Vaccines: A Delta UpdateJune 27, 2021
Delta is serious. We offer three items for your consideration.
“WHO says delta is the fastest and fittest Covid variant and will ‘pick off’ most vulnerable,” (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/21/covid-delta-who-says-variant-is-the-fastest-and-fittest-and-will-pick-off-most-vulnerable-.html).
“Delta Covid-19 Variant Could Be Dominant in U.S. in Two to Three Weeks, Study Says,”
For a deep dive into the evidence regarding the Delta variant and its spread, we suggest a detailed thread by Eric Feigl-Ding. Feigl-Ding is a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington DC. He was formerly a faculty member and researcher at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The thread begins at this link: https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1407033868914499585. We have spooled the entire thread below for readers’ convenience below:
45% of all #DeltaVariant deaths in England in the past 1 week (June 8-14th) were among those fully vaccinated with 2 doses & post +14 days. Total Delta #COVID19 deaths up +31 in one week—of 31, 14 deaths in fully vaxxed. #Delta breakthrough concerning
To be clear, this is still a large benefit of vaccination. But we cannot say for certain that #DeltaVariant is “nothing to worry” about anymore. It is much faster transmission & 2.5x greater hospitalization risk than #Alphavariant which implies 4x hospitalization vs original. We have to be worried when we see such numbers and the exponential rise of #DeltaVariant worldwide — especially in low vaccinated countries, and under vaccinated parts of US that are vaccine hesitant.
We are seeing a lot more #DeltaVariant related breakthrough infections. Israel is also heavily 2 dose vaccinated country too—with Pfizer no less. And it’s seeing more Delta #COVID19 school outbreaks too, and breakthroughs in teachers. Must be vigilant. (https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/ten-vaccinated-israelis-contract-covid-as-country-faces-local-outbreaks-1.9925197) Thinking about these tricky breakthrough deaths, from talking to many other experts I’ve conferred, is that a combination of age related waning of immunity as well as immunocompromised individuals not having sufficient vaccine immunity responses—creates a pool of vulnerable. Canadian federal government has now just declared that AZ is inferior to mRNA vaccines, thus advocating to people to switch to Pfizer and Moderna. Not a peep on J&J 1-shot regimen. (note- J&J is in same adenovirus-vector family as AZ, but J&J has special double-proline splint)
The reason we don’t know about J&J is that unlike AstraZeneca, J&J is an enhanced spike vaccine with a “double proline” encode to splint & stabilize the spike protein—Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax has this special enhancement as well. AstraZeneca does not. (https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/vaccines/tiny-tweak-behind-COVID-19/98/i38) Thus, J&J is unique. It doesn’t quite fit in with adenovirus vector AstraZeneca due to double-proline difference, and it doesn’t fit in with protein based Novavax, nor mRNA like Pfizer or Moderna. It’s hard to infer what J&J efficacy is—or what to do about it being 1 dose. Vaccine effectiveness against #DeltaVariant according to @PHE_uk — averaging AstraZeneca & Pfizer together (even if different), you can see a substantial drop for 1 dose. But even 2 doses has a ~8% drop as well. Also AZ’s 2 dose is actually 60%. ?
Problem for UK is that while over half of adults are fully vaccinated, 2/3 of all shots are the 60% 2-dose efficacy AstraZeneca vaccine.
Doing the math, @GosiaGasperoPhD says we can only stop the fast #DeltaVariant if we have >90% efficacy vaccine used by 70% of the total population (not just by adults). But no country on Earth is at that level yet for 2 doses, and with 90% efficacy for Delta. That’s the worry.
In addition to deaths, 10% of all hospitalizations in the UK last week were among those fully 2 dose vaccinated. This is not a small handful of breakthroughs anymore.
(Sidenote – hospitalizations is much larger numbers than deaths – more stable (less prone to fluctuations).
Not just severity and vaccine breakthroughs, but #DeltaVariant is also incredibly transmissible via just “fleeting” short casual exposure. Several documented and proven cases of such short “seconds” long exposures from Australia detailed tracing. See thread
I would like to point out that while UK has more 1st dose than Israel, it is only 46% vaccinated (~2/3 of which is AstraZeneca), which is decent but not remotely enough to remove mitigations as shown above, for stopping #DeltaVariant via vaccine alone. (https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations)
See Chart (bar chart): https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1407100914222219265/photo/1
If you think you don’t need the vaccine or the 2nd dose… you’re not paying attention to the #DeltaVariant that is coming up in multiple countries.
Dr Fauci warned recently: “The problem you get into … is that a single dose only provides about ~30% effectiveness [against #DeltaVariant]—so that is really an issue you gotta be careful”. Fauci seems to clearly push 2 doses against #DeltaVariant now.
See source: https://twitter.com/i/status/1407217323757510656 and
See video embedded in tweet: https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1407217323757510656?s=20
We close with this June 25th update from Dr. Eric where “Delta up 4x in % in New York City.”
Certain politicians dismissed Delta at a press conference and blamed CDC for scare tactics. They want you to believe this variant isn’t worrisome. You decide.
Please be safe.