Which vaccine is best for protection against the Delta variant?

Pfizer data points to third dose boosting protection against COVID-19

All vaccines available in the U.S. prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death in most breakthrough cases where a fully vaccinated person tests positive for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)AP

All vaccines provide a great amount of protection against the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Some studies do show certain vaccines are more effective against the strain that has become the dominant one in the United States, mostly due to the unvaccinated population.

It is important to remember the data is constantly evolving. What is known, however, is all the vaccines prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death in most breakthrough cases where a fully vaccinated person tests positive for the coronavirus.

Here is how the vaccines stack up against each other.

Pfizer

A U.K. study published in May showed two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 88% effective at preventing against symptomatic infection of the Delta variant and 96% effective against preventing hospitalization.

And on Wednesday, Pfizer published data showing that receiving a third booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can provide strong protection against the Delta strain of the coronavirus.

Moderna

Moderna announced in a June 29 press release that its vaccine was effective against multiple variants of concern, including the Delta variant.

There are also a few laboratory studies that suggest the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the Delta variant.

A Canadian study that found the Pfizer vaccine to be 87% effective against the Delta variant also found that the Moderna vaccine was 72% effective against the variant after one dose.

The study, which was not peer-reviewed, did not have enough data to calculate how much protection one would receive after receiving both shots of the Moderna vaccine.

A small laboratory study carried out by researchers in New York found both Pfizer and Moderna were 94%-to-95% effective in preventing against the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson

A July 1 press release from Johnson & Johnson stated that the vaccine showed promise against the Delta variant in laboratory testing.

There is little data out there showing how effective the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is against the Delta variant, although the company is supposedly researching whether a second shot could increase immunity against the Delta variant and other variants of concern.

Interim results from a study of 20 people found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine neutralized the Delta variant within 29 days of the first shot being administered, and antibodies against the variant built up over time.

Another study found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 67% effective against the Delta variant.

This study also found that the vaccine produced fewer antibodies against the Delta variant than it did for the initial coronavirus strain, but only 27 people were in this study and scientists say this might not reflect the vaccine’s real-life performance.

Related stories about the Delta variant:

Delta variant symptoms: Are they different? Are they worse? Here’s what to know

What is the Delta variant of COVID? Do vaccines work against it? Here’s what to know

Is a runny nose a symptom of the Delta variant of COVID?

Is a sore throat a symptom of the Delta variant of COVID?

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at krodriguez@njadvancemedia.com. Have a tip? Tell us at nj.com/tips.