Although most COVID-19 restrictions do not govern people’s lives anymore, the global pandemic still has not ended, and things have the potential to become worse before they get better due to the recent rise of the Delta variant.
This form of COVID-19 originated in India as a mutated form of the original virus, and most experts define this variant as extremely transmissible. However, the available COVID-19 vaccinations do offer protection, but Mississippi has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, making the danger posed from the Delta variant quite grave for Mississippi.
Union residents should get vaccinated as soon as possible in order to avoid the danger from the Delta variant.
In order to realize the importance of taking the COVID-19 vaccine, Union residents need to know a little bit about the Delta variant.
According to Scientific American, the Delta variant “is between 40 and 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant first identified in the UK …. As of June 30, estimates suggest Delta is now the [United States’] dominant variant, according to William Lee, vice president of science at the genomics company Helix, who co-authored the study” (Lewis).
The Delta variant has proven extremely transmissible, meaning that the likelihood of one person spreading the virus to someone he or she knows has gone up by a substantial margin. Furthermore, some information seems to indicate that the severity of the Delta variant has worsened when compared to the original virus: “A study in Scotland, published in the Lancet, found the hospitalization rate of patients with that variant was about 85 percent higher than that of people with the Alpha variant” (Lewis). Data from here in Mississippi seem to corroborate these findings as well.
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have risen across the state, and many people from different age groups have developed more serious complications.
When one considers the fact that the Delta variant spreads more easily than others in conjunction with the potential of the variant to become more severe, one can see how bad this variant could affect Union, and hopefully, Union residents now see the potential dangers posed by the Delta variant.
Despite the potential looming threat, Union residents (and anyone over the age of 12 living in the United States) can almost always avoid the Delta variant simply by getting vaccinated.
Scientific American states that “vaccination appears to provide good protection against Delta … A preprint study by Public Health England found that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were 96 percent and 92 percent effective, respectively, at preventing hospitalization” (Lewis).
Essentially, the vaccine still prevents hospitalizations at around the same effectiveness as for other variants, which means that vaccination provides the best protection against the Delta variant.
Although the effectiveness of just a single dose drops somewhat, some protection serves better than none, and the Delta variant proves all the more reason to get fully vaccinated.
In light of this evidence, for places in the United States with high vaccination rates will likely emerge from Delta mostly unscathed; however, for states with poor vaccination rates (like Mississippi), Delta may prove deadly (Lewis).
Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine and an executive vice president at the Scripps Research Institution, states that “ ‘You should not worry at all’ if you have had two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine” (Lewis). Therefore, due to the overwhelming amount of evidence in support of the vaccines’ effectiveness, Union residents should get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community.
The Delta variant has the potential to significantly damage Union, Mississippi, and the United States as a whole; however, the vaccine will prevent this.
The one thing most hospitalizations for COVID-19 have in common is the fact that these people have not taken the vaccine (look this up on a credible source if you do not believe me); even if vaccination does not prevent infection, the vaccine does reduce the severity of the disease (you can look this up too).
With the Neshoba County Fair and the return to school coming up soon, everyone who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated.
The Delta variant will prove bad for everyone, and Union residents should protect themselves.
Send your Union community news or column ideas to Matt Hennington at firstname.lastname@example.org.