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Updated June 22nd, 2021 at 15:28 IST

WHO official says COVID-19 vaccine efficacy reducing against Delta variant

WHO epidemiologist on Monday said that the COVID-19 vaccines are showing signs of reduced efficacy against the Delta variant of the coronavirus. 

Reported by: Swagata Banerjee
Edited by: Swagata Banerjee
WHO
Image: AP | Image:self
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A World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist on Monday said that the COVID-19 vaccines are showing signs of reduced efficacy against the Delta variant of the coronavirus. The epidemiologist also stated that there might be a constellation of mutations in the future which means vaccines are likely to lose their potency against fighting the coronavirus, as per reports. 

On Friday, WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan had said at a press meet that because of its significantly increased transmissibility the Delta variant is now on the way to becoming the dominant variant worldwide. She also said that scientists still need more data on the variant, including its impact on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Earlier, she had mentioned that herd immunity was unlikely to be achieved in 2021. 

“The whole situation is so dynamic because of the variants that are now circulating and…the Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility,” Swaminathan said.

A few days ago, the United States President Joe Biden had raised concern over the Delta variant, calling it "particularly dangerous for young people". In a press conference at the White House, Biden urged the Americans to get vaccinated to protect themselves against these variants. He said that the unvaccinated people are more vulnerable to new variants.

Delta Variant May Become Dominant COVID-19 Strain: US CDC

The Director of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rochelle Walensky on June 19 also raised concern over the Delta variant of COVID-19 which was first detected in India. She said that the Delta strain of SARS-CoV-2 is likely to become the dominant strain of coronavirus in the United States. Speaking at an interview with ABC network, the top health expert said that the B.1.617.2 variant was “hyper transmissible”. She, however, asserted that the vaccines were “working well” and asked Americans to get their two shots to be immunized against the “worrisome” mutation. 

The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, has jumped international borders to spread across more than 80 countries, a World Health Organisation report disclosed. Earlier, the CDC raised the strain from “variant of interest” to “variant of concern” implying that it may carry the risk of severe illness. As per the Federal health agency, the Delta variant of coronavirus accounted for 10 percent of total infections on the American territory.

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Published June 22nd, 2021 at 15:28 IST

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