PFIZER'S Covid vaccine is less effective at stopping people catching the Delta variant, a study had warned.
The latest data from Israel shows effectiveness against this strain has dropped compared to the Kent variant.
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Effectiveness in stopping cases of Delta and symptomatic disease fell to 64 per cent, as of June 6.
But the vaccine is still 93 per cent effective at preventing serious illness or hospitalisations.
Israel's Health Ministry released the study after a rise in infections the coincided with the country ending social distancing restrictions.
A Pfizer spokesperson declined to comment on the data from Israel, but cited other research showing that antibodies elicited by the vaccine were still able to neutralise all tested variants, including Delta, albeit at reduced strength.
The UK has seen similar results in its vaccines, with the arrival of the Delta variant.
In just one week cases have risen by more than 50,000 – a 46 per cent rise on the week before.
Britain has now seen a total of 161,981 cases of the variant, but with hospitalisations and deaths remaining low Freedom Day is still on the cards in two weeks.
The Prime Minister said the vaccine rollout will continue to work against the variant, although it is accepted cases will rise and people will get the bug.
After one dose the Pfizer vaccine is 36 per cent effective against symptomatic illness from the Delta variant, and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is about 30 per cent effective against getting ill.
But two weeks after the second jab, Pfizer gives 88 per cent protection against catching the Covid strain and AZ gives 67 per cent protection.
And after two doses, the Pfizer vaccine is 96 per cent effective against hospitalisation and the AstraZeneca jab slashes the risk by 92 per cent.
This is similar to the effectiveness against the Alpha variant, originally called Kent, which ripped through the country in December – but was beaten back thanks to the jabs rollout.
About 60 per cent of Israel's 9.3 million population have received at least one shot of Pfizer's vaccine in a campaign that saw daily cases drop from more than 10,000 in January to single digits last month.
This spurred Israel to drop nearly all social distancing as well as the requirement to wear masks, though the latter was partially reimposed in recent days. At the same time Delta, which has become a globally dominant variant of the coronavirus, began to spread.
Since then daily cases have gradually risen, reaching 343 on Sunday. The number of seriously ill rose to 35 from 21.
Last night the PM confirmed that on July 19:
- Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces
- All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
- Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms' discretion
- Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
- Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
- ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
- The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
- It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
- Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want
- Ministers will announce school bubble rules and holiday quarantine updates later this week
- Doubled jabbed Brits will soon escape isolation rules if they are in contact with a positive case
Other vaccines not yet used in the UK have also done trials to test out how effective they are against he Delta variant.
Johnson & Johnson announced on July: "We believe that our vaccine offers durable protection against COVID-19 and elicits neutralising activity against the Delta variant.
"This adds to the robust body of clinical data supporting our single-shot vaccine's ability to protect against multiple variants of concern."
Moderna also announced last week they believe their vaccine is effective against the variant as well.
CEO Stéphane Bancel said: "As we seek to defeat the pandemic, it is imperative that we are proactive as the virus evolves.
"We remain committed to studying emerging variants, generating data and sharing it as it becomes available.
"These new data are encouraging and reinforce our belief that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should remain protective against newly detected variants."
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