Dr. Fauci Says The Risks From The Delta Variant Underscore The Importance Of Vaccines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that the variant of coronavirus first detected in India is a variant of concern, meaning it poses a significant threat to those who are not vaccinated.
The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, is the most contagious yet. The CDC estimates that it may be responsible for nearly 10% of all new COVID-19 infections in the United States. In some Western U.S. states, the variant may be responsible for nearly 20% of cases.
That risk has public health officials stressing the benefits of vaccines, which have been shown to be highly effective against the Delta variant. In one recent study, researchers in the U.K. found that a two-dose regimen of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant.
“If you are vaccinated, you’re going to be protected, which is another very good reason to encourage people strongly to get vaccinated,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “If you are not vaccinated, you are at risk of getting infected with the virus that now spreads more rapidly and gives more serious disease.”
In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday, Fauci elaborated on what led the CDC to designate the Delta variant a variant of concern, what the science says so far about how long protection lasts from vaccines and whether he’s worried about a new surge.