The highly contagious Delta variant is rapidly spreading across the US and now accounts for over 80% of positive COVID-19 cases in the US. One study showed that children and adults under 50 were 2.5x more likely to get infected with the Delta strain than with other strains of COVID-19. Recently, the CDC reported that the Delta variant might also cause more severe illness in the unvaccinated than previous strains. In fact, the majority of COVID-19 related hospitalizations (97%) and deaths are among the unvaccinated, serving as an important reminder that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness.
Delta is so easily transmitted that “breakthrough” positive cases are possible even among the vaccinated population. However, it’s important to understand that most individuals who have received their full vaccine dosage do not get severely ill or hospitalized. Many of these breakthrough infections are asymptomatic (shows no symptoms), though it is possible for anyone who contracts Delta to pass it on to others given its high transmission rate. As a result, some local and state governments as well as private businesses have renewed their call for wearing a mask indoors because face masks can serve as an additional layer of protection for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
The fact remains that the COVID-19 vaccines are a strong defense against deadly infection. If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC currently believes a booster shot may not be necessary given the vaccines’ high efficacy against severe illness. Manufacturers of the vaccines are nonetheless researching and testing booster shots and the FDA announced it will establish a national strategy on boosters by early September to determine which vaccinated Americans may need an additional dose.
We’ll share more updates as we keep an eye on the pandemic.
During this time, we continue to urge all Local 342 members to continue to work safe and follow all safety protocols in place to prevent the spread.
To find a vaccine site, please click the below link:
To find a testing site near you, please click the below link (based on location):