Despite many countries making progress on vaccinating their populations against COVID-19 and resuming pre-pandemic activities — traveling, going back into the office, and meeting with friends and family members in close quarters — the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and not just in nations that have yet to receive their fair share of vaccine doses.
The UK, France, and Germany have administered at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to over 50% of their populations, according to the Oxford University-based publication Our World in Data. The same is true for the United States, Canada, and Israel.
But in all of these countries, there has also been a recent rise in cases, in part due to the emergence of COVID-19 variants.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genetic variants of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) have been circulating throughout the pandemic. While there are four variants that have been classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “Variants of Concern,” the Delta variant has quickly become the most prevailing.
Originally known as B.1.617.2., the Delta variant was first identified in India in October 2020. Now, Delta has been reported in 124 countries and is the dominant strain in many, such as the US, UK, and India.
Some governments are responding to the uptick in cases by reinstating lockdown restrictions, as is the case in Australia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. Other nations are considering whether they should start offering booster shots to fully vaccinated people.
Everywhere, individuals are wondering what they can do to end the pandemic that has killed over 4 million people globally.
To learn how Global Citizens can protect themselves, and others, from the Delta variant of COVID-19, Global Citizen spoke with Anna Bershteyn, PhD, an assistant professor within the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health.
Here are the five biggest things she told us about the Delta variant that can help end the pandemic for everyone, everywhere.
- The Delta variant is spreading more easily than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective against the Delta variant.
- To best fight the Delta variant, offering booster shots to fully vaccinated people is less of a priority.
- Ensuring everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines is a bigger priority.
- Get vaccinated, encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated, and wear a mask.
Read the full article about COVID-19 Delta variant by Jaxx Artz at Global Citizen.
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