As the Delta variant of coronavirus wreaked havoc on India last month, there were talks going on but very few answers as to what fate could the new variant bring to the USA.
Now that the variant accounts for at least 6 percent of cases in the United States, there are a few more answers.
But it is still unclear whether the Delta variant will leave most people harmless like other variants or pose a serious threat to people who choose to skip the vaccine.
According to William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Delta is the most serious mutation that is known to them in terms of evolution of the virus. He also said that the people who have not chosen to get vaccinated will be in real danger from this variant.
Dr. Robert Watcher, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco said that earlier, it would have been not a big problem for people planning to get away with being vaccinated. But if the Delta variant really takes off, the situation could worsen and vaccination could become compulsory for all.
Vaccinated people should remain safe from the mutation, Watcher said. He also said that even if vaccinated people got infected, they were likely to face any major symptoms. But new facts and development made him worry about the aftermath of the new variant.
According to the BBC, in the United Kingdom, where vaccination rates are similar to the United States’ vaccination rates, coronavirus cases are soaring high by 64 percent per week and are doubling each week, especially in hot spot areas of the country. The UK Prime minister also took a decision on Monday to delay the country’s re-opening until July 19 to allow more people to get fully vaccinated.
On Monday, Public Health England also announced that Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines showed the same efficiency in fighting the delta virus as the normal strain, with more than 90 percent effectiveness.
Some have been worrying that the United States might just catch up to the U.K. in terms of growth of cases in a few weeks.
Theodora Hatziioannou, a virologist at Rockefeller University in New York, has been helping track 140 people since they were infected with COVID-19 early in the pandemic. She and her colleagues have studied the volunteers for two months after infection, six months and now a year.The longer out they are from their infection, the more protective antibodies they have, the team’s new study shows.
Hatziioannou mentioned that studies show that one needs several months up to a year to get these really really good antibodies. Fully vaccinated people are even better protected, she said.
Half vaccinations meant only partial protection, according to Hatziioannou. She said that it was important to be fully vaccinated and that one dose was not sufficient.