Just when we thought that our lives would be going back to normal around the fall of 2021, the COVID 19 virus produced a deadlier mutated strain – the Delta variant. And with the fast spread of this variant, researchers and doctors are left scrambling as they try to understand it, save lives, and bring vaccines into the market to provide the best protection possible.
But the question remains with the common people – what exactly is the Delta variant? Is a simple vaccine enough to provide us with complete protection against it? If you, too, are being plagued by these pressing questions, read on as we discuss all these important questions about the new COVID 19 Delta strain.
What Is The Covid Delta Variant?
COVID-19 has undergone a virus mutation which is now referred to as the Delta variant. It was originally discovered in India in December 2020 and was then found in the United States in March of 2021. It’s now officially known as B.1.617.2, and it’s the most common COVID strain in the United States. The most serious issue with the Delta form is that it is extremely communicable and much more contagious than the Alpha strain that arrived in the United States in 2020. It’s even more contagious than influenza or typical flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Scientists are unsure if the Delta variety causes people to get sicker than prior strains. Some studies, however, suggest that it may result in higher hospitalization rates than previous variations. It is also a grave concern that this variant affects children and adults over 50 more than youngsters or middle-aged adults.
Is Vaccination Enough To Provide Protection Against The Delta Variant?
The Delta variant poses the greatest risk of infection and sickness to people who have not been immunized against COVID with the help of vaccines. The three vaccinations that the FDA has licensed are effective and safe, and they provide excellent protection against the Delta form.
In completely vaccinated patients, “breakthrough” COVID infections have been reported. In most cases, these breakthrough infections result in considerably milder cases, avoiding hospitalization or any severe illness. However, just one dose of any vaccine-like Moderna or Pfizer is not enough – your immunity against COVID 19 with just a single dose will be lower than ever. So make sure you obtain your second dose on time to get complete immunization.
According to studies, the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides adequate protection against the Delta form. However, it may be less effective than other mRNA vaccines. If you had the single-dose J&J shot, you might require a booster in the future. Remember that all three immunizations significantly reduce your chances of hospitalization or death from Delta and other known variations.
So if you or your loved ones have not been vaccinated yet, make an appointment with your health care provider straight away. Get both doses of any of the three recommended vaccines in our country. COVID vaccinations are now available in the offices of many primary care physicians and pediatricians.
What To Do If You Are Immunocompromised?
The FDA has already recommended and approved a third dosage of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Thus, Comprehensive Primary Care is presently offering a recommended third dosage of the Moderna vaccination. This is not a booster but rather an additional dose that should be used in certain special cases. Do talk to your healthcare provider to determine whether you require the third dose and proceed to make an appointment accordingly.
Do We Need A Booster?
Since September 2021, CPC has begun administering booster vaccinations for non-immunocompromised patients who had two doses of the Moderna vaccine at least eight months ago. Naturally, seniors and healthcare workers will be given priority. CPC will direct you to local clinics and pharmacies that provide Pfizer booster shots for those with two Pfizer vaccine shots.
Steps To Take To Protect Oneself Against The Delta Variant
While Delta strain is extremely contagious, there are some simple yet vital steps that you can take to protect yourself against this COVID 19 variant.
The first step is to wear face masks at all times while stepping out of your home. It is still one of the most effective strategies to protect yourself. And owing to the rising number of cases, last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention modified its recommendations, recommending both unvaccinated and vaccinated people to return to wearing face masks in indoor public settings too. Other common steps to protect yourself and others against Delta, according to the CDC, include:
- Social Distancing
- Frequently Washing Hands
- Avoiding Crowds
- Sanitizing Surfaces
- Checking For COVID Symptoms
- Getting COVID Tests
Do We Need COVID Tests After Vaccination?
Because the Delta variant risked a breakthrough infection and transferability, even vaccinated people must continue to watch for symptoms and get tested if required.
Even if you are vaccinated, if you experience COVID symptoms, you should be tested and kept away from other individuals until your test results come back. And you have to quarantine yourself for ten days if your test is positive.
Even if they don’t have symptoms, the CDC recommends that vaccinated people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 get tested 3 to 5 days after exposure. They should also wear a mask in public for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result is obtained.
COVID 19 Delta variant is yet another strain that has disrupted our daily life. Being even more contagious than the previous one, it has been spreading across the world in leaps and bounds, claiming lives as it goes. So to keep you and your loved one safe from the clutches of this deadly variant, get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. So wear your mask at all times, sanitize yourself, avoid crowds, and stay safe!
- Also read: Post Covid-19 Care