Delta, Covid-19 variant found in India, greatest threat to US pandemic response, says Fauci - Hindustan Times

Source: Hindustan Times

The Delta variant of coronavirus found in India has proved to be the greatest threat to the efforts made by the United State to fight Covid-19 in its borders, top scientist and US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday. Spotlighting the highly transmissible strain, Fauci said the Delta variant is more easily transmitted than the original Covid-19 variant. The variant is becoming the globally dominant version of the disease, the World Health Organizations chief scientist said on Friday."The transmissibility is unquestionably greater in the Delta variant than the original variant of Covid-19," Fauci said. The variant is associated with increased disease severity," he added.

The Delta variant contributed to a severe outbreak of Covid-19 in India during April and May that overwhelmed health services in the country and killed hundreds of thousands. The variant, experts say, drove the deadly second wave in the country unleashing a crisis with daily cases being clocked at more than 400,000, crematoriums running out of space and wood to cremate bodies, and collapse of health infrastructure across states.Turning the focus on US' artillery to fight the disease, the World Health Organization's chief scientist said that the vaccines widely available in the nation are effective against the Delta variant. The Delta variant is becoming the globally dominant version of the disease, Fauci said.
"The vaccines authorized in the United States, including the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, are effective against the new variant of Covid-19. We have the tools, so let's use them and crush the outbreak," Fauci said.The White House on Tuesday said the US may need additional few weeks to meet the target of vaccinating 70% of adults. Earlier, the Biden administration had set the target of July 4 - the Independence Day - to vaccinate 70% of adults in the US.
White House Covid-19 senior adviser Jeffrey Zients said he expects 70% of adults over 27 years old will have had at least one shot by July 4.More than 150 million people in the United States, or more than 45% of the population, have been fully vaccinated, according to federal data last updated on Monday.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday pointed towards the reluctance among younger American adults for getting vaccine doses, as they are turning to Covid-19 vaccines at a slower rate than older adults. This is likely to hamper the Covid-19 vaccination coverage trajectory in the United States. If the reluctance continues in the pace of vaccination till the month of August, the vaccine coverage among younger adults will not reach the level seen in older adults, the CDC pointed out.