The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider the delta variant of the coronavirus to be as contagious as chickenpox and could cause serious illness, which bases its information on an internal CDC document.
The variant also has a better chance of bypassing the protections afforded by vaccines, according to the report, adding that the agency’s reversal Tuesday on mask indications for fully vaccinated Americans was based on this document.
However, CDC figures indicate that vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death in vaccinated people, according to the report, citing experts.
New research showed that vaccinated people infected with the delta variant carried huge amounts of the virus in their noses and throat, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told the Times.
The delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome, severe acute respiratory syndrome, Ebola, the common cold, seasonal flu and smallpox, according to the report.
The immediate next step for the agency is to “acknowledge that the war has changed,” the report says, citing the document.
The CDC is expected to release additional data on the variant on Friday, the NYT said.
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