The Delta variant, originating in India, is now responsible for one in five US COVID cases, according to new information from Dr Anthony Fauci
On 18 June, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the Delta Variant would become globally dominant.
In India, Delta devastated communities. The country created a new record of deaths per day, with fires churning through the night to complete burial rites. The recorded level of deaths and hospitalisations was lower than the reality, as places in hospitals became increasingly rare. At one point, there was an immense oxygen shortage across States – leading to hospitals asking those with severe COVID to bring their own, if possible. If not, there were avoidable deaths.
In the UK, the Delta variant replaced the Kent-based Alpha variant – now making up 90% of COVID cases in the country.
‘Delta variant is greatest threat’, says Dr Fauci
Dr Anthony Fauci, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday (22 June), said: “Similar to the situation in the UK, the Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the US to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19.
“Look at what is happening in the United States. We have seen, as was the case with B.1.1.7, we seem to be following the pattern with the Delta variant with a doubling time of about two weeks if you look from May 8 with 1.2 to 2.7 to 9.9 and as of a couple of days ago 20.6 per cent of the isolates are Delta.”
Currently, 70% of adults over the age of 30 have had atleast one shot of vaccine.
Does the vaccine work with Delta?
A new study by Public Health England (PHE) found that both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, when both doses are taken, creates a high level of protection against hospitalisation. Two shots of Pfizer make an individual 96% likely not to be hospitalised, with two doses of AstraZeneca pushing the anti-hospitalisation percentage to 92%.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said: “These hugely important findings confirm that the vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.”
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