Experts say this result reinforces why it is important for people to be fully immunized.
A person is twice as likely to need hospital care if they are sick because of the Delta variant of coronavirus compared to the Alpha variant.
Experts say this result, from a large study published in The Lancet, reinforces why it’s important for people to be fully immunized.
Vaccination reduces the risk of serious infections with either variant, although Delta is currently the main threat in much of the world.
The study, led by the government agency Public Health England (PHE) and the Medical Research Council, looked at 43,338 covid-19 cases that occurred between March and May.
Most of these infections were in people who had not yet been vaccinated.
Most did not need to be hospitalized, but for 2.3% of people infected with Delta and 2.2% of people infected with Alpha, it was necessary.
But people infected with the Delta variant were younger, on average.
When the researchers adjusted the data for patient age and other factors that are known to affect disease severity, they concluded that Delta infection had twice the risk of hospitalization.
Experts say full immunization should reduce that risk. For most vaccines, it is necessary to take both doses for maximum protection.
So far, only 28% of Brazilians are fully immunized, according to data from the Ministry of Health, and 60% are partially immunized.
“We already know that vaccination offers excellent protection against Delta, and it is vital that those who have not received two doses of the vaccine do so as soon as possible,” said Dr. Gavin Dabrera of PHE.
“It’s also important that if you have covid-19 symptoms, stay home and get tested as soon as possible.”