What is the Delta Variant?
The World Health Organization is once again suggesting that fully vaccinated people mask up.¹ The recommendation comes after the delta variant, first discovered in India, has now spread
To over 92 countries. The concern is the large number of people who remain unvaccinated, calling on vaccinated people to continue to mask.²
Delta Variant Spikes New Concerns
With reports of how quickly the delta variant has become the most prominent in the United Kingdom, Dr. Anthony Fauci weighed in. “We cannot let that happen in the United States.” The push continues to vaccinate more people, especially in younger populations.³
Dr. Scott Gottlieb also voiced concerns stating the delta variant could become the most dominant in the U.S. as well and “spike a new epidemic heading into fall.”³
Ninety percent of the COVID cases in Israel are now due to the delta variant.⁴
Israel is leading the way in getting it’s people vaccinated. Roughly half of the adults who are presenting new COVID cases in Israel had already received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.⁵,⁶ The government has reinstated the mask requirements it had dropped in May.²
What Advice is Being Given?
Research is still being done on how effective the current COVID vaccines are against the delta variant. It is generally accepted that the two-dose vaccines provide a higher level of protection after the second dose. However, with so many breakthrough cases, as is the case in Israel, many are returning to masks, social distancing and other protocol.
“People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” said Dr. Mariangela Simao of the WHO. “Vaccine alone won’t stop community transmission,” Simao added. “People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, hand hygiene … the physical distance, avoid crowding. This still continues to be extremely important, even if you’re vaccinated when you have a community transmission ongoing.”³
Vaccines and Delta Variant
Many of the cases of COVID delta variant are considered “breakthrough” cases because infected people have already been vaccinated. The vaccines were originally designed to minimize symptoms. Questions remained whether or not they’d stop transmission.⁷
Studies are ongoing as to whether or not a combination of vaccines would help, or are even safe. However, many governments are suggesting their people to take a combination of the adenovirus vaccines (Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca, etc) and an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna.⁸
What is the Concern With the Delta Variant?
The number one symptom is headache, then followed by sore throat, runny nose and fever.³ Many are reporting the feeling of a bad cold. While the variant has been said to spread faster than other strains, studies are still being conducted to determine the severity of these cases overall.