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COVID-19 Delta Variant

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  • Written By: Iowa Dept of Public Health
COVID-19 Delta Variant

3 things you should know about the delta variant:

The COVID-19 delta variant is spreading rapidly around the world, just as many people were beginning to feel hopeful that the pandemic was coming to an end. Despite the spread of this new, more contagious strain, there’s still room for cautious optimism that we can halt the spread.

Here are three important things you will want to know about this strain:

1. Viruses constantly change when they spread from person to person and new strains of a virus (called variants) are expected to occur.

  • Many COVID-19 variants have been found in the United States and globally during this pandemic.
  • Some variants are found and then they disappear quickly. Other times, new variants stick around and spread more commonly. This may occur because the variant is passed from person to person more easily, resistant to existing treatments, or resistant to existing vaccines.

2. The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is currently the most common COVID-19 virus strain circulating around in the US, the region, and in Iowa.

  • The Delta variant was originally found in India in December 2020 and was first seen in the US in March 2021.
  • The Delta variant spreads more easily than other variants and that is why COVID-19 cases are increasing in the US and in Iowa.
  • The CDC indicates that the currently available vaccines are effective against the Delta variant.

For those who get an mRNA vaccine, the second dose of vaccine provides a higher level of protection so it is important that people get both doses.

3. People who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are most at risk of getting, being hospitalized for, and dying from COVID-19.

  • The best way to stop the spread of all COVID-19 virus strains, including the Delta variant, is for unvaccinated people to get vaccinated.
  • If the COVID-19 virus strains continue to spread from person to person, new variants will continue to occur. COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variants that are currently circulating, so all eligible people are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated protects against the current virus strains and decreases the chances of a vaccine-resistant variant developing in the future.