Covid-19 vaccines may not stop Delta transmission, UK warns in initial findings

Published on Aug 06, 2021 06:58 PM IST
Scientists said that vaccination will not completely stop Delta variant transmission even as they provide high levels of protection.
The Delta variant, first detected in India, is rapidly becoming the dominant variant across the globe.(via Reuters)
The Delta variant, first detected in India, is rapidly becoming the dominant variant across the globe.(via Reuters)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

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.

Also Read | South Africa may resume use of AstraZeneca vaccine amid Delta variant threat

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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