It may seem like we are still learning something new about COVID-19 every day. In many ways, we are. Even though there is still so much to learn there are still some facts we can stand behind. For example, we know that COVID-19 testing is one of the strongest tools and information sources we have for fighting the pandemic. We also know that the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at slowing the spread, curbing the severity of symptoms, and minimizing the risk of mutations and variants.
However, COVID variants began to emerge before widespread use of the vaccine, and still arise today. In fact, variants are one of the most pressing issues in the battle against COVID-19 today. One of the most prevalent variants today is the Delta variant. A recent report found that 99% of new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. are due to the Delta variant. This has many folks wondering, does the covid vaccine prevent against new variants? In this blog, we will look at which vaccine is effective against the Delta variant and if it helps prevent new mutations as well.
Perhaps one of the most pressing questions you can ask has to do with the Delta variant and covid vaccine. Since there is no one COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important to get a little more specificity which one we are talking about. Although many of the vaccines work in similar or near identical ways, there are some nuances when it comes to their effectiveness against the Delta Variant. Let’s take a look:
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is one of the more prevalent and effective options used today. As the first to gain full clearance from the CDC, and with the highest effectiveness rating, many people tend to prefer it over other options. The question remains, is it effective against Delta? While research is still ongoing, several studies suggest that the Pfizer vaccine remains somewhere between 60-100 percent effective in terms of preventing infection. However, when it comes to reduced hospitalizations (a key metric for vaccine effectives), the Pfizer vaccine stayed around 90 percent effectiveness or higher in all the studies regarding the Delta variant.
The third most common vaccine in use is the Moderna one according to Forbes. The same question remains however, for the Delta variant: is the covid Moderna vaccine effective? Based on lab studies and real life findings, the Moderna vaccine appears to be fairly effective against Delta. A mayo clinic study found that Moderna’s effectiveness of 86% for the Alpha strain only dropped to 76% against Delta for symptomatic infection rates. Similarly with hospitalizations, where Alpha saw 90% effectiveness, Delta came in at 81%.
Based on the information in the previous sections, it is hard to say with absolute certainty which vaccines are the most effective against the COVID-19 Delta variant. While both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines show suggestions of being fairly effective, there is another vaccination factor to consider, booster shots. You may be asking yourself “Do booster COVID-19 vaccines protect against the Delta variant?” The answer is yes, or at least yes, booster shots help protect against Delta better than just the original vaccine.
In a financial report by Pfizer, they indicated that booster shots increase Delta variant antibodies fivefold in people 18-55 years old, and elevenfold in 65-85 year olds. Moderna has also publicly stated that booster shots create “robust antibody responses” according to their second quarter financial report.
So, between the initial vaccines and booster shots, we can say with authority that COVID-19 vaccines help against the Delta variant. Can we take it a step further though, and say it helps against all variants—even those that have yet to emerge?
In the section above, we teased the idea that COVID-19 vaccines can help against all variants. The truth is, they can. While we know the vaccines can help reduce symptoms and spread, they can also help tackle an ever bigger issue. COVID-19 vaccines can actually prevent new variants from ever mutating in the first place. See the way viruses work, the more they spread, the more likely they are to mutate. The more mutations that occur, the more likely one is to become a more powerful variant of the virus, like Delta. So, since vaccines can actually help stop the transmission of COVID-19, they can reduce the likelihood of new variants altogether.
At BioCollections, we know there is a lot of constantly changing information around COVID-19. We also know that testing remains one of the most important tools to prevent the spread and mutation of COVID-19. So when it comes to COVID-19, let us be your resource for information you can trust. We are also your resource for COVID-19 testing. We provide safe, reliable testing with quick turnaround times and top-notch customer service. Contact us today to get tested, or check out our informative resources like our blog and COVID-19 page.