Delta variant, we can’t let our guard down yet

“The circulation of the Delta variant is increasing in Italy and, in addition to the tracking of cases and the completion of vaccination cycles, it is necessary to comply with the necessary measures to avoid an increase in viral circulation”. Translation: we can’t – yet – let our guard down.This was stated in the draft of the weekly monitoring report of the Ministry of Health and Iss on the progress of coronavirus infections in Italy.

According to the experts, the general picture of the transmission of the virus “although not in a critical situation, shows signs that require particular attention with an increase in the number of Regions classified at moderate epidemic risk”. “At the national level – underlines the report – it is noted that the decline in the weekly incidence has ceased” which is “slightly increasing, although below the epidemic threshold” and mostly “in young and more frequently asymptomatic subjects”.
The circulation of the Delta variant is also increasing, which is leading “to an increase in cases in other countries with high vaccination coverage, therefore it is advisable to carry out a capillary tracing and sequencing of cases”. It becomes necessary to achieve a high level ofvaccination coverage and the completion of vaccination cycles in order to prevent further recurrences of episodes of increased circulation of the virus. “In any case, it should also be emphasized that at the moment “the impact of the COVID-19 disease on hospital services remains minimal with employment rates in medical area and intensive care still decreasing”.
It is precisely the Delta variant that worries all countries the most: in France, this mutation is rapidly supplanting other strains of the virus and is already “not far from 50 percent” of the new positives, said the health minister Olivier Veran. This variant “is 60% more contagious than the other viral strains circulating so far”, the minister recalled, and “is gradually replacing all other coronavirus strains that existed and will soon be in the majority, probably as early as this weekend”.
The undersecretary of Health Pierpaolo Sileri recalled that in Italy we have gone from “800 cases a day to over 1,200-1,300, this suggests that at the end of the month we will reach numbers three or four times higher”. “If this does not lead to a increase in hospitalizations, not bad – he added – but we still have a long way to go to complete the vaccination”. And while the vaccination campaign continues, we are already thinking about the verification of the need for a third dose to guarantee greater immunization from the contagion of the Delta variant: if on the one hand, in the United States, both the CDC and the FDA deem it unnecessary to administer a third dose of vaccine for those who have completed the vaccination cycle, on the other Pfizer and BioNTech are already preparing to begin clinical trials, next August, to produce a version of their vaccine against Covid-19 that contrasts the Delta variant.