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Delta variant — you can catch it if vaccinated, but unlikely it will be bad

The Delta variant is more contagious and has become the dominant strain in the U.S. So what's your risk if you are fully vaccinated?

NEW ORLEANS — What are your chances of getting the contagious Delta variant? There are those who are at high risk and those who are not.

The Delta variant is more contagious and has become the dominant strain in the U.S. So what's your risk if you are fully vaccinated?

“If you're fully vaccinated, you have very, very high protection against even the Delta variant in terms of hospitalization and death,” said Tulane Vaccinologist Dr. Lisa Morici. 

“The vaccines will probably be a bit less protective than they were against the previous strains, but that's OK — as long as we get enough people vaccinated,” said Dr. David Mushatt, Chief of Adult Infectious Diseases at Tulane School of Medicine.

So people vaccinated against COVID-19 could still be infected with the Delta variant, but they're more likely to have a milder case.

What if you've only had one dose of the two-dose vaccines?

“It's critical that you go and get your second dose because two doses of those mRNA vaccines are what is needed to protect you from severe disease and death from the Delta variant,” Dr. Morici said.

 What if you recovered from COVID and you're vaccinated?

“There's some evidence that if you had COVID, and then you get vaccinated, you may even have better antibody levels,” Dr. Mushatt said.

 What if you recovered from COVID and you're not vaccinated?

“They are seeing some people who had COVID before, get infected with the variants,” said Dr. Mushatt. "We believe that the immunity from the vaccine may actually be better than immunity from the actual infection."

What if you're not vaccinated, and never had the original coronavirus?

“People who are hospitalized and dying of the coronavirus, now virtually every single one of those individuals are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Morici.

And that's where variants are mostly created, in the people not vaccinated.

So the Tulane experts add this.

“We need to get to herd immunity as soon as possible because that will actually put an end to this epidemic. It will prevent this virus from constantly mutating,” said Dr. Mushatt.

“It's really important that our community appreciates that this Delta variant is taking over, and it threatens our return to normal,” said Dr. Morici.

The doctors say there is no recommendation for a third dose of the vaccine. They are more concerned about getting a higher number of people in Louisiana vaccinated.