Covid-19 vaccines may not stop Delta transmission, UK warns in initial findings
Initial findings on the Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2 indicate that the people vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) may transmit the highly contagious strain as easily as the unvaccinated, Public Health England said on Friday. The findings come after concerns raised by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over people’s infectiousness amid Delta variant spread.
The variant of concern, first detected in India, is rapidly becoming the dominant variant across the globe, threatening the gains made by vaccination drives. In a report published by the PHE, scientists have said that vaccination will not completely stop coronavirus transmission even as they provide high levels of protection.
"Some initial findings ... indicate that levels of virus in those who become infected with Delta having already been vaccinated may be similar to levels found in unvaccinated people," PHE said in a statement.
According to the report, the Delta variant now accounts for more than 99% of Covid-19 cases across the United Kingdom. Out of 1,467 patients hospitalised with confirmed cases of Delta variant, 55.1% were unvaccinated while 34.9% had received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.
PHE warned that the UK will see a relatively higher percentage of vaccinated people in hospitals as the vaccination drive further expands.
"This may have implications for people's infectiousness, whether they have been vaccinated or not. However, this is early exploratory analysis and further targeted studies are needed to confirm whether this is the case," it added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in its latest epidemiological report said that three additional countries have reported Delta variant cases, taking the total number of such countries to 135.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK health security agency, said in a statement vaccination is the best tool to protect ourselves from severe illness, however, they do not eliminate all risks.
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World leaders expressed their shock and grief at the attack on Midnight's Children author Salman Rushdie who was brutally stabbed by a man at an event in New York on Friday. The 75-year-old Booker Prize laureate is currently on a ventilator battling for his life. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the incident, calling it an attack on his freedom of expression.
The attacker of Salman Rushdie has been identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar who is from New Jersey. Shortly after Salman Rushdie arrived at the stage to deliver his speech, Hadi Matar attacked him at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen, police said. Hadi Matar had a pass to attend the lecture. Some reports claimed that Hadi Matar had sympathies towards the Iranian government that had called for Rushdie's death.
US lawmakers on Friday adopted President Joe Biden's sprawling climate, tax and health care plan -- a major win for the veteran Democrat that includes the biggest ever American investment in the battle against global warming. Passage in the House of Representatives along strict party lines came after approval of the bill in the Senate by a razor-thin margin, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
Author Salman Rushdie will likely lose an eye and suffered severed nerves in an arm and damage to his liver after he was stabbed on Friday, his agent said, adding that Rushdie was on a ventilator. "The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," Andrew Wylie said in a written statement.