The EU’s medicines watchdog said on Wednesday two jabs by approved vaccine makers were “vital” to provide maximum protection against the highly infectious coronavirus Delta variant, urging countries to speed up their inoculation drives.
The Delta strain, first detected in India, is making a rapid march across the continent and will constitute 90% of all cases by the end of the summer.
“Preliminary evidence suggests that both doses of a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine… are needed to provide adequate protection against the Delta variant,” the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said.
“Adherence to the recommended vaccination course is vital to benefit from the highest level of protection.”
Calling it a “variant of concern”, the Delta strain “is spreading fast in Europe and may seriously hamper efforts to control the pandemic”, the EMA said.
By the end of August, this variant will consist of 90% of all coronavirus cases, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in the same statement.
“This makes it essential for countries to speed up vaccination programmes, including delivery of second doses where recommended and to close the gaps and opportunities for further emergence of variants as soon as possible,” the EMA said.