Clinically reviewed by Baptist Health
The virus that causes COVID-19 (called SARS-CoV-2), like other viruses, can mutate and has mutated multiple times since the pandemic first began in late 2019. Those mutations or changes in its structure have created what’s referred to as variants.
It’s common for virus variants to develop, with some of them being more concerning than others. For example, a variant that moves from one person to another more easily creates a higher risk of infection.
What’s known as the Delta variant (B.1.614.2) is one such “variant of concern” or VOC. First appearing in late 2020, it’s now found in populations all around the world and is the dominant strain of COVID-19 in many countries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers a variant to be a VOC if it appears to meet one or more of a set of criteria, including that it might:
- Cause more serious cases of the disease
- Be more transmissible
- Have greater resistance to current vaccines and treatments
- Interfere with diagnostic test targets
Don’t take a chance with your health.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection and end the pandemic. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19, but it can help protect you from serious illness. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and make a vaccination appointment at a location near you.
Is It Easier to Catch the Delta Variant?
Yes, it is. According to disease experts at Public Health England, the Delta variant appears to be as much as 60% more contagious than the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant of the virus. Research on the Delta variant and a mutation of it, called Delta Plus, continues.
Does the Delta Variant Cause More Serious Illness?
Yes, it does. Public Health England has published a report about the risk of hospitalization from the Delta variant. Their figures show that the risk is 2.61 times higher than with the Alpha variant.
Do the Existing COVID-19 Vaccines Work Against the Delta Variant?
While there currently is no data on the effectiveness of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, data suggests that the two-dose Pfizer vaccine regimen is 96% effective in preventing hospitalization from the Delta variant.
The CDC says that some authorized monoclonal antibody treatments may have a different effect on the Delta variant, but more data is needed to make a definitive statement.
Is the Delta Variant Isolated to Certain Parts of the U.S.?
No, it’s not. The Delta variant is present in all 50 U.S. states.
How Can I Protect Myself from the Delta Variant?
While studies are still being conducted on the effectiveness of existing vaccines with the Delta variant, the currently approved vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness from the Alpha variant and they’ll likely provide at least some protection against the Delta variant.
Take action to avoid serious COVID-related illness. Make an appointment today to get vaccinated.
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