Cases are starting to rise around the country and in many parts of the world. The main culprit is the Delta variant; Delta is affecting everyone. Other variants e.g. Lambda, are also emerging as concerns. 

“What if I am fully vaccinated?” you ask. 

No exceptions, the Delta variant is infecting us all: Fully vaccinated, previously infected and the unvaccinated.

When vaccinated people catch COVID-19, it is common to hear rumblings that question the point of vaccination. What is being missed in these comments is the severely reduced symptoms and recovery time the vaccine provides. Vaccines decrease symptoms and prevent death from COVID-19, even from the Delta strain or future variants. 

Vaccines prevent mortality and morbidity from COVID-19. That is a fancy way of saying, vaccines give your body what it needs to fight COVID-19 and not end up in the hospital or death bed.

“The success of the COVID-19 vaccines is not to prevent us from catching the virus; rather, it is to stop the virus from causing severe illness and death.” explains Dr. Sakina Dinani, Chief Medical Officer at Synergy Health Advisors in New Jersey. 

Doctor’s offices that provide testing, like Synergy Health Advisors in New Jersey, are seeing many vaccinated people test positive for COVID-19.  However, those testing positive are mainly asymptomatic, a sure sign that the vaccines are working. Vaccinated people that test positive for COVD-19 are often caught by surprise as their symptoms are either nonexistent or very mild. Common symptoms of COVID-19 in vaccinated people are a headache, runny nose, sore throat, or sneezing; the same symptoms one develops sitting too close to a blasting A/C on a hot day.

Highly vaccinated areas in the country are seeing a remarkable decrease in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Vaccinated people who become infected are not dying the way unvaccinated people are. A recent study shows that “Pfizer and Astrazeneca vaccines are 96% and 92% effective (respectively) in preventing Delta variant hospitalisations.” Among vaccinated people, COVID-19 is not killing people like before. These numbers will continue to change as we learn more over time.                  

When a population is not overwhelmingly vaccinated, the virus has a chance to manifest severe symptoms and even death, just as we saw in 2020 before the vaccine rollout.COVID-19 is still on the move in populations with lower vaccination rates, both domestically and in foreign countries. A New York Times Live Case Count shows states like Arkansas, Missouri and Florida are experiencing the highest numbers of new cases in the country. These states also have some of the lowest vaccination rates (under 50% of the population) in the country.

When the virus replicates, sometimes there is a “mistake” in replication, and an exact copy of the parent virus is not made, rather a variant virus is made. This “mistake” or “variant” copy is slightly different from the original virus, with slightly different characteristics which may make the variant have more severe symptoms or be more contagious, causing it to spread faster and hit harder. Learn more about variants here.

Although vaccinated people who are catching COVID-19 are for the most part experiencing milder symptoms and faster recovery, there is no guarantee how the body will react to variant strains. It is normal for a virus to mutate and for variants to be created over time.

The variant detected in March of 2020 in the United Kingdom, known as the Alpha variant, is known to have more severe symptoms than the original COVID-19 strain.

The Beta variant, first detected in South Africa in 2020, is known to be more infectious.

The infamous Delta variant, now the most common variant in the United States, has been labeled by the CDC as the current “variant of concern”, due to its very contagious nature.

A study from the MIT Medical reports symptoms of Delta-infected individuals are detectable earlier and are present in much higher concentration than the original COVID-19 strain, giving the Delta variant much more efficient reproduction and contagion rate. The study concluded that vaccination gives the highest protection from severe illness and death to date, even against the Delta variant.

With the Delta variant now rampant and future variants expected, it is important to be cautious and adhere to ever-changing Health Guidelines. This is to protect a large portion of the population that is still unvaccinated, including children who are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. It is also important not to treat any unusual symptoms lightly and consider getting tested to confirm your and your loved one’s status.

Synergy Health Advisors in New Jersey, is your source for COVID-19 testing. We provide utmost convenience by offering rapid and laboratory quality testing in the comfort of your own home, office, or at our clinic. 

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