I’ve been vaccinated. Do I need to worry about variants?

That depends on a few things — including your personal risk tolerance.

But first off, know that your vaccine is quite valuable. The COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be protective against the new virus variants, according to the World Health Organization.

Exactly how much the various vaccines protect against the delta variant — the newest form of the virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dubbed a “variant of concern” — is still somewhat of a guessing game. But if you’re fully vaccinated (two weeks after your second dose) the odds are highly favorable that you won’t get a breakthrough COVID-19 infection, and even better that if you are one of the unfortunate few, you won’t get a severe case.

“At least for those vaccines approved in Europe and North America, in the case of the variants, these seem to be effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute.

The alpha variant, first identified in the U.K., is around 50% more transmissible than the original form of the virus. The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 90% effective against the most severe forms of infection (i.e., those resulting in hospitalization or death) caused by this variant. That study also showed high protection against the beta variant, first spotted in South Africa.

The delta variant is expected to overtake the alpha variant as the main form of the virus in the United States. More than 20% of new cases in the U.S. are already due to the delta variant.

Since the delta variant is even more transmissible — about 60% higher than alpha — that’s what people in the U.S. will be at highest risk of soon. It’s part of the reason the CDC upgraded delta from a variant of interest to a variant of concern.

To check out NPR’s full story click here.


About This Report:

A special thanks to Dr. Frank Davis, M.D. F.A.C.S, a retired trauma surgeon who lives in Bulloch County. He has worked closely with the Grice Connect team to design the COVID-19 dashboard and provide brief interpretation of the data. You will be seeing and hearing more from Dr. Davis as an important member of the GC team. We will continue to update and adapt the data in this report to make it relevant. We have shifted our emphasis to vaccinations, while continuing to provide daily Coroncavirus impact.

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