In an alarming new development, officials in Israel
have reported that the particularly transmissible delta variant
has infected some fully vaccinated adults.
According to Dr. Ran Balicer, head of a COVID-19 advisory advisor panel on COVID-19 for the Israeli government, half of the more than 100 daily cases during an outbreak of the delta variant were children
under the age of 16, and the majority of them had not yet been vaccinated.
However, according to Balicer, half of the infected adults had received the Pfizer
According to the Journal, the delta variant was responsible for roughly 90% of new infections in Israel.
Trying to put the genie back in the bottle- masks
indoors recommended again https://t.co/jDE1Lyau2n
pic.twitter.com/ujIstXM43y — Ran Balicer (@RanBalicer) June 24, 2021
As a result of the new information, the Israeli government has reinstated the use of indoor masks and expanded its vaccination
program to include children aged 12 to 15.
In light of the large number of people
who remain unvaccinated and the emergence of the delta variant, which it called the “most transmissible” form of the coronavirus
identified to date, the World Health Organization
also warned everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, to “play it safe” and continue to wear a mask and maintain social distance.
“People cannot feel safe simply because they received two doses; they must protect themselves,” Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines, said at a news conference
in Geneva. “Vaccine alone will not stop community transmission.”
“People must continue to wear masks on a regular basis, remain in ventilated areas, practice hand hygiene... [keep] physical
distance, and avoid crowding.”
According to Agence France-Presse, Israel also announced this week that it would postpone its plan to allow individual tourists back into the country by a month, to Aug. 1.
Precautions are required because the delta variant has “changed the transmission dynamics,” according to Balicer.
According to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
, the “goal is now primarily to protect Israelis from the delta variant that is rampaging throughout the world, and we’ve decided to act as soon as possible to avoid paying a higher price down the road.”
Although Israel's aggressive vaccination program has kept cases and deaths to a minimum, new cases increased to 200 on Thursday, up from 10 cases per day for much of the month. At the height of the nation's outbreak in January, Israel was recording about 10,000 daily cases.
Until now, most health officials have downplayed the delta variant's threat to vaccinated people, despite the fact that unvaccinated people are currently responsible for nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the United States
Dr. Anthony Fauci
, the White House
's chief medical adviser, warned that the delta variant of the coronavirus will soon be the dominant form in the United States, but he stressed that the danger
is to those who have not yet been immunized.
“It’s the unvaccinated people that we’re concerned about,” Fauci said on NBC
’s “Today” show on Wednesday. “They have to start paying attention now because if they’re unvaccinated, they’re at risk.”
The delta variant, first discovered in India
, contributed to an outbreak that killed hundreds of thousands of people, and it now accounts for about 20% of newly diagnosed coronavirus cases in the United States. The delta strain is both more transmissible and associated with more severe disease than the current alpha strain, which is dominant in the United States.
If the delta variant is allowed to spread through unvaccinated people, there is a risk that it will mutate and form yet another deadly new variant that will be less affected, if not unaffected, by current vaccines
, according to experts.
“The delta variant is currently the most serious threat to our efforts to eradicate COVID-19 in the United States,” Fauci said.
More than 85 countries have now been identified as having the variant.
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