We are starting to get back to our more normal lives, but we still hear about ‘new’ COVID variants? Some things are much better than they were – largely due to vaccinations. But not all of us are vaccinated, and some areas of the country are lagging. As more of us begin traveling again, the concern is that new, more contagious variants will spread in the United States. The Delta variant is currently on our radar.

Why are the variants appearing now? All viruses change and morph into new strains. This is what all viruses do.

So, what do we know about the “Delta” Variant? Is it more deadly? No one is sure at this time, but some reports show there may be more hospitalizations, and the CDC says it seems to be more transmissible and contagious.

Researchers compared vaccinated patients to unvaccinated people. Their research seemed to indicate that the vaccines effectively reduced the risk of going to the hospital among people who were vaccinated. In addition, reports indicate that loss of smell is less common with the Delta Variant. But symptoms of persistent cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are more prevalent based on the surveys in the U.K., where more than 90% of the cases there are due to the Delta strain.

Should I be worried about the Delta Variant? Probably not if you’ve been vaccinated. The CDC says that vaccines seem to protect against all the variants as of this date.

Vaccine manufacturers are already starting to develop ‘booster’ shots to target the new variants. But requiring or needing a booster shot has not yet been determined. So common sense still is your best guide.

Getting vaccinated or not getting vaccinated is your personal choice. So always, always talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have. In the meantime, please stay safe and take care.

Source: CDC / Lancet Journal / Yale Medicine