The United Kingdom government said on Friday that the delta strain of the coronavirus is 60% more transmissible than the strain found in the country’s Kent County.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that England’s full reopening from Covid-19 lockdown, penciled in for June 21, could be pushed back due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London told Reporters about Delta Strain
- He said that estimates of Delta strain transmission edge over Alpha had narrowed, and “we think 60% is probably the best estimate.
- Ferguson said that modeling suggested any third wave of infections could rival Britain’s second wave in the winter – which was fuelled by the Alpha variant first identified in Kent, southeast England.
- But it was unclear how any spike in hospitalizations would translate into a rise in deaths, as more detail was needed on how well the vaccine protects against serious illness from the Delta strain.
- It’s well within the possibility that we could see another third wave at least comparable in terms of hospitalizations,” he said.
- I think deaths probably would be lower, the vaccines are having a highly protective effect… still it could be quite worrying. But there is a lot of uncertainty related to delta strain.
Public Health England has shown that the Delta variant reduces the effectiveness of Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots among those who have only received one shot, though protection is higher for those who have received both doses- TheTimesOfIndia
Ferguson said that up to a quarter of the Delta variant’s transmissibility edge over Alpha might come from its immune escape from vaccines, saying it was “a contribution but not an overwhelming contribution” to its advantage.
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