What is the delta and delta plus variant and how is it different?
The B.1.617.2 (delta) variant was first seen in India in December 2020. It was declared a variant of concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2021. Compared to the original variant, the delta variant was twice as contagious.
Some data also suggest that the delta variant can cause more severe infection in unvaccinated persons compared to earlier variants. An even newer variant of the delta variant, known as the delta plus variant, is being monitored. But it is not considered a variant of concern at the moment.
How do vaccines fare against the delta variant?
Researchers from multiple countries have found that those vaccinated by WHO-approved vaccines are five times less likely to get infected. This is true whether it’s the delta or delta plus variant.
Data also showed that both the risk of hospitalization and death is ten times less for those with complete vaccines compared to unvaccinated people.
Studies have also shown that vaccines may not protect against the delta plus variant as well as it did with previously known variants. So continuous observation of health protocols is important.
Another thing that vaccination can help with is the transmission of the virus. So far, research has shown that fully vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus on to others unless these people are unvaccinated.
Are there any developments in terms of vaccines?
The search for cures and vaccines against this new disease is expected to continue in the near future. Scientists are busy coming up with new vaccines to target the delta variant since it became the dominant variant worldwide this year. Health officials are also keeping an eye on the delta plus variant. Although, they believe it will not be as widespread as the original delta variant.