Sat. Jul 24th, 2021

A health expert on Wednesday said two doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine are “strongly protective” against the highly transmissible Delta variant.

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In an online media forum, Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-dela Paz, University of the Philippines Manila – National Institutes of Health Executive Director, said an individual who received the first dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer is 33-percent less at risk of developing Covid-19 symptoms caused by the Delta variant.

Dela Paz was citing data from the Public Health England study.

The same study showed that a second shot of AstraZeneca boosted defense against the Delta variant by 60 percent while a second dose of Pfizer provided 88 percent more protection.

Meanwhile, a Lancet study indicated people inoculated with Covid-19 jabs are less likely to be hospitalized due to the Delta variant compared to unvaccinated individuals.

“We will say it again, it is important to be vaccinated because that is our biggest defense against any variant,” Dela Paz said in Filipino.

Apart from receiving Covid-19 shots that are available now, Dela Paz said the spread of Delta variant or any variant of concern may be prevented with strict compliance to public health protocols such as wearing a mask and face shield, keeping at least one meter distance from others and proper washing of hands.

The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, has spread to 85 countries.

Earlier, the World Health Organization described it as the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain yet – “picking off” the most vulnerable individuals especially in areas with low vaccination rates.

As of June 14, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 31 percent of the cases in the country are from the Delta variant.

“With the original virus, a case can infect two persons, with the Alpha variant a case can infect four but with the Delta variant a case can infect up to eight people, so it doubled from the Alpha variant,” dela Paz said in Filipino.

She added that initial global studies showed the Delta variant may be manifesting different symptoms.Reports from southeast China disclosed patients who are sick with the variant are deteriorating more quickly.

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