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Delta Variant and COVID-19 vaccines: what you need to know


Strong points:

  • Study finds that two doses are needed to block Delta variant.
  • 6000 die of COVID-19 in a single day in India.
  • Delta now dominant strain in UK

June 10, 2021 – As the highly transmissible variant of the Delta coronavirus continues to devastate India and spread to other countries, health experts reiterate importance of procuring COVID-19 vaccine – both doses vaccine, that is.

A UK study that was cited by the Biden administration found that one dose of Pfizer vaccine provided about 33% protection against the Delta variant, which is officially referred to as B.1.617.2.

During this time, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine provided approximately 88% protection. The study is a pre-print and has not yet been peer reviewed. (Click here to learn more about the variants of the coronavirus.)

“If you got your first dose, make sure you get that second dose,” White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, said Tuesday, noting that the Delta variant accounts for about 6% of new cases in the United States. United. That number could be higher, however, as the U.S. system for tracking coronavirus variants is lacking. “For those who have not been vaccinated, please get vaccinated.”

In Northern Ireland, the gap between the first and second dose of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines is reduced from 10 to 12 weeks to 8 weeks to provide more protection against the Delta variant, the BBC reported.

“It looks like this variant may exceed our first dose of vaccine,” Queen’s University Belfast virologist Connor Bamford said, according to the BBC. “So we have to make sure that as many people as possible get their two doses and even think about reducing the time between dose one and two because that is going to be critical in the future.”

The studies did not include the two-shot Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Fauci, however, said The Washington Post he thinks Moderna’s vaccine would be as effective as the Pfizer vaccine.

Deaths in India reached 6,000 in one day

The Delta variant was first detected in India in December 2020 and has now spread to 60 countries, according to the CDC. The World Health Organization has named it the fourth global variant of concern, along with those first identified in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.

In India, the variant is believed to be behind a deadly second wave of infections.

India’s COVID-19 death toll was over 6,000 on Thursday, a daily world record, CNBC reports.

The variant appears to cause symptoms of alarming severity, scientists say.

Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hearing loss and joint pain are among the symptoms currently seen in India, according to six doctors treating patients across India, reports Bloomberg News .

Ganesh Manudhane, MD, cardiologist in Mumbai, India, says some patients develop small blood clots so severe that they lead to gangrene. Manudhane says he has treated eight patients for blood clots in the past 2 months and two required amputation of fingers or feet.

Indian doctors are also reporting that COVID-19 is now affecting more young people who have not been hospitalized and infecting entire families at the same time, rather than just individuals.

India is second in the world with the most reported COVID-19 cases with 29 million, behind the United States with 33.4 million. India is third in the world in COVID-19-related deaths with 355,000, behind the United States and Brazil with 598,000 and 479,000, respectively.

Delta now the dominant strain of the UK

Matt Hancock, Britain’s Health Secretary, told a committee of Parliament on Thursday that the Delta variant is now responsible for 91% of new cases in the UK, according to The evening standard.

It is now the dominant strain in the UK, replacing B.1.1.1.7, now known as the alpha strain, which caused a surge last fall.

The evening standard also quoted a professor as saying that the variant could be 60% more heritable than the Alpha variant. Speaking earlier in the week, however, Hancock estimated he could be 40% more transmissible.

The rise of the variant has prompted UK officials to rethink a further easing of restrictions slated for June 21.

WebMD Health News

Sources

The Washington Post:
“The delta variant accounts for 6% of new coronavirus infections in the United States.”

MedRxiv: “Efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against variant B.1.617.2. “

BBC: “Delta variant: NI reduces the time between doses of Covid-19 vaccine. “

CNBC: “India reports more than 6,000 daily deaths from Covid – the highest on record in the world.”

Bloomberg: “Gangrene, the Delta variant of the hearing loss show could be more serious. “

Standard Evening: “UK Covid LIVE: Delta variant is responsible for 91% of new cases, says Matt Hancock as infections double in a week. “


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