COVID-19 Delta Strain Dominating Globally Since December
On June 15th the CDC raised the level of concern of the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) from a variant of interest to a variant of concern. This new strain has caused a halt of efforts to ease restrictions in some parts of the world and cause concern for another wave of COVID-19. The highly transmissible strain as of June 13th was responsible for 10.3% of new U.S. cases of COVID-19 but is showing signs of doubling every seven to ten days, according to Dr. Eric Topol founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute 2. With COVID-19 cases on the decline with the rolling out of vaccines across the united states, this spread of this new strain causes concern for a new wave among those unvaccinated and the protection rate of the already vaccinated 2. This deadly strain has been devastating to India where it was first identified in December of 2020 resulting recently in a world record daily death toll of more than 6,000 on June 10th 1 and has spread to 79 other countries according to the world health organization 4. Delta is now responsible for 91% of new cases in the U.K. and has decelerated the opening of the United Kingdom which had plans of relaxing restrictions at the end of the month 1. With this new strain comes new symptoms that may feel like a bad cold, of feeling “off”, but Professor Tim Spector CO-Founder of the ZOE COVID symptom study warns do not dismiss these; get tested and stay home 4.
CDC is tracking a new variant of the virus that causes #COVID19 called Delta, or B.1.617.2. There is evidence that this variant spreads easily from person to person. Get vaccinated as soon as you can to stop the spread of COVID-19. Learn more: https://t.co/wcBec5GD9H. pic.twitter.com/YrCVNpI9ya
— CDC (@CDCgov) June 15, 2021
Experienced side effects of Delta Variant 1
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of hearing
- Joint pain
- Blood clots
Your COVID-19 Vaccine and How Effective it is
According to Connor Bamford Queen’s University, Belfast virologist the Delta variant seems to go past the first dosage of the vaccine making receiving the second dose essential for protection against the strain. 1 The Biden Administration also cited a study done by the United Kingdom showing that one single dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides 33% protection against the variant, with the second dosage about an 88% protection. The studies have not included the Moderna vaccine or single-dose Johnson and Johnson but White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci believes Moderna to have the same effective rate against the Delta strain 1. Public Health England did a study on the Astra Zeneca vaccine with only a 60% protection rate against the Delta variant 3.
Dr. Fauci Calling COVID-19 Delta Variant a “powerful argument” to Get Vaccinated
The rate of transmissibility is the reason for the level of concern being raised, at a rate of 60% higher than the Alpha variant that has been the dominant strain in the U.S. since April of 2021 and with vaccine numbers slowing down it is being called a super spreader 2. In parts of the United States where vaccine rates of lower this will prove to be an issue, such as the southern states there is a huge risk for a large wave of outbreaks of this new variant 4. Dr. Fauci calling the epidemic in the U.K. a powerful argument to get vaccinated, “We cannot let that happen in the United States” 2. Approved vaccines available in the United States will provide the tools to control and defeat this says Dr. Gottieb former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner 4.
It’s coming—#DeltaVariant is now >96% dominant in 3 major counties (UK, Russia, Portugal). It is surging exponentially in the US at now 31% of all cases, up from ~10% just a week ago. The #COVID19 rise & divergence hidden by fast dropping #AlphaVariant. 🧵https://t.co/oQkVY8CFoj pic.twitter.com/psS4j1CVk4
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) June 20, 2021
With the number of people getting vaccinated decelerating and the transmissibility so high, the risk for a surge of COVID cases in the United States is looming. The urge to get American’s vaccinated with their second dose in a timely matter will help dampen the effects of this variant, which we have seen how hard it has affected India and the United Kingdom. With an 88% effectiveness on the approved vaccines in the United States, those vaccinated should not completely have their guard down when it comes to delta, continuing to practice social distancing and following CDC guidelines, and staying home when feeling ill will provide the safeguards to protect against this deadly strain.
Providing the current evidence globally and nationally known about the developing Delta Variant (B.1.617.2) this article provides up-to-date knowledge of the strain and current vaccine protection rates for Pfizer and Astra Zeneca, and for those who have received single doses of vaccines. Within areas of low vaccination rates, there is the concern of a surge of cases due to the high transmissibility of this strain and the worry of this super spreader causing another epidemic and further pushing back efforts of re-opening communities.
- “Delta Variant and COVID-19 Vaccines: What to Know”, Ralph Ellis, https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20210610/delta-variant-and-covid-19-vaccines-what-to-know
- “CDC now calls coronavirus Delta variant a ‘variant of concern'”, Jen Christensen, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/15/health/delta-variant-of-concern-cdc-coronavirus/index.html
- “CDC Updates COVID-19 Delta Variant to One ‘of Concern'”, John Parkinson, https://www.contagionlive.com/view/cdc-updates-covid-19-delta-variant-to-one-of-concern-
- “The delta variant of SARS-CoV-2: What do we know about it?”, Maria Cohut, Ph.D., https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/the-delta-variant-of-sars-cov-2-what-do-we-know-about-it#How-infectious-is-the-delta-variant?