The UK seemed to be coming out of the pandemic thanks to the effective Covid-19 vaccination campaign, but within days of the elimination of the anti-contagion restrictive measures, the British government took a step back, considering a postponement. The reason is the stronger and stronger diffusion of the Delta variant, also called “Indian”.
Covid, what we know about the Delta (Indian) variant: Johnson’s caution
“If we look at the data today, again we have an increase in hospitalizations, an increase in cases, we must be cautious”, said Boris Johnson speaking to the BBC on the sidelines of the G7 summit, confirming that the government wants to “be cautious” in deciding whether to end the restrictions on June 21, as established before the new Covid spike due to the Delta variant.
“It is clear that the Indian variant is more transmissible and it is also true that cases and levels of hospitalization are increasing – underlined the premier – we do not know exactly to what extent this will lead to new deaths, but it is clearly a very, very worrying issue ”.
The Indian strain turns out to be between 40% and 60% more contagious compared to the English one, in turn 50% more transmissible than the original Sars-CoV-2, and would be responsible for the rise in the contagion curve, which arrived again as in February at 7 thousand a day: 91% of cases would be caused precisely by the Delta variant.
As was the case with the “English” mutation that has pushed the second wave of Covid-19 infections since the end of last year, it is feared that the Indian one is more transmissible among young people, but there are still no certainties of this. However, it is known that the lethality is no greater than in other versions of the coronavirus.
Covid, what we know about the Delta (Indian) variant: the effectiveness of vaccines
But in the UK the biggest concern is the recent news that among the latest deaths caused by the Delta variant, in 12 cases they were people who had completed the vaccination cycle for at least 14 days against Covid-19.
A British laboratory study would have observed that the antibodies in the blood of the vaccinated, when faced with the new strain, have u5.8 times lower efficacy than the English strain.
“The 12 deaths despite the vaccine they can be frail patients. In fact, there are people who do not respond even to two doses due to problems with the immune system or other health disorders ”said Fausto Baldanti, director of the virology laboratory of San Matteo in Pavia.
In Italy at the moment the circulation of the Delta variant would be very low, with only two outbreaks recorded in Brindisi and Milan, but in the latter case the infected person in a gym was vaccinated with two doses.
“In Italy – explains Massimo Ciccozzi, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the Biomedical Campus in Rome – the monitoring indicates that Indian variant is 1%, but this is probably an underestimated figure. In fact, to identify it, the complete genome of the coronavirus is sequenced. It is a complex operation that we do not carry out very often ”.