All three COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use by the FDA — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — are effective against the highly infectious delta variant, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert said during a White House press briefing Thursday.
“The world is understandably worried about the delta virus variant,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. “The vaccines indeed are effective against it.”
Fauci cited various studies, including three separate real-world studies which showed Pfizer was 79%, 88% and 96% effective against the delta variant.
Fauci noted a study in Scotland, which showed two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 79% protective against the variant. Meanwhile, a study from England showed that in symptomatic infection, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 88% effective. In hospitalizations in England, two doses of the vaccine were shown to be 96% effective.
In one study, researchers in England studied how effective the two-dose AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were against the fast-spreading delta strain compared with the alpha variant that was first detected in the U.K. The vaccines were protective for those who got both doses but were less so among those who got one dose.
“You can make a real-world assumption that our data, applicable to Pfizer, are also applicable to Moderna,” Fauci said.