The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than early forms of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
• The Delta variant is more contagious: The Delta variant is highly contagious, more than 2x as contagious as previous variants.
• Some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous variants in unvaccinated people. For example, in two different studies from Canada and Scotland, patients infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients infected with Alpha or the original virus that causes COVID-19. Even so, the vast majority of hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19 are in unvaccinated people.
• Unvaccinated people remain the greatest concern: The most significant risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are much more likely to get infected and therefore transmit the virus. Fully vaccinated people get COVID-19 (known as breakthrough infections) less often than unvaccinated people. People infected with the Delta variant, including fully vaccinated people with symptomatic breakthrough infections, can transmit the virus to others. CDC is continuing to assess data on whether fully vaccinated people with asymptomatic breakthrough infections can transmit the virus.
• Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. However, vaccinated people appear to spread the virus for a shorter time: For prior variants, fewer viral genetic materials were found in samples taken from fully vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections than from unvaccinated people with COVID-19. For people infected with the Delta variant, similar amounts of viral genetic material have been found among both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people. However, like prior variants, the amount of viral genetic material may go down faster in fully vaccinated people when compared to unvaccinated people. This means fully vaccinated people will likely spread the virus for less time than unvaccinated people1.
Vaccines in Armenia are highly effective, including against the Delta variant
• Vaccines play a crucial role in limiting the spread of the virus and minimizing severe disease. Although vaccines are highly effective, they are not perfect, and there will be vaccine breakthrough infections. Low vaccination coverage in many communities is driving the current rapid surge in cases involving the Delta variant, which also increases the chances that even more concerning variants could emerge.
• Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community. High vaccination coverage will reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.
Given what we know about the Delta variant, vaccine effectiveness, and current vaccine coverage, layered prevention strategies, including wearing masks, are needed to reduce the transmission of this variant
• At this time, as we build the level of vaccination country-wide, we must also use all the prevention strategies available, including masking indoors in public places, to stop transmission and stop the pandemic. Everyone, including fully vaccinated people, should wear masks in public indoor places in substantial or high transmission areas.