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Delta Variant In Arizona Underlines Need For Caution, Vaccinations

Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 5:06pm
Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 7:29am
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Arizona State University
Joshua LaBaer

The more transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 has arrived in Arizona and could soon replace alpha as the dominant strain.

"My suspicion is that in the next week or two, the delta variant will become predominant in the state. We'll have to wait for the sequencing data. That's always lagging by about two weeks, so it'll take a little while," said Joshua LaBaer, director of ASU's Biodesign Institute.

Scientists have not yet confirmed that delta causes more severe illness than other COVID-19 variants.

Whether delta tends to infect young people more than other variants also remains unclear because young people remain less likely to get vaccinated.

But vaccines, as usual, are the point. 

"The punchline on all the variants right now is that the vaccine protects against all of them, including Delta,"  said LaBaer.

People who are fully vaccinated are less likely to get severely ill from a COVID-19 variant or breakthrough, but they can still spread the disease, so LaBaer recommends masking up while in crowded places. 

Coronavirus Science