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COVID-19 Delta Variant and Vaccine Efficacy

November 24, 2021
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WRITTEN BY Ramon Martinez, III

Executive Summary 

SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has infected over 896,000 Missourians, resulting in over 14,600 fatalities as of November 2021. Roughly 50% of Missourians have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The recent emergence and surge of the Delta variant has increased the number of infections nationwide, including in Missouri. Various medical, industry, and government entities are exploring methods for mitigating the ongoing spread; strategies include the combination of vaccines, masking, and frequent testing. 

Highlights 

  • The Delta variant is highly contagious compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 virus; both mask wearing and vaccinations help to reduce the infection rate and severity of COVID-19 infections.
  • Both mRNA and adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines greatly reduce the probability of  hospitalization and death against all forms of SARS-CoV-2, including the Delta variant.
  • Entities at the federal, state, local and industry levels have enacted various forms of masking and/or vaccination requirements. 

Limitations 

  • Research investigating long-term vaccine efficacy is still ongoing. Lasting immunity measures will need to be continuously monitored to guide vaccine updates.
  • Long-term symptoms of COVID infections have only begun to be studied; more research examining the long term medical and psychological effects of recovered patients is needed.
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