weeks.