HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — An internal document from the CDC outlining the dangers of the Delta variant of COVID-19 for people who are fully vaccinated was leaked to the Washington Post.
The slideshow explains how infectious and dangerous the Delta variant is for non-vaccinated people, as well as fully vaccinated people.
The Delta variant is more contagious amongst vaccinated people than anticipated, but it is still less contagious in fully vaccinated people than non-vaccinated. And it is time times less deadly for fully vaccinated people.
The world’s knowledge of COVID-19 and its variant strains is changing in real-time alongside the virus.
Dr. Jamil Madi, the head of critical care and the medical director for the ICU at Valley Baptist Medical Center, put it simply:
“The virus wants to survive. It will do anything to survive,” Dr. Madi said.
The leaked CDC document is advising doctors to warn people that the delta strain can possibly spread as easily in vaccinated people as the non-vaccinated.
The difference is vaccinated people stay out of the hospital more often, something Dr. Madi verified was true for Valley Baptist.
“Every 30 patients, we have one who is vaccinated who comes to the hospital,” he said.
The document as well as previous studies said that fully vaccinated people typically have less serious symptoms, and they also have a lower chance of dying due to the disease.
That’s why doctors will continue to encourage people to get vaccinated.
“People who are vaccinated, and end up having breakthrough infections, have a much milder form of the disease compared to people who are not,” said Madi.
The fact that the virus is still so contagious in fully vaccinated people was unexpected, but epidemiologists told KVEO that’s the nature of a pandemic.
“It’s just a matter of time until something new comes because we are talking about – it’s evolution, we are witnessing evolution, right? For a virus, it happens very rapidly and it’s changing,” said Dr. Jose Campo Maldonado, an infectious disease doctor at Valley Baptist Medical Center.
The new information from the CDC has big implications for a global population with fewer than 15% of people fully vaccinated.
“This is a matter of not just the US, it’s the whole world. We are seeing variants in part because the virus has chances to change,” said Maldonado.
Both doctors also said it is likely the Delta variant is causing the increase in hospitalizations in the Rio Grande Valley, but only three total cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed.