Does the vaccine stop the delta variant?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study that found vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection dropped from 91% to 66% when the delta variant became the majority of virus cases.
- “While we did see a reduction in the protection of the COVID-19 vaccine against the delta variant, it’s still a two-thirds reduction of risk,” the study’s lead author, Ashley Fowlkes, an epidemiologist for CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response, told CNN.
The study suggests that there are minor infections among fully vaccinated people, especially due to the delta variant, which has shown to be highly transmissible.
- The study did not review the severity of the disease, though. That said, COVID-19 vaccines remain majorly effective at stopping severe COVID-19 illness from all known variants, according to CNN.
More data on the delta variant and COVID-19 vaccines
The new CDC study comes as new data from Israel suggests the vaccine’s protection against the delta variant will lessen with time. Officials in Israel said the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines might not be totally effective at stopping the delta variant. Though the vaccines can stop the delta variant, they’re less effective against delta than previous mutations.
In fact, Israel — one of the highest vaccinated places in the world with 78% of those 12 years old and up fully vaccinated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine — has been suffering from one of the world’s highest infection rates recently due to the delta variant, according to Science Magazine.
- “More than half are in fully vaccinated people, underscoring the extraordinary transmissibility of the delta variant and stoking concerns that the benefits of vaccination ebb over time,” per Science Magazine.
In response, Israel has started to release a third COVID-19 vaccine shot — known as a booster — to help people stay safe from COVID-19, especially if the vaccine’s effectiveness is waning, as I wrote for the Deseret News. The U.S. has been reviewing Israel from data as it plans to release its own COVID-19 booster shots to the American people.