Cases of a new variant of COVID-19 have just begun to be seen in Delaware.
The Mu variant remains an “interested variant” that has not risen to a level of concern.
“The concern is the genetic alterations of the virus, which we have expected and seen over time, but they may alter the virus in terms of virus infectivity, or vaccines in terms of efficacy. “It has the potential to change,” explained Jennifer Horny, founding director of the University of Delaware Epidemiology Program.
At least six of the mutations are in the peplomer, which is essential for the vaccine to work, but Horny says it’s too early to know if it affects the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, Horny states that other mutations in the virus also included peplomer mutations that have proven effective in the vaccine.
According to the latest data available by the Public Health Service on Friday, September 10, 2021, Delaware has 18 Mu variants.
However, due to the widespread delta, Mu’s cases are already declining worldwide.
“We were so bad at fighting Delta that Delta still accounts for the majority of the infectious diseases that are occurring in the United States, so unless Delta really begins to decline, there is no way Mu can invade. Really not, there, “said Horny. “Unfortunately, our outbreak strength, the delta surge, keeps Mu away.”
Last week, Delaware experienced 665 new cases in one day. This is the highest level since January. According to Horny, Delaware’s relatively high vaccination coverage is close to 62% for people aged 12 and over, protecting the hospital’s capacity. Immunization rates tend to be lower in states where hospital capacity is at stake.
“You have states like Idaho and Tennessee, triage is happening, and people are dying because of lack of access to basic emergency care,” she said. “A wonderful natural experiment shows that if we could vaccinate more people and continue some of our protective actions for a little longer, we could have prevented tens of thousands of hospitalizations and deaths. There is — and that’s really frustrating. “
Delaware’s vaccination campaigns are largely successful, but looking at other public health campaigns over the last few decades, Horny finds it difficult to reach the last 30% of national vaccinations. I said it would be.
“Although there are far fewer smokers than 20 years ago, there are still smokers, but stopping the last remaining people is a myriad of biological, sociological, and other factors. It would be very difficult for her. “She said.
A few months ago, as demand for vaccines declined, DPH moved from a large number of vaccine sites to smaller, community-focused events.
“They may be very rural or a minority community with distrust, so much more effort is required for each vaccine achieved, they are only difficult to reach. “She said.
According to national reports, unvaccinated people hospitalized with COVID-19 want a vaccine, but the vaccine is not an antidote, but a precautionary measure.
“Ultimately, it’s this kind of one-on-one type of personal experience, and in order to make the final decision, someone has to have a really negative experience with COVID itself or with the family.” Said Horny.
The pandemic may not be nearing its end, but many fear that the delta surge is putting the United States in a downward spiral because the COVID-19 numbers are moving in the wrong direction. I am. But Mr. Horny said the United States is in a much better place than when the pandemic first began in March 2020.
“We have a great vaccine … but there are treatments that have proven to be more effective. Frankly, some of our new normal behavioral and habitual changes. So I think we are in a much better situation. We have more mitigating factors that can overlap with each other and are semi-permanent or permanent to actions that will help us in the future. Changes have been made. ”
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