Ask A Doctor: Understanding The Delta Variant And Protecting Children From COVID-19

A UT Health San Antonio physician with the latest recommendations for staying safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Michael MarksJuly 5, 2021 9:55 am,

In this installment of Ask a Doctor, UT Health San Antonio physician Dr. Fred Campbell has answers to the most pressing cornavirus questions.

What makes the delta variant different from other forms of the coronavirus? 

“The delta variant is primarily a more infectious variant of the wild type COVID-19 virus, and it would be more likely for someone who’s in close proximity to someone who is infected, to pick up the delta variant… The delta variant appears not to infect people who are already vaccinated. They have a very high protective status once they are completely vaccinated. The unvaccinated population is going to be at greatest risk with the delta variant, particularly when it’s apparently more infectious than the wild type.”

How should people behave in public to protect themselves from the delta variant?

“The use of a mask and social distancing is always a good idea. The good news about being fully vaccinated is that the risk of a serious infection or death from COVID-19 is extremely low after vaccination. And so the using of masks would not be as important at this particular time for people who are fully vaccinated… Again, it is good for reducing spread to other people, particularly those who have not finished a vaccination series.

What is your recommendation to parents with kids under the age of 12 who cannot be vaccinated? What should we be mindful of with the delta variant?

“A delta variant is apparently not going to cause more severe disease, but we don’t know with certainty which individuals will have a particularly bad COVID infection and even children could conceivably have a serious infection with a high risk of death [or] long term disability. So it’s just very safe to use the same kind of social distancing – wearing a mask – that we talk about, particularly in this vulnerable population of younger children.”

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