Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marty Makary discusses the COVID-19 Delta variant and vaccine side-effects in adolescents
A top expert with the U.K.’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on Sunday warned the region is approaching a third wave of COVID-19 infections as a highly transmissible variant first detected in India continues to proliferate.
“I think it’s now very clear that we will have a substantial third wave of infections,” Prof Andrew Hayward of University College London said, appearing on BBC One’s “Andrew Marr Show.” “The really big question is how much that wave of infections is going to translate into hospitalizations. The fact that we’ve got 55% of the adult population double vaccinated means that this will be substantially less bad than it could’ve been but we still don’t know exactly how bad it could be.”
Government data indicates over 41 million people in the U.K. have received at least one dose, while nearly 30 million are fully vaccinated. A study from Public Health England suggested the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against the variant two weeks post-second dose, and 33% effective after the initial dose. A recent report from PHE found that the Delta variant, B.1.617.2, was behind over 90% of sequenced cases.
The variant is associated with an increased hospitalization risk and recent findings suggested the variant is 60% more transmissible.
“I think 60% more infectious is extremely worrying, that’s the main thing that will drive the speed with which the next wave comes along,” Hayward said. “The fact that the level of hospitalizations from this infection appear to be maybe up to double those from the previous infection is of course also extremely concerning even in the context of people having had a single dose of vaccine.”
The news comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to extend COVID-19-related restrictions on Monday by several weeks amid a concerning rise in infections driven by the Delta variant, Reuters reported. The Delta variant is the dominant strain in the U.K.; it has overtaken the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 Alpha variant.