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Delta Variant, Minnelli: “Worry, Vaccinate Teens Too”

The delta (or Indian) variant is frightening Europe and even Italy, having caused an increase in cases in Great Britain. “It is worrying but we can prepare ourselves and cope with the impact that it will have. However, we need to rush to complete the vaccination course as well as to vaccinate adolescents.” Proving the importance of the Adnkronos Salute is immunologist Mauro Minnelli, responsible for the Southern Italian Foundation for Personalized Medicine.


The delta variant (B.1.617.2D)” is a strain of the novel coronavirus that was first identified in the fall of 2020 in India. It is characterized by partial resistance to vaccines – he explains – albeit not immediately. It is seen due to various confounding factors in The Indian state, which has decimated more than 400,000 cases per day, has made accurate analysis of the phenomenon decidedly difficult.”

“Full characterization of the delta variant was possible with its spread in England, which allowed an in-depth study and more complete verification of the mutated virus – recalls Minnelli – and therefore it was possible to find out that this variant is 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant (new definition of the variant”) English” most famous) which in turn was 60% more transmissible than the original Wuhan strain. All this – and he stresses – clearly could provide Sars-CoV-2 an important advantage in terms of prevalence and aggressiveness. The potential risk of the delta variant – as He says – mainly with its moderate resistance to vaccines, especially in people who were vaccinated with a single dose, as much as possible even in those who received both doses.”

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British data published last May reported that people vaccinated with a double dose of Pfizer protected against Delta by 88% (versus 93% for the alpha variant), compared to 60% protection attributed to the AstraZeneca vaccine which protects 66% of alpha – the immunologist warns – It’s okay to loosen the restrictions for now by not introducing extreme restrictions again. It is acceptable to keep bars and restaurants open for those who have received vaccinations or have had negative results from recent swabs. But it will always be a good idea to bring a mask with you so that you can wear it whenever conditions are created for gathering (queues, markets, gatherings, public transportation). Just as always, the use of a means of protection is provided for weak and immunosuppressed people and for those accompanying them. ”

“In Italy, the overall picture regarding the delta variant looks good at the moment too, because the situation seems to be sufficiently monitored. But it can change quickly, as happened in England where cases related to the delta variant double almost every 11 days – he notes – however What is emerging from the data published in England is that people who were vaccinated with a double dose of the vaccine that was re-infected with the delta variant would be 90% less likely to be hospitalized.”

For Minnelli, “It is very important to move forward in time with full adolescent vaccination in the meantime because, even with lower levels of severity, children get sick like adults. That is why they are such an important source of virus spread in the different environments they frequent, among them A school that shouldn’t be a problem next fall as it was last school year.”

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And finally, “Implementation of sequencing of positive swabs with the aim of quickly identifying any new contingencies represented by variants and sub-variables that – with the possibility of escape from vaccinations induced by ongoing vaccines – could always represent an imminent danger and not immediately controllable.”

Phil Schwartz

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