Delta Variant: Vaccinated or Unvaccinated

As the United States experiences another spike in COVID-19 cases, more hospitalizations occur due to the Delta variant. Unfortunately, most newer hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are turning up in unvaccinated individuals. The CDC recently reported that out of 163 million fully vaccinated people in the U.S., there have only been 6,587 reports of breakthrough infections that ended in hospitalization or death. These breakthroughs are usually asymptomatic.

First detected in India in December of last year, the Delta variant now has another variant, Delta Plus. Delta Plus is more contagious and has been seen in many countries, such as India, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Portugal. Researchers say that the Delta Variant is charging the recent outbreaks.

Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, believes that the high rates of unvaccinated individuals in certain areas will be a significant issue for hospitals. For example, states such as Louisiana, Texas, Florida, and Arkansas have seen high infection rates among those who are unvaccinated and not taking proper precautions.

Arnab Mukherjea, chair of the Department of Public Health at California State University, East Bay, relayed that about 99% of those who experience severe effects from COVID-19 are unvaccinated but that no vaccines are 100% percent effective.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, stated that the United States endured a 44% increase in new cases over a week, as high as 72,000 new cases a day. A helpful visual for the increase in contagion between the COVID-19 Alpha Variant and the Delta Variant is that one person with the Alpha variant could infect two other people, whereas someone with the Delta variant can infect upwards of 5 individuals. This difference is due to the higher viral load in those who carry the Delta variant. In addition, a study from Imperial College London portrayed that unvaccinated individuals were three times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and were less likely to infect others with the virus.

Aug 09, 2021