Here’s the Deal with Delta

Student Andy Melgar checks in with EMT Alfonso Deza after receiving his second vaccination shot, as family members sit with him in the observation area. Winnetka, California, July 6, 2021. Image: Mario Tama/Getty
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Student Andy Melgar checks in with EMT Alfonso Deza after receiving his second vaccination shot, as family members sit with him in the observation area. Winnetka, California, July 6, 2021. Image: Mario Tama/Getty

The latest menace in the fight against the pandemic—the fast-spreading delta variant—can evade some antibodies produced by COVID-19 vaccines and natural infection, according to new peer-reviewed research out of France, The Washington Post reports.
 
Getting one dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine offers “barely” any protection, the researchers warn, adding to doubts fueled by Israeli data earlier this week indicating a dip from 90% to ~64% protection against symptomatic illness amid the rise in the Delta variant.

However, those lucky enough to be fully vaccinated maintain significant protection against severe illness, researchers tend to agree. 

The findings are yet another reminder of the glaring inequity that has left much of the world “still in the shadows” without access to shots, warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, VOA reports.
 
Still, vaccine makers are angling to roll out a third dose within 12 months after the first 2 shots.
 
Pfizer is poised to seek approval for a booster shot in light of research showing they upped antibody levels 5–10X compared to a 2-dose regimen, AP reports.
 
But: Hours after Pfizer’s announcement, US officials said they need more data to know whether boosters—a massive logistical undertaking—are necessary. And the WHO agrees, CNN reports.
 

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