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Covid-19: Delta variant 8 times less sensitive to vaccine protection, causes re-infection among recovered patients

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Agrawal further said that a good part about the vaccine was their ability to reduce the severity of the infection by several notches among the patients.

A recent study has shown what was long feared about the Delta variant of Coronavirus, that it spreads at an extremely fast rate and also evades the immune response generated by previous infection or vaccines. The study which has been published in journal Nature has based its findings on the data collected from India till the end of May 2021, the Indian Express reported.

Key findings of research
The crucial research has quantified that the delta variant was six times less sensitive to the serum neutralising antibodies among the recovered individuals and eight times less sensitive to the antibodies generated due to vaccines in comparison to the original Wuhan strain of Coronavirus. To put it simply, the delta variant has the potential to cause infection among vaccinated and reinfection among the recovered patients eight and six times more than that in the original Wuhan strain. The vaccines which were analysed as part of the study were those developed by Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and BioNTech.

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Anurag Agrawal, Director, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi and who is also one of the authors of the study, told the Indian Express that the research has shown that the delta variant spreads faster and also reduces the protection gained from vaccines or previous infections. Agrawal further said that a good part about the vaccine was their ability to reduce the severity of the infection by several notches among the patients.

What will be the role of vaccines then?
Vineeta Bal, who is an immunologist with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune told the Indian Express that such studies must not make people misunderstand the utility of vaccines and believe that they are not effective. She also pointed out that the study was carried on the vitro samples and that too in a laboratory environment and hence its results should vary from the actual environment. While she attested the findings of the research by saying that the majority of infections in recent time are being caused by the delta variant, she emphasised on the fact that the incidence of severe disease and hospitalisation is reduced substantially among the vaccinated individuals.

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