Is the Delta variant the reason for breakthrough infections?
Yes, the Delta variant is probably driving more breakthrough infections because it is so much more contagious. The vaccines were never meant to prevent you from being exposed to the virus. They were meant to prevent you from getting very sick or dying.
While our vaccines are still effective, they’re not quite as protective against the Delta variant and we know that protection begins to wane after a few months with the mRNA vaccines.
A July 21 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were nearly 94% effective in individuals with the alpha variant, commonly known as the “U.K. variant,” and 88% effective among those with Delta. Meanwhile, two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being used outside the United States, were about 75% effective against alpha and 67% effective against Delta. Early data suggest the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are also less effective against Delta but remain very good at preventing serious illness.
Monica Robins is the Senior Health Correspondent at 3News. The information provided in this column is for educational and informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this column or on our website.