August 10, 2022

Coronavirus: Can the new Delta Plus variant affect people who are fully vaccinated? Here's what we know so far – Times of India


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As the number of COVID-19 cases decline in the country and several states begin their unlock process, the new emerging variants i.e. the Delta and the Delta Plus Variant have started to wreak havoc and signal towards a potential third wave. While health professionals and government officials continue to encourage people to get their vaccine shots, recent reports suggest that these new variants can escape immunity from COVID vaccines.
Recently, the Government officially said that the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus is a ‘variant of concern’ (VoC). As per the officials, the new COVID variant has three characteristic features namely increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.
Given that the new variant has been detected in many states in the country, the government has already urged the states to take up necessary measures, ensuring “widespread testing, prompt tracing as well as vaccine coverage on priority basis.”
As of now, India is one of the nine countries where the Delta Plus variant has been detected. Reportedly, the variant has been detected in the US, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia.

Read more: Coronavirus prevention: What you can do to protect yourself from Delta Plus variant, as per experts

Considering that the vaccines were originally developed in respect to the original COVID strain i.e the Alpha variant, The Delta variant and the emerging new variants, therefore, have the ability to surpass antibodies released by the vaccines.
Scientists have also raised concerns about the properties that help the newer variants to escape immune defences and assists them in dodging vaccine driven protection as well.
However, in the recent past, studies have claimed that certain COVID vaccines can prove effective against the Delta Variant. But when it comes to the Delta Plus variant, experts are yet to determine whether the vaccines can provide protection against it.

Read more: Coronavirus: What happens if you get sick after being fully vaccinated? Should you get tested?

Reportedly, the first case of the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 in Rajasthan was detected in a fully vaccinated 65-year-old woman, said the Bikaner health officer, Dr. O.P. Chahar. The woman had recovered from COVID-19 in May and had also received both her vaccine doses.
According to Chahar, the sample of the woman was sent for genome sequencing to the National Institute of Virology in Pune on 30 May. Her reports came back on Friday. “The Delta Plus variant was found in the woman’s sample. She has already recovered from the Covid infection,” said Chahar.
While the woman was asymptomatic and has recovered completely, it is important to note that the Delta Plus variant can impact fully vaccinated as well as COVID-recovered individuals too.
During such critical times, when we have just revived from the implications of the second wave and are returning back to normalcy, being mindful and adhering to COVID appropriate behaviour is the only way to prevent the spread of the virus, especially in the wake of suchh dangerous new variants.
While the Delta Plus variant is more transmissible and spreads faster than the previous variants, maintaining social distance, double masking, practicing hygienic practices like washing of hands regularly or sanitizing it is of utmost importance. Additionally, vaccination is the only way to gain some immunity against the virus. Studies have suggested that certain COVID vaccines can prove effective against the new variants including the Delta variant, which makes it all the more important to get your vaccine shot.
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