Thursday, July 29, 2021

Get Ready For A Media Onslaught On The Transmissibility Of The Delta Variant.


Earlier today the New York Times foreshadowed a coming announcement from the U.S. CDC that they have data that the Delta variant can be spread by both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated.

Then, early this evening the Washington Post spelled it out:
The (internal CDC) document strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccination as the best defense against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus...


...It cites a combination of recently obtained, still-unpublished data from outbreak investigations and outside studies showing that vaccinated individuals infected with delta may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people infected with delta have measurable viral loads similar to those who are unvaccinated and infected with the variant...

So, if the CDC is correct, this means that anyone can be infectious, regardless vaccination status. Thus the rationale for the CDC's reinstitution of a mask mandate in areas where infection rates are high earlier in the week.

The hard part here, I reckon, is going to be keeping the message clear regarding the fact that there are no data to significantly alter the conclusion that vaccination protects against significant illness due to Delta variant infection.

To wit:
...The (document) highlights the daunting task the CDC faces. It must continue to emphasize the proven efficacy of the vaccines at preventing severe illness and death while acknowledging milder breakthrough infections may not be so rare after all, and that vaccinated individuals are transmitting the virus...

Lets hope that critical message doesn't get lost in the media volcano that is about to erupt, probably by tomorrow/Friday morning.



Booey said...

The scary thing about the Delta virus does it have the potential to evade immune protection either from previous infection or vaccine?

RossK said...


Vaccine-based protection, in terms of illnes and, especially, severe illness, is still solid - see post that follows this one.

Regarding reinfection by the Delta variant - it is a concern as Delta has significantly higher reinfectivity rates than Alpha (the old UK variant). However, according to Public Health England, who looked at some 80,000, plus infections, the reinfectivity with Delta was still rare - 1.2%. The Guardian reported on this recently...Here.