The prevalence of this variant, also known as B.1.617.2, is still low in the United States, but HHS reports that its prevalence has doubled since last week, rising from 3% to 6%. I am.
In India, the virus exploded in April and May, stimulating the masses. health Not just the crisis England, Delta variant has become the predominant strain. “In the United States you can’t make it happen,” Fauci said. Said at a press conference on Tuesday..
“I will be vaccinated,” he added. “Especially if you get the first vaccination, be sure to get the second vaccination. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, get the vaccination.”
As of Thursday, 52% of Americans have been vaccinated at least once and 43% have been fully vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..
Experts agree that vaccination is the best defense against all circulating versions of the virus, but there are still many unanswered questions about delta variants. Here’s what we know so far:
Are Delta Variants more susceptible to infection than the original version of the virus?
Most likely, some virologists say they need more information to ensure.
who Classify delta variants It may be related as a “variant of concern”, that is, increased communicability.
UK health officials went a step further and announced a risk assessment in early June. This indicates that the delta variant is believed to spread more easily from person to person than the alpha variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom and spread rapidly to the delta. The variant has taken over. According to the evaluation, “Delta is likely to be much more contagious than Alpha.”
Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health at Brown University, Interview with David Muir of ABC News On Wednesday, we called the Delta variant “the most contagious variant we’ve ever seen.”
Vincent Racaniello, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University, argued that the infectivity of delta mutants needed to be carefully interpreted. The rapid increase in variants is also associated with human behavior and relaxed restrictions and should not be strictly due to the virus being more contagious.
Nevan Krogan, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said: Croggan explained that most of the data on delta variants is in India, but it doesn’t track variants as closely as in the United Kingdom. More data should be available because the delta variant is dominant.
“We need molecular data as well as tracking and epidemiological data,” Crogan said. “The more we understand this virus and how it mutates, the better we will be in the future.”
Crogan and his team are working to make that happen.On monday, the team Posted their research online About alpha variants. Their research, which has not yet been published in scientific journals, suggests that when alpha mutants enter the cell, they suppress the immune response compared to other mutants. This may explain why the alpha variant spreads so rapidly. Crogan’s team is currently testing to see if the delta variant has a similar immune response suppression.
“We are actually doing those experiments as we speak,” he said. “We are fully committed to all these variants.”
Is the vaccine effective against delta mutants?
Okay. For those who have been vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, it is important to complete the two-shot regimen.
A A study conducted by the British government Analysis of over 12,000 sequenced COVID cases in April and May revealed that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines Highly effective For delta variants, delta variants were less effective than viral alpha variants. Studies show that the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease 2 weeks after the second dose, and the AstraZeneca vaccine was 60% effective 2 weeks after the second dose. The study was conducted in the United Kingdom and did not include the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine.
“For those who are properly vaccinated, it doesn’t seem to be a problem,” Crogan said.
However, for those who received the vaccine only once, it was “significantly less effective.” Study authors note.. Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines were approximately 33% effective against the delta mutant after a single dose.
“Insufficient protection after a single dose,” Fauci said on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of receiving a second dose of a double-dose vaccine.
Regarding the mechanism that promotes double-dose protection, Racaniello believes that the world is over-focusing on peplomer mutations and antibody responses, not enough for T cells. Another part of the immune system It also protects the body from infection. “It doesn’t matter if you have alpha, beta, gamma, or delta. These T cells can still prevent serious illness, and they are made by vaccination,” he said. ..
According to experts, vaccination is also the key to preventing the virus from circulating and the emergence of more variants. The longer it takes to vaccinate a country and the world, the more likely it is that the virus will mutate.
“We plan to deal with these other mutants that the vaccine may or may not be able to control in the future,” Crogan warned. In his view, it’s not time to be complacent. “We need to vaccinate everyone, but we need to understand how these viruses mutate and overcome defense mechanisms,” he said. “Viruses are always one step ahead of us. We need to be one step ahead.”
ABC News’ Ivan Pereira, Brian Hartman, Eric Strauss, Sony Salzman, Arielle Mitropoulos, John Brownstein and Nadine Shubailat contributed to this report.
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