Delta Variant in the Philippines Latest Updates – On Sunday, the Department of Health announced the discovery of the first case of the Lambda variant, as well as an additional 182 DELTA VARIANT INSTANCES. In the most recent batch of samples sequenced by the University of the Philippines (Philippine Genome Center), the DOH discovered 41 cases of the Alpha variation and 40 cases of the P.3 variant.
The DOH said on August 9 that the country had returned to the “High Risk” category. According to them, this is related to an increase in illnesses caused by the Delta variant. This comes as NCR enters the third day of the toughest form of lockdown, known as the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), which would last until Friday, August 20.
Delta variant: 8 things you should know about this COVID-19 strain
- Delta variant is highly contagious
As of July 22, nearly 80% of UC Davis Health patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had the Delta variant. According to the CDC during the same week, the Delta variant accounted for more than 80% of new cases in the U.S. Health experts say it’s typical for a new strain of a virus to be more contagious because it often becomes much more efficient and easily transmitted.
- Delta variant symptoms are the same
The symptoms of the Delta variant appear to be the same as the original version of COVID-19. However, physicians are seeing people getting sicker quicker, especially for younger people. Recent research found that the Delta variant grows more rapidly – and to much greater levels – in the respiratory tract.
Typically, vaccinated people are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms if they contract the Delta variant. Their symptoms are more like those of a common cold, such as cough, fever or headache, with the addition of significant loss of smell.
- Delta variant is affecting unvaccinated people more
Most patients hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center are people who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. Nationally, 97% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, as of July 22. Vaccines are highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection and are also effective in fighting against the Delta variant.
In California and across the U.S., data shows that areas with lower vaccination rates tend to have higher COVID-19 infection rates. Health experts urge that COVID-19 vaccines work to prevent severe disease, which may be fatal.
- Breakthrough cases for vaccinated people are rare, but do happen
When a vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19, most either have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms, and it rarely results in hospitalization or death. Their symptoms are more like those of a common cold, such as cough, fever or headache, with the addition of significant loss of smell.
No vaccine is 100% effective. With the COVID-19 vaccines averaging about 90% efficacy, health experts expect about 10% of those vaccinated could be infected. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 0.005% of the vaccinated population has reported breakthrough cases of COVID-19.
- Delta variant could be catastrophic in some communities
In communities with lower vaccination rates, particularly rural areas with limited access to care, the Delta variant could be even more damaging. This is already being seen around the world in poorer countries where the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t as accessible. Health experts say the impact could be felt for decades to come.
- Many unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 wish they had gotten the vaccine
UC Davis Health physicians have noted that a number of younger patients, when they come in with critical illness, say that they wish they would have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Many patients have told their physicians, “Why did I not get the vaccine?” or “Why did I not listen?”
- Some experts are recommending to wear masks, even if you’re fully vaccinated
Many health experts across the country are wearing masks themselves even though they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They’re also advising vaccinated people to avoid large gatherings and mask up indoors where the vaccination status of other people is unknown.
- More COVID-19 variants are likely to come
The Delta variant is currently the most prominent strain of COVID-19, but the Lambda variant out of South America is also emerging. Health experts urge that if people want to get back to normal, a significant portion of the population needs to be vaccinated. As long as a chunk of people across the world are unvaccinated, new strains of the virus will continue to develop and cause problems.
Source: Delta variant: 8 things you should know about this COVID-19 strain (https://health.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-information/delta-variant.html)
How Well COVID-19 Vaccines Work Against the Delta Variant?
At least four variants of concern (VOC) and four variants of interest (VOI) of COVID 19 have been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO). One of tem is called Delta Variant.
Scientists and health specialists are increasingly concerned about Delta, a VOC initially discovered in India. It has gotten a lot of attention because of its concerning characteristics, which include increased transmissibility, as well as a higher risk of hospitalization and a longer stay in the hospital.
All of this raises the question of whether COVID-19 vaccinations are still effective against the Delta form. Will they be able to keep up with the virus as new transmissible versions emerge?
So far, data suggests that the J&J vaccine has an efficacy rate of more than 67 percent, the Moderna vaccine has an efficacy rate of 72 to 95 percent, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has an efficacy rate of 42 to 96 percent. Despite the fact that vaccines provide varying levels of protection, experts advise that becoming completely immunized is essential.
VACCINES VS. DELTA VARIANT
All three vaccines are proven to be effective in varying degrees against the original variant of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19.
However, since the Delta variant emerged, scientists have been trying to establish whether these vaccines are as effective against it.
We broke down what the current data says. But new research could mean this data will change over time.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
Due to limited research so far, trying to determine the effectiveness of each vaccine against the Delta variant remains a challenge. However, there have been promising results from multiple studies.
On the other hand, Pfizer and BioNTech say they’re now in the process of developing a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine that will act as a booster against the Delta variant. The companies said new data from the Israeli Ministry of Health, which showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness declines after 6 months, spurred them to launch the research.
- The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
There are multiple lab studies that suggest the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine works against the Delta variant. And similar to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Moderna is also testing whether a third dose is beneficial.
- The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
There’s little data that shows how effective the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single-shot COVID-19 vaccine is at protecting against the Delta variant. The company is also reportedly researching whether a second shot would boost immunity against the variants.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said data so far supportsTrusted Source claims that the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines work against preventing severe COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant.
But it has also acknowledged that the vaccines may offer less protection against milder, symptomatic illness caused by Delta, though studies still suggest that people fully vaccinated “retain significant protection against the Delta variant.”
Receiving the full regimen of two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, has also shown to be much more effective against the Delta variant.
“The bottom line is that the vaccination program with any of the current vaccines available is the only way to break the cycle of spread by not allowing the virus to infect unvaccinated hosts and then mutate into variants such as Delta. These vaccines are safe and with a high degree of efficacy to prevent further morbidities and mortalities,” Strange said.
Prof. Tim Spector, an epidemiologist from King’s College London, told Healthline that it is now time for the United States to take lessons from the United Kingdom in dealing with this new variant.
“[They] should start spreading the word about the new symptoms. [D]o not get too relaxed when you get your vaccine either, especially if you are in a high-risk area,” he said.
“Your risk may be an eighth of what it was [after getting vaccinated] but still a considerable number of people will be infected,” he added, highlighting the importance of physical distancing and wearing masks in crowded, unventilated places.
Source: Vaccines Vs. Delta Variant
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