Are vaccines effective against new strains of COVID-19?

Family Healthcast

FAMILY HEALTHCAST — There is good news and bad news about COVID-19. First the bad news. Delta, a scary new variant of COVID is spreading both in the U.S. and abroad. The good news is, in the matchup between vaccines and variants, the vaccines appear to be winning.

Delta seems to be an especially contagious variant. And there are starting to be reports of Delta potentially making people sicker.

Many are wondering if vaccines work against Delta, and the answer is yes. The vaccines studied so far seem to be very effective against Delta. In Britain, where a lot of people are vaccinated, cases are not skyrocketing in the way we would expect to see if vaccines were failing.

But what if you aren’t vaccinated? Scientists believe it is more dangerous to be unvaccinated now than it was to be unvaccinated this time a year ago. They know the virus is changing in ways that make it more dangerous. So if you encounter the virus now, you’re encountering a more problematic pathogen.

The bottom line is, vaccines seem to work against this variant. Keeping vaccination rates high and sharing our vaccines with the world could be a way to further ensure that the U.S. doesn’t need to turn to shutdowns again.

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