Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Americans of a highly infectious COVID-19 variant as he urged more vaccinations during Tuesday’s press briefing.
The variant, dubbed the “Delta” variant, was first noticed in India and has since spread to other parts of the world, including the U.K. and America. Fauci said it has been has been reported in 60 countries and transmissibility appears to be higher than the “Alpha” variant, another one that’s swept across multiple countries.
“It may be associated with an increased disease severity, such as hospitalization risk compared to ‘Alpha,'” Fauci warned before noting that there is a bright side upon looking into the variant. (RELATED: Vaccines Protect Against Multiple Variants, Additional Studies Suggest)
“Fortunately, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and AstraZeneca appear to be effective against the ‘Delta’ variant,” he noted. “There’s reduced vaccine effectiveness after one dose, however, and I’ll get back to that in a moment.”
Fauci also pointed to data published in a health science journal exploring the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination against the “Delta” variant. The data indicates that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 88% “effective against symptomatic disease from” this particular variant beginning two weeks after receiving the second dose.
The data also suggested that two doses of the AstaZeneca vaccine results in 60% effectiveness against the “Delta” variant. Both of these vaccines had higher rates of effectiveness against the “Alpha” variant.
The peak transmission of this highly infectious variant is in the 12-to-20 year age group, according to conversations had with and data given by the U.K. Fauci urged Americans to get fully vaccinated as he warned that just one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine causes “poor protection” against the “Delta” variant.
“We want to get to and above the goal of 70% of the adult population receiving at least one dose by the Fourth of July,” Fauci said, referring to the White House’s “month of action” plan.
The “Delta” variant has sparked different reactions than those seen in COVID-19 patients, including hearing impairment and blood clots leading to gangrene, according to Bloomberg.