Delta ‘Breakthrough’ infections becoming noticed-by Dr Harold Gunatillake
If large numbers of people remain unvaccinated, vaccinated people will be exposed to the Delta variant, and that could be the way variant could breakthrough
No vaccine can protect everyone all the time. When there is a lot of viruses around, some vaccinated people will still get infected, but in most cases vaccinated people experience mild symptoms –
Doctor, I got both jabs but got the virus again a call from Sri Lanka from a friend, what am I to do now?
A question that is being asked by many people and becoming a worry to the researchers and health admin personnel.
When there is a lot of viruses around, some vaccinated people will still get infected, but the consolation is that the symptoms may be mild and may need no hospitalization, but again there are a few exceptions, and few have demised.
In Sri Lanka, one of the popular business magnates, got both vaccinations, got the symptoms of the COVID after a few weeks and demised in a private hospital in Colombo.
That has sent shockwave in the island, and most people wonder whether they should go for the jab, despite the Governments publicity to have it.
It is also observed that a person who becomes infected after being vaccinated is half as likely to pass the virus on to the people they lived with.
It is also possible when such vaccinated people get the virus, they may not have symptoms at all.
Delta variant sems to be transmissible and even with the social distancing, just two people crossing each other is sufficient for the spread. This variant is better at infecting anyone.
The researchers can only say that being vaccinated with either Pfizer or AZ jabs have given very strong protection against being infected with COVID-19.
When the vaccines were given emergency approval, AZ vaccines stopped about 70 % of infections and Pfizer 90 per cent.
But after giving the two vaccines to thousands of people in many countries, only about 80 percent of infections are stopped by both AZ and Pfizer.
This has opened the minds of many and leads to the question surrounding the effectiveness of the current COVID-19 vaccines, and will it give the hesitant the opportunity to be complacent, by discouraging the jabs, and get the infection spread to the others, creating more issues.
First, let us understand what the word ‘Breakthrough infection’ means
According to Centre for Disease control’s definition in the US- a breakthrough infection as in COVID case that occurs to someone who is fully vaccinated and getting re-infection after many weeks. Such cases are referred to as ‘Breakthrough” infections
Obviously, the Delta variant is running amok.
Fortunately, the two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID -19 vaccines are over 80%, as effective as the previously dominant Alpha variant to prevent breakthrough infections.
Delta-plus variant is 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant -first identified in the UK. The Alpha was considered as about 50% more transmissible than the original parent-Wuhan strain
Eric Topol, founder, and director of the Scripps Research Translation Institute in California said that the delta plus variant is a super spreader variant.
This highly infectious Delta variant can cause higher rates of breakthrough infections, but fully vaccinated people are still well protected against severe illness and hospitalization.
Before the Delta variant was heard of, there was a sharp drop of coronavirus cases throughout the first half of the year in most countries. But then the Delta plus variant that started in India spread so fast to many countries, the vaccine rolls out centers had to be increased to control the COVID infection.
This variant has quickly changed the direction of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US.
A recent study has revealed this variant is proven itself to be highly transmissible, on par with chicken pox in the past.
A recent study published in July as a preprint also found that people with a coronavirus infection from Delta carried 1,000 times more virus particles in their bodies than people with an infection from the original coronavirus variant.
How does this variant spread so fast?
This variant makes more copies in your body at a faster rate. The virus rapid spread may be the result from fast replication rate. A person getting infected with the Delta variant can have over 1,000 times more virus in their bodies- known as the viral load.
Further, even after vaccinations some people could have high levels of the virus in their nose and throat even if they don’t have symptoms.
Most vaccines will prevent the infections but do not have the ability to prevent being able to transfer those viruses to other people. So even vaccinated people can get infected by the severity is far far less than those not vaccinated.
From Jan 17-July 17, 2021, in the US there has been 3,446 total cases and 83% felt symptoms post second vaccination -9% hospitalized and 48 deaths
There are more mutations in the spike proteins: the part of the novel coronavirus that binds to ACE2 receptors on the surface of cells and allows the virus to infect them.
Soon after the second vaccine your chances of getting COVID is still 100 percent: it takes many months for the B cells, T cells the key memory cells to fully kick into gear.
T cells are important for controlling viral infections and cancers but lose effectiveness as we age, contributing to older people’s increased susceptibility to these diseases.
Vaccine expert Kylie Quinn from RMIT says the reason vaccines are not 100 per cent effective is that people have different immune systems, so some people get a strong response to the vaccine, where others have a weaker response.
“We’re testing ways to support the metabolism of T cells, to enhance their survival during normal ageing and improve the activation of T cells during vaccination in older people,” she said.
A third dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered more than six months after the second could boost protection against COVID-19, an Oxford University study has found. Researchers concluded that a third dose leads to a substantial increase in antibodies and induces a strong boost to immune response against the virus, including variants. The findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, were published in a preprint study on Monday.
The third booster is mandatory for old people, residents in care homes, immunocompromised, and general population.
Israel has already begun to give the booster dose to above 60s’
Russia, Hungary, France, are offering the third booster dose
Germany starting third booster in September
This pandemic is a challenge and we all must be united global community, and no country is safe until every country is safe.
Presented with no radical thoughts, but just as they happen, to safeguard our global Sri Lankan expats, including our suffering people in motherland
You need to continue wearing the mask to give you’re the highest protection even after you have had both jabs of COVD vaccines.
Hope this video presentation was useful.
Goodbye for now.
Sri Lanka Police has commenced a special operation in Colombo to trace those who have not been vaccinated with even a single dose, Police Spokesman SDIG Ajith Rohana said.
He said they had Police Community Policing Division has been assigned to identify people who are over 30 years not vaccinated yet and take them to get vaccinated.
“Those over 30 years of age in Colombo city & still not vaccinated against Covid-19 are requested to go to the Sugathadasa Stadium & obtain their 1st dose” Police Spokesman added.
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