The novel Delta variant of the coronavirus severely impacted the possibility of achieving herd immunity, according to the developer of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Sir Andrew Pollard, a professor of pediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, explained that achieving herd immunity is “not a possibility” due to the Delta variant still circulating across the globe.
“We know very clearly with coronavirus that this current variant, the Delta variant, will still infect people who have been vaccinated, and that does mean that anyone who’s still unvaccinated, at some point, will meet the virus ,” he said.
He made it clear that achieving herd immunity is unlikely, adding that a future variant of the virus will be “perhaps even better at transmitting in vaccinated populations.”
Are Vaccinated People Still At Risk?
Numerous countries registered measles herd immunity thanks to vaccinating 95% of the population against the disease, as it was the case in the US, where endemic transmission stopped in 2000.
Once a person got vaccinated, they couldn’t transmit the virus anymore, thus leading to the eradication of the disease from the US population.
COVID-19 vaccines work in a similar fashion, aiming to protect people against severe disease.
CDC officials revealed that vaccinated individuals who contract the Delta variant are about 25 times less likely to experience a severe case or die.
Most vaccinated people who caught the Delta variant experienced mild to no symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is some bad news for vaccinated people, as they can still transmit the virus.
“We don’t have anything which will stop that transmission to other people,” Pollard added.