Does the COVID-19 vaccine protect against variants?

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – To gain the most protection against the Delta variant — or any other variant of concern — public health officials said being fully vaccinated offers you the most immunity. But what is the level of protection against the variants?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced fully vaccinated people are safe from the current variants.

But how effective are the shots against these mutations?

To keep track of the vaccines’ effectiveness, the Utah Department of Health uses Your Local Epidemiologist as a resource.

“I think that’s what people want, they want information,” said Jenny Johnson, a health department spokesperson. “Sites like that (Your Local Epidemiologist) are great resources because you can actually go to the original source and look at it yourself.”

Tracking COVID-19 vaccine updates against the Delta variant, Your Local Epidemiologist offers insight into fully vaccinated effectiveness against the variants of concern:

PFIZER

VARIANTEFFECTIVENESS
Delta (India)79-92%
Alpha (UK)87-97%
Beta (South Africa)72-75%
Gamma (Brazil)Vaccine works, efficacy not listed

MODERNA

VARIANTEFFECTIVENESS
Delta (India)Vaccine works, efficacy not listed
Alpha (UK)No impact on efficacy
Beta (South Africa)Vaccine works, efficacy not listed
Gamma (Brazil)Vaccine works, efficacy not listed

J&J

VARIANTEFFECTIVENESS
Delta (India)Testing efficacy, data not yet available
Alpha (UK)76.7%
Beta (South Africa)52-57% (against moderate to severe disease)
Gamma (Brazil)51-68% (against moderate disease)

“The studies are going to show a certain level of effectiveness and in a real world, that may not always be the case for you as an individual, depending on your medical history,” Johnson said. “You have to weigh those pros and cons and make the best choice for yourself.”

While vaccine efficacy slightly varies, Johnson said getting vaccinated is better than not at all.

“Choosing to get vaccinated even if perhaps you may not have a 95% response like they saw in the clinical trials, maybe yours is just at 80%, you know, that’s far more protective and far, far safer for you than getting the disease and hoping that you’re OK,” she said.

A majority of Utahns opting to get the shot have received Pfizer or Moderna, Johnson continues to say, but a number of people are missing their second dose, which does not provide as much protection against variants.

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