Delta variant: How can we slow the spread?


A recent viewpoint article in JAMA outlines the spread of the Delta variant and reflects upon what policymakers can do to reduce its impact.

The authors explain that although vaccines may not stop cases from emerging, they can prevent severe outcomes from the disease.

They suggest policymakers develop “middle-of-the-road” vaccine mandates to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

The recent surge in Covid-19 Delta variantTrusted Source cases in the United States is mostly affecting unvaccinated populations.

The authors of the new article point out that U.S. states with more than 70% of their population vaccinated report lower numbers of vaccine breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from Covid-19.

Given the high transmission rate of the Delta variant, reaching herd immunity and interrupting transmission may need more than 85% of the population to develop an immune response to the novel coronavirus, either from vaccines or prior infection.

Stay informed with live updates on the current Covid-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

One studyTrusted Source found that fewer people than needed to reach herd immunity would “definitely” take the vaccine in the U.S. and United Kingdom.

It also discovered that recent exposure to misinformation, even among those previously supporting vaccines, can create vaccine hesitancy.

Widespread misinformation and politicization of Covid-19 vaccines have led to a large vaccine supply alongside a low vaccine demand in the U.S. Encouraging more people to get vaccinated is crucial for controlling the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a recent opinion article, researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, outline the spread of the Delta variant, its impact, and how health officials might keep it at bay.

Health officials first identified the Delta variant in India in December 2020. Experts then detected it in the U.S. in March 2021. It gained the classification of “variant of concernTrusted Source” by the SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group, set up by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The new paper’s authors explain that the Delta variant is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than the previous Alpha variant and less responsive to treatments and vaccines.

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