COVID Delta Variant Gaining, Vaccination Still Strongest Defense

Worldwide, and increasingly in the US, the COVID “Delta variant” is gaining ground as the main growing strain of the disease’s spread – but highly vaccinated areas are the best positioned to avoid harmful spikes.

WTOP carried expert insight on the emerging Delta variant, with relevant context for fairly high-vaccination states like Maryland:

Maryland and Virginia hit positive milestones in the battle against COVID-19, but a highly infectious variant is causing some concerns across the country. An infectious disease expert hopes to clear up some of the messaging regarding the coronavirus delta variant.

The kind of “doom-based messaging” surrounding the variant, first identified in India, is bothering Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert and professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.

“I want to really stress to people that we reached the point today, where 30 states have … one in 1 million people dying of COVID-19. We are getting to that 70% first dose in so many states, and there are places where cases are not surging, even when the full vaccination rate is not up to 70%, likely because of natural immunity,” Gandhi said.

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Gandhi on the WTOP website.

Additional discussion on the Delta variant, and the dangers in areas (including other states) with far lower vaccination rates, is on Twitter from health economist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding of the Federation of American Scientists:

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties