COVID-19 variants are dominating news headlines. From the Delta variant to the newer Lambda variant, it’s hard to keep on top of the latest COVID-19 news. That’s why POM Safe is creating the COVID-19 Variant Tracker. Our tracker will help you stay up to date on news related to COVID-19 variants like Delta and Lambda.
What is the Delta Variant?
The Delta variant, known as the B.1.617.2 variant, is a SARS-CoV-2 mutation that was originally identified in India. It is believed to be more transmissible (r = 3.5 to 4 people) than previous variants (r = 2.5 people) and the original COVID-19 virus.
Are vaccines effective against the Delta Variant?
While additional research is needed, early results suggest that vaccines are effective against the symptomatic disease. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reports that it is 88% effective against symptomatic disease and 96% effective against hospitalization. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson also report that their vaccines are effective against Delta and other mutations.
A study in Israel found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 64% effective in protecting against the delta variant while being 93% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization. While this study adds additional information, it also highlights the importance of vaccinations and their abilities to provide some protection against symptomatic disease and hospitalization.
How is the world addressing the Delta variant?
The Delta variant has been reported in 85 countries with some governments starting to take action to limit the spread. In countries like South Africa, Australia, and Russia, there have been lockdowns implemented to reduce the spread of the delta variant. The spread has been attributed to lower vaccination rates. In addition, the U.K. decided to postpone plans to lift restrictions.
Within the U.S., the Delta variant has spread to nearly every state. In Los Angeles County, officials have reinstated mask guidance for public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status in an effort to reduce the spread. The capitol building in California also re-instituted its indoor masking policy after nine staff members tested positive.
What’s the latest news on the Delta variant?
POM will be posting updates and links to the latest news articles to keep you informed on the delta variant and other variants of concern. Here’s the latest:
- Yale Medicine: 5 Things to Know About The Delta Variant
- CNN: Delta Variant Is “COVID-19 On Steroids,” Expert Says
- NY Times: Citing The Delta Variant, Pfizer Will Pursue Booster Shots And A New Vaccine
- CNBC: CDC Data Shows Highly Transmissible Delta Variant Is Now The Dominant COVID Strain In The U.S.
- Fox: Some In U.S. Pushing For More COVID Restrictions, Masking, As Delta Variant Spreads
- CNN: Pfizer Vaccine Protections Takes A Hit As Delta Variant Spreads, Israeli Government Says