The COVID-19 delta variant, or B.1.617.2, is labeled as a “variant of concern” for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); an increase in COVID-19 infections in the United States is partly due to the highly transmissible delta variant. The average number of confirmed delta cases has increased substantially; since the variant was identified in the United States in March 2021.
Approximately 83% of new COVID-19 cases during the week of July 3, 2021; were confirmed to be of the delta variant, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky revealed (via CNBC).
According to Public Health England; the delta variant accounts for about 99% of new COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom.
According to a June 2021 study in the British Medical Journal, the delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant; which is already more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus. So, what does this all mean for everyone? Will the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson protect you from the delta variant?
How effective are COVID-19 vaccines against the delta variant?
“In a multistate network of U.S. hospitals during January–March 2021, receipt of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines was 94% effective against COVID-19; hospitalization among fully vaccinated adults,” confirmed the CDC.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires one shot, was considered 66.3% effective; at protecting against hospitalizations from the virus in fully vaccinated people (via CDC).
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Pfizer revealed it is working on a booster shot made specifically to target and protect against the delta strain (via Reuters).
Moderna also released a statement on June 29, 2021; saying that its vaccine “should remain protective against newly detected variants.”
Nevertheless, a Public Health England review released in June 14 2021; found that the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines are “highly effective” at protecting people from getting hospitalized from the virus.
Just how effective? According to studies cited by Healthline; the Pfizer vaccine looks to be 64 to 96% effective “against symptomatic illness” from the delta strain after two doses.
A further study showed the Moderna vaccine to be 72% effective after one dose, and it’s inconclusive for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
So what should you do? The CDC urges you to get vaccinated.
Vaccinated individuals are less likely than someone unvaccinated to get a moderate to severe case of COVID-19.