FAMILY HEALTHCAST — You probably already know about a dangerous variant of the coronavirus that is now spreading here in the U.S. It’s called Delta and we have a question about how effective the vaccines are against Delta.
Here’s what is currently known and it’s based on studies in England where the Delta variant is now dominant. Around two weeks after the second dose, the Pfizer vaccine was about 88 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease from the Delta variant. Getting both shots is crucial…at three weeks after the first dose, the vaccine was only about 34 percent effective against this strain.
Experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci believe the Moderna vaccine will have similar efficacy against the Delta variant as the Pfizer vaccine, but studies are needed to confirm this assumption. As for the single dose
Vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, it’s believed to be about 60 percent effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant.
Another way to gauge the effectiveness of the vaccines is to look at who is getting sick in the U.K.
the variant is primarily spreading among younger age groups, who have only recently been made eligible for vaccination.
People under 40 account for three-quarters of Delta cases, according to the data. People over 60, around 90% of whom are fully vaccinated, make up only 4% of cases. Doctors who treat COVID patients in the hospital say it is younger, unvaccinated people who are getting COVID-19.
Instead of the classic symptoms of fever and loss of taste and smell, the patients with Delta start with what looks like a bad cold, such as runny noses and congestion.
With cases of the delta variant increasing at an alarming rate here in the U.S., researchers say people who are not vaccinated are definitely vulnerable.